Who we are is entirely defined in relation to God who created us. As a people created to be bearers of the divine Image, we are destined to become like what we behold. One terrible effect of the Fall was that in dying spiritually, Adam could no longer behold his God. Both the Image of God and the image of man fell from his sight. In becoming spiritually blind Adam could neither see God as He truly is nor, could he rightly see and know himself: Adam hid in fear and shame from the very One who wanted to save him from himself.[i]
We need to know that we have this same defective pattern going on inside of ourselves. We, too, often hide from God the very things we most need Him to heal of us: our wounds, our guilt, the shameful side of our inner life. Why? Because like Adam we have lost the True Image of our Loving Father and desperately need to have it restored. We, too, often carry deep fears that if God could really see how depraved and sinful we are deep down, He would turn from us in revulsion.
Jesus came to restore both our lost vision and our true identity. He is forever the God-Man who reveals to us perfectly what God our Father is like. At the Last Supper he chided Thomas (who wished to have the Father more fully revealed) by saying, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." By an equally glorious turning of the Mirror, He shows us what a human being is truly like. For us to become like Him, for us to become who we truly are, will mean that the sin obstacle must be removed. He has done that. Now, by the grace of faith-conversion transformation comes.
By beholding Jesus with eyes of faith we bear God's image afresh--and that begins birthing His way of life in us.[ii] We become beings of grace as we behold the grace-filled One. As our hearts surrender to Him in loving trust with each fresh glimpse of His grace, the Holy Spirit lifts and leads us into the new life. The fruit of His Spirit thus released in us reveals Him better than words could ever tell. This awesome power of beholding is what the Father is using to save and transform the world.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation... and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 1:15, 3:10 ESV
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:2-3 ESV
Father, thank You for revealing Jesus Christ to me as my Savior and as my new inner life. Deep down I am just like Jesus! As I behold Him I see what I'm really like, so help me recognize and bring to repentance anything I see in me that doesn't match up with Him. Enable me to resist carrying any image of You that is different from the love, grace and mercy that I see in Him. Help me cast down all false images so that my heart can thrive as I behold and bear these divinely-restored right images of myself and of You.
[i] The story of humanity's fall from grace is recorded in Genesis 3.
[ii] 2 Corinthians 3:18: And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Next Illustrated Insight
Two Hearts in One Believer
Illustrating the heart of the "old man" and that of the "new creation."
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