The vast majority of Christians believe that man is in the image of God. Man WAS made in the image of God in the creation but is fallen man still a bearer of God’s image?
Emphatically NOT. Christ said of the unbelieving Jews,” Ye are of your father, the devil.” Is Satan in God’s image or his children? Fallen man has taken on the image of Satan and has nothing left of God’s image, not even an eternal soul, rationality, conscience or a will which the fallen angels still possess. Many large and well-known Christian organisations such as Answers in Genesis, the Christian Institute and Christian Concern (in the UK) believe in the sanctity of life BECAUSE man is in the image of God STILL. Not true! The image of God Scripture tells us consists knowledge (of God), righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24, Col.3:10), this fallen man does not possess. Life is sacred because of man’s original dignity.This message deals with all the relevant passages:
I’m not the first Christian to wonder why and be amazed at the fact God is playing out his seismic spiritual warfare on this tiny planet!-JK Herman Bavinck: “The earth may be a thousand times smaller than many other planets; in an ethical sense it is and remains the centre of the universe. It is the only place fit to be the dwelling place for higher beings. Here the kingdom of God has been established; here the struggle between light and darkness is being waged; here, in the church, God is preparing for himself an eternal dwelling. From this earth, therefore, we will continue to look up from where, both in a physical and an ethical sense, the rain and the sunshine and the increase will have to come, without imagining that we are thereby determining the place of heaven in an astronomic sense or know its precise location in the universe. To say, however, that scientific investigation has robbed God and the angels of their place of residence is absurdly superficial … To our limited vision, the universe with its measureless spaces is still one vast mystery; and one who does not find God in his or her immediate presence, in his or her heart and conscience, in the word and the Christian community, will not find him in the universe either, even though he equips himself with the best telescope that money can buy “(Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2 [God and Creation], p. 485).
From Limerick Reformed Fellowship bulletin Feb.4th 2018.
Dreadfully necessary sermon that ALL should listen to, whether atheist, pagan or Christian!
Preacher Rev. Martyn McGeown, Missionary Pastor, Limerick Reformed Fellowship.
Best short series on this topic I have read.
Highly recommend: https://www.challies.com/series/aging-gracefully/
I have never bought bottled water-this presentations just backs up my convictions about it…
All men are the image of God according to modern woolly evangelical theology. Is this Biblical? It is the view of many organisations like the Christian Institute, Christian Concern and Answers in Genesis. But for starters fallen mankind makes images and worship them (Rom.1:23)!
We must first define the image of God.
The image of God according to Scripture is firstly Jesus Christ (II Cor.4:4, Col.1:9, Heb.1:3) secondly pre-fall humanity (Gen.1:26-27, Gen.9:6) and thirdly all believers renewed in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness (Col.3:10, Eph.4:24, Rom.8:29). The image of God equates to the likeness of God (I Cor.11:7, Col.1:15) and the glory of God (I Cor.11:6)! Unregenerate man is totally depraved and in the image of the devil, God’s image having been totally lost in the fall.
It is not morality, rationality, personality, spirituality, language or memory, intellect, will and conscience, or power over creation. These are the characteristics of man (in distinction from the image of God or the qualities of animals) and, even Satan and the fallen demons have these endowments! Are they the image, likeness and glory of God? There is no scriptural basis for these qualities being the image of God.
Totally depraved fallen man does not possess the knowledge of God which Christ defines as having eternal life (John 17:3) and for sure, fallen man does not possess righteousness or true holiness, in fact unregenerate wicked man hates God….can we rightly say he is in the image of God…absolutely not! Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Dawkins?
All those bearing God’s image are sons of God-the incarnate Son, Adam God’s first human son (Luke 3:38) and believers as adopted sons (I John 3:1).
To believe in an image of God in unregenerate man usually is held alongside a common grace for all men which is also erroneous.
For detailed proof of the above:
Q/A session addressing controversial passages used to support a universal image of God:
Article on the controversial passages: http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/imageofgod.htm#confess
Some amateur well-meaning but fanciful armchair theologians have posited that the Lord Jesus Christ died of a broken heart because this would fit with him being our sin-bearer and the fact water and blood came from the heart (they assume pericardial sac) from the piercing soldier’s spear. This is confusing the emotional with the physical. A broken heart is what you get when you break up a relationship and this broken heart is a ruptured ventricle. Both are erroneous because Christ was not only in charge of his emotions but also the time of his death. Scripture teaches that he chose the time to die, he did not die of the physical punishment inflicted upon him, at least that was not the primary cause. The idea he died of a ruptured heart is supposedly the fact that blood and water (serum) issued from the spear wound in the text (John 19:34). But after death, the separation of the component parts of blood in the heart would give you blood (red cells and water (serum) in each chamber (biggest being left ventricle which most likely was chamber pierced). Scripture tells us Christ dismissed his spirit i.e he was the only human ever, to decide the exact time of his death, and was fully conscious when he did it-he could not have done that if he died of pericardial rupture so I would abandon that theory! He “gave up the ghost” is repeatedly said in the gospels e.g. Luke 23:46. He was sovereign in the voluntary laying down of his life for us- Hallelujah, glory to God!
Four in Scripture signifies a sense of totality or “the world,” preeminently in the Book of Revelation (Wikipedia).It derives its meaning from there being four cardinal directions namely north, south, east and west.
Four corners of the earth. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” (Rev. 7:1). God rules over all creation.
“And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (Rev. 20:8). God rules over the wicked who oppose his church.
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31) c.f. “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12). God saves all his elect.
Everything in creation teaches us about the creator and glorifies him.
Heat-without it being the exact distance (93 million miles) from earth the planet would either be frozen or to hot for life. Heat burns and our God is a consuming fire who consumes sin and will one day destroy this sin-cursed planet and also all his enemies eternally in hell. The gospel of the love of God comforts (warms) the heart of the believer.
Light-without the full spectrum, especially ultra-violet, there would be no plant and hence no animal life at all. The spectrum of light seen in the rainbow reflects all God’s wonderful attributes. God and Christ are often, if not always, portrayed as being brilliant white as light, in fact unapproachable light (and heat) that would destroy any human coming near! Christ enlightens our minds to see the Kingdom of God and sheds light on our pilgrim path through life. Without divine enlightenment we are in darkness.
Healing-UV light metabolises bilirubin, the waste product of dead red cells that produces jaundice in the newborn, which can damage the brain. It is also used in many skin therapies. Christ heals many of our diseases and sanctifies us spiritually from spiritual sickness till one day his church will be presented without spot or wrinkle.
In that new creation there will be no sun! (Rev.21:23). Why? The Son is the Sun!
Christ is called the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2) who arises with healing in his wings.