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The polished image of God

The question, the chicken or the egg - has been asked many times to determine what came first. How did the egg come into being if the chicken wasnít alive first to lay the egg, but if the egg wasnít first where did the chicken come from? Man has seen the stark reality of how nature works and has become confused about its origin because the reality of nature appears to quench any theory a natural origin. What caused the explosion and the big bang theory heard around the world that scientist explains? If man evolved, where did the first atom come from? Man continues to seek his origin to this day, but his method of probing into nature is limited to the natural method of perception. The only believable explanation comes from a spiritual explanation with a belief in God. When man has exhausted all other means there is always the explanation Ė In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Since creation man has built and erected some impressive statues of his own image. At times man created statues that were interpreted to be works of art and at other times, exact representations of historical figures. These statues were either made to be aesthetic in nature or constructed to stand in town squares to remind man of a milestone of his past. Trophies are statues smaller in size that speak of athletic accomplishments of an individual, but in ancient times, man constructed a exact miniature facsimile as a God to worship. Over time men have learned one thing - statues required a continuous effort to keep its designed appearance clean and polished. Man was created in Godís image but when man sinned that image was ruined. Sin had effectively

The revealed truth found in the word of God tells man about his origin. Man was created in the image of God, but in an image no man has seen. Therefore, when I think of the image of God, I have to wonder what Godís perspective was and what he meant by the words - image of God. Anyone forming an image knows that the image reflects what he or she perceives about the original subject. Otherwise the image he or she produces is a personal impression of the real thing.   When looking into the image of God we also consider something that God said about his perception of man.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

God looks to the core of man to see what makes him tick. In comparison man is only capable of seeing the veneer of the natural creation. To know anything about the image of God man needed to see the image God with natural eyes to know what God wanted man to see with spiritual eyes. The creation of the earth revealed the nature of God to man through the understanding of the things God made. Man had a physical origin with a free will and the intelligence to subdue the earth. Man was also a spiritual being that was - by far - more important to God than the body. Paul, Godís ambassador to men said, the flesh would never inherit the kingdom of God and.

 If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 1 Corinthians 15:44-46

God did not plan to display the image of his person in a well-lighted corner, as a trophy in a cabinet, as a work of art, or as a historical figure that visitors would find in his courtyard. His image had practical purposes, man was made in the appearance of God so he could easily adopt and accept them as his children. The image God made had to project an exact picture of a multifaceted creator, a precious gem that God wanted man to resemble. Letís also remember that no man has ever seen God to give a physical description of Godís weight, height, or body built nor seen the color of his eyes and hair. In addition, the physical description of Jesus Christ is not in Godís word other to say he was an ordinary man. For example, the Pharisees saw Jesus like everyone else and as the son of a carpenter and his wife Mary. However, no one has ever seen God and the Christian is no different because we live by faith not by sight.

God is described in singular terms with words such as eloah and el and in the plural version of God as Elohiym. By using the word Elohiym, God provides information that he is comprised of more than one-person Ė in the same way that man is categorized, man is a being comprised of more than one person. God created man to represent his person and be a projected the image that all men could both see and relate to. No one has ever seen God including Adam or Eve because they were also confined to the perceptional senses of the human being.  Man was created the physical image of God to project a mental image of Godís form. The animals Adam named had two things in common with man Ė they came in pairs and they were divided into the male and female gender.   However, the creation of man was not complete because God is life and the image God created of himself had to reflect an image with his qualities, personality and attitudes towards life. God began to polish his image so the world would see his true colors.

Adam said something amazing, the woman was made of his flesh and bones taken from his flesh. Then I believe God explained the basic purpose for taking Eve to be his wife.

  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

 God had designed the Adam and Eve as mates and placed them in the garden where they would unite as one flesh.  The human race had the first marriage presided over and ordained by God. God created man male and female and placed them side by side to form lifetime relationships. In the marriage relationship off spring are produced in the image of the parents. The human need for relationships began to grow with the introduction of other beings like us. The necessity to unite for strength, companionship and to meet the needs of the other people grew also. Eventually men and women would cover the earth and because they were able to think independently of each other, some sought their God while others did not. God had planned additional polishing of his image and sent his Son to complete the image - God wanted man to see.

I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. John 5:30
 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. John 12:49

Jesus adhered to a plan that was developed before the beginning of time. Jesus Christ was working simultaneously and in sync with God and the evidence was in the miracles performed by God the father. Jesus Christ personally touched people, spoke the words of healing and deliverance, but his father worked the miracles through Christ. In creation God commanded and Jesus Christ made everything that has been made, (John 1:3). The depth of Godís plan included man, for God wanted to unite with man and after man had been reconciled to God - he came to indwell man. The body of man became the home of the living God we know better as temple of the Holy Spirit. Was man created to be a mate to God and did God unite with man as one spirit?

Jesus Christ was submitted reverently to his father in every area of his life even though he was Godís son. He learned to obey his father while suffering the temptations and trials that all men go through.  He spoke of his relation with his heavenly father throughout his ministry in this way, I am in the father and the father is in me. If you have seen me you have seen the father, It is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves (John 14:9-11). Jesus revealed that the miracles done in his fatherís name was his fatherís way to authenticate Jesus Christ as the genuine messiah and his Son. This evidence also provided the credentials for Jesus Christís authority on earth. God also authenticates his child with the seal of God, which is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also a token of a layaway purchase, the Holy Spirit being the deposit guaranteeing that you will be redeemed. At the same time, the Holy Spirit is tutor that brings the child up in the admonition of God, to the fullness of Christ, to make man complete and mature in Godís ways.

 In raising children parents offer incentives to the child that obeys and punishes the child that doesnít. Parents leave a lasting imprint of his and her character by their instructions. As parents you direct your child in the way they should go and instruct according to what you have learned in your past.  In a similar way, God is instructing his children to live in the manner he does with the desires that his children mature with the ability to love the world the way he does. God is teaching his children to develop his graces and to be concerned over how our decisions affect others. However, when God punishes his child he loves, he is also applying polish to clean and remove the imperfections of his image.

Sin affected Adam and Eve life with the lost of an access to the tree of life they died a physical death. Sin when nurtured will destroy the image of God and when nothing is done to avoid evil, sin leads to an ultimate destruction.  Sin leads to the separation from God and to his way of dealing harshly with evil. Since God does not slay the spirit of man, God will quarantine sin inside a place of never-ending torment. Men fall short of Godís glory when sin tarnishes the image of God. Still God has the desire to restore the image of God and every man to his fellowship. Only one thing can break the cycle of sin and it comes with Godís grace of forgiveness and your effort to avoid sin again.

The overall picture of sin is a moral issue and the origin of harm, pain, ruin, mental anguish, and injury to others. The outcome of sin creates stress and tribulation in life and becomes the source of problems that men have to solve to survive. Because sin has a destructive nature sin, its destructive nature harms anything in its path.  Sin separates you from a moral God that is concerned over how his decisions affect other beings he has today or could develop future relations with. Sin is the common wedge that will separate any kind of relationship.   Knowing the cause can either institute a desired outcome or prevent it from happening. Parents tell their children not to climb trees because from experience they know their child will be hurt when they fall. God tells us that sin is destructive not only to our personal well being but to those affected from your sin.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble (tribulation). But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Did you know God forgives his children the way you forgive your children? It is easy to overlook that you regularly forgive your children when they repeatedly disobey you, Have you forgiven your mate when they irritate you constantly?  It is the grace of love that allows you to forgive your children, your brothers and sisters and the members of your family unconditionally. God said to love our enemies for in loving them you would heap coals of fire on your enemy. Over time love consumes as fire does the remembrances of pain and harm done by your enemies that had severed the bond to them.  Love restores your relationships to others and builds new relations with those outside your immediate family.  

Love is shown in physical hugs and kisses but it is also associated with the things you want to do for others. Jesus Christ revealed the true nature of God when he gave his all on the cross of Calvary. Life is the most precious possession of man for nothing can ever replace human life. Christ of his own accord laid down his life to reconcile man to God and to the gift of eternal life. Isnít reconciliation Godís way of restoring the image of God?

 Just as artists leaves an imprint of his creation. God's invisible qualities, eternal power and divine nature are understood through the works of God.  Man was created to occupy the earth with an understanding of Godís personal involvement and by faith his creation was man was designed to seek his creator. The creation wasnít complete when man had been reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the icing on the cake that had a lasting impression on Godís creation. God sent his only begotten Son in the likeness of man to reveal the true nature of the father and the way to eternal life.  Jesus was the image of God and the projected image God wanted man to see, observe and become.

I think all parents have wondered why each of their children were not alike and why one boy couldnít be like the older or younger son. In addition many people believe, like father like son, which is a proverb that states the son is exactly like the father.  This brings out the reality of that belief when the Jews told Jesus that Abraham was their father.

"Abraham is our father," they answered. If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. John 8:39

God sent his son as an example for man to observe his life for his humility, his ability to avoid sin, his compassion for his fellow man and the demonstration of his fatherís love for mankind. Jesus Christ was the spiritual image of God and his exact representation.  God also wanted to restore his relationship with him and through Christ provided a way through the acceptance of Christ as Lord.

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him 1 John 3:9

God expects his Son to bear his image and look like him. However, God does not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart of his creation. Is it possible that God inspired Paul to write this.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

Jesus came to reveal that God was a Spirit and that the Father was seeking men and women who would seek and worship him in truth and in Spirit.

No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:5-8

The acknowledgment of God and the acceptance of Jesus as your personal Savior is the born again experience which is followed by the baptism in the Holy Spirit. After conversion, the Christian after Godís heart attempts to develop the image of Christ in his own life. The Christian is the representative of God, an ambassador that takes the good news of Godís kingdom to the world. Who better than the children of God who have accepted Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and savior and know God - be the representative of God? The acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord and the promise to obey him placed the Christian on the fast track to a new and wonderful life. Your words backed up with actions gave God a reason to accept you as his child and an instant citizenship in his kingdom. God knows the conditions that his children live in and knows that man would go the way of the world if left alone. God gave his children the insurance that he loves them through the spirit, which teaches his child the standards God wants his them to develop.

After the resurrection of Christ he visited the disciples breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. A few days later, all of Jerusalem heard a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven filling the upper room where the disciples were waiting on the empowerment of God.  One hundred and twenty believers in Christ were empowered by God to live a holy life and take the inspired word of God to the entire world.

In the beginning God gave man access to the tree of life that allowed man to live forever. Because of disobedience, God drove him out the garden where Adam died at the age of nine hundred and thirty. Life is an attribute of God - a gift from God and the only source of life available to man. Christians expect to commune with God face to face when they arrive in heaven where they will regain access to the tree of life.

The creation story is packed with information about the qualities of God. The words male and female appear in the order of creation as well as in rank the male being the priest and head of the family unit. Itís also obvious that God created man in two distinct forms that were not identical, but still a replica of God as a whole. The qualities of the natural man rebel against but the qualities of spiritual man find ways to collaborate, agree and join forces with his creator.  Ultimately the creation story is the revelation of how God propagates his own kind and the continuous effort on his part to raise his children to maturity with higher standards of love and respect for life.

Whatís interesting is that parents expect their children to be born in their image and resemble them in appearance. Overall they want their children to develop a decent set of morals in their character as they mature.  Mothers especially show that desire when they see their child for the first time. They make sure they came fully equipped with all of their fingers and toes. The father has expectations of his children to develop and take on his beliefs as they mature. God may have higher standards but he doesnít expect you develop his standards with out his direct involvement. With this in mind he sent his son as your example. In addition, in the same way God made a helpmate for Adam, God provided a helpmate to bring his child up in the admonition of the Lord, we call him the Holy Spirit.

The unseen qualities and nature of God are clearly demonstrated within the creation itself.  Everyone great or small has been affected by the eternal power of God. Man knows that God made the natural wonders that beautify our environment and sent his only begotten Son to reveal the characteristics of God. Everyone knows how he wants to be treated by his fellow man, but instead of showing respect towards his fellow man the majority demonstrates a me first attitude. Yet men continue to taste the affect of drought that stifles men by the shortage of food and water. They experience hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and hail all because they have turned their backs on God.  However, men have the belief that the luxuries and pleasures of life are worth the cost that they will have to pay in the future when that future may be the eternal lake of fire.

Adam and Eve did not die a physical death on the spot when they sinned against God. The fact that God made clothing from the skins of animals indicate that they had been redeemed through the shedding of blood. It tells us that God saw the death of the animal as a substitute for Adam and Eveís sin, and revealed the grace of God to forgive. In our own life our children disobey us and we manage to forgive them, but at the same time we use painful methods to discipline to teach them in to obey mother and fatherís authority. That punishment may appear to be harsh, but later in life they learn to respect your authority and develop intimate and personal relationships with them.

God doesnít want anyone on earth to perish. Children are taught that they are responsible to their mother and father. The annoying and troublesome brat that you wish would behave proudly tells you that youíre not my father, you canít make them obey you. There are also children that refuse to be corrected and after years of trying the parents say - enough is enough. Fathers have been known to declare to the world that because you have refused to do as he have asked you to do, he no longer consider you a Son or daughter of his. God is returning one day in the near future and like Santa Claus knows who has been naughty and who has been nice. What can you expect from of the person molding you into his image to do when the imperfections of your life keep coming to the surface deforming the appearance he wants?

God created a system of authority in the creation that begins and ends with him. Sooner or later everyone learns that they benefit greatly by doing things that pleases those in authority. Jesus said that when he returns that it would be better if he found you busy doing what he assigned you to do. You have been given the opportunity to have or to reject life through a personal choice. A father whether they are of heavenly or earthly origin want obedient children in his home and he always selects the appropriate reward or punishment to keep peace in his home.

Regardless of your relation to God, you are able to study known works of God and compare his creation for the expressed purpose of appraising the value of the creator to your life. The Bible says, ďTaste and see that the Lord is good.Ē(Psalms 34:8)  No one will ever know God unless they study and sample the work of God to consider its personal value to them. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7) Knowledge gives man a way to know what he is getting himself into and what can be done in preparation of forming a plan to overcome known obstacles if life.  The benefits of eternal life are derived from the application of Godís plan. However, working out your own salvation with God is personal, because only you can accept Godís plan for your life. God is not finished with his creation because he is in the process of molding his children into the image of God.  

Weíve all heard the words God is still working on me. It only goes to show that Godís creation is an ongoing effort to create a proper image of God in man. The effort of God to mold into your life the image of Christ requires your personal effort to voluntarily allow God to mold your life into the image of God that the world can see. In this process, God demands your obedience and respect of his authority. The required discipline on your part is to work with God as he cleans and polishes your life to reflect the resemblance and likeness of your father in heaven.

Before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. Revelation 4:6

It is difficult to see a blemish in glass today because of the efforts man has made to remove contaminates in every stage while producing glass. God is actively working in man to remove the impurities that sin creates, but it is manís spiritual act of worship to know his good, pleasing and perfect will and then apply that knowledge to his life. Sin contaminates the quality of human life and it damages the image of God that other men see. Sin makes your efforts unproductive to glorify your father - the God of creation.

The man God accepts into his kingdom is restored and without blemish likened to a precious gem. God also likens man to living stones and stones of all kinds that with out blemished adorn his temple, his priests and his home. You are the gem of Gods creation designed to be the jasper of the Crystal Sea surrounding his throne. The gems and precious stones that are desired by people sparkle brighter in light of the world, but precious stones God desires sparkle brighter in the world because we reflect the father of lights. The Crystal Sea are those who radiate the glory of their father in heaven and sparkle in his presence. Around the throne of God Christians reflect the light coming from the throne, but in the world Christians reflect Godís image to his fellow man.

 

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