I think this is one of those biblical phrases that I tend to read and think, “Well, that’s cool. We look like God.” And that’s about as in-depth as I get about that. That all changed about four days ago.
At around midnight on Wednesday night, my precious bunkmate (Aimee) and I were talking about the concept of being made in God’s image being equivalent to being an image bearer of Christ. It hadn’t really made sense to me before. We were made in God’s image to reflect glory back to God. When sin entered in, that image was corrupted. We no longer reflect an accurate depiction of who God is because we are sinful. When we murder, steal, lie, commit adultery, worship idols, or commit any other sin, we are not reflecting an accurate portrayal of God or His character to those around us.
When we are in Christ, we die to ourselves, choose God over our sin, and walk in the power of the holy spirit, God works through us and in us to reflect His character to a generation whose eyes have been so blind to Him. He does this despite our sinful nature. He sent His son to die to make us holy, not so that we can brag and boast about our righteousness, but to give Himself the glory. God’s purpose for creating us was to give Him glory.
So what does this all mean?
It means that I, as a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, have to understand that I am here to glorify the Lord. I am here to be an image bearer of Christ for the purpose of His names sake. I am a mirror that was made to reflect the Son. He works in me to do this for the purpose of bringing His sheep back to him.
I’m here to daily die to myself, and pick up the wooden cross. Sometimes it’s really heavy, but deep within my soul, I know it’s the cross I want to carry because I love my God. Jesus Christ is worth it.
What does this not mean?
Understanding our fallen condition and the fact that we can misrepresent the character of God by our actions, thoughts, heart, etc. is detrimental. But, at the same time understanding that manmade, manufactured “works” is not what gives God glory is important. It starts at the heart. If you’re heart is wanting to be obedient to the Lord (and wanting to be an open vessel), then God will work in you to glorify Himself. That may be through acts of service, kind words, prayer, or whatever.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that “good works” are just good works if they aren’t in response to something God is doing in you. I hope that makes sense. Works and faith work simultaneously, but without the faith part I’m just a “good” person. Whatever that means…
Anyways, I am excited to have finally written this. I’ve wanted to for the past few days. I just think it’s changed my whole perspective about starting my day off right. Praying that God will work through me, help me to die to myself, help me to choose Him over sin, and to allow His spirit to work through me to make Himself known. The idea of being made in the image of God to be an image bearer of Christ slapped me in the face this week. I’m glad I got to share it with you.