Have you looked into your mirror lately? Looking into the mirror evokes three possible reactions: Do something to improve; delay doing something or walk away and do nothing.
Watch this video – all the kids remained as they are except one kid who wanted to change his self image and he did it by self effort, and he knew it would not be sustainable by himself.
The Bible says “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” James 1:23,24
We can read the Bible everyday and not benefit from all the promises of God or inherit heaven and eternal life if we do nothing about what we see – sinner in the sight of God, needing salvation from the penalty of sin and forgiveness and repentance and not fulfilling the purpose of God.
God’s Plan of Perfection
We are told in the beginning “And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26,27.
Sin marred the perfection
Adam was first created a living spirit in that image of God in the spiritual sphere. He was a MAN and a son of God. Being a spirit and having no definite shape, he was yet to be made in the likeness of God. When was that likeness manifested? Genesis 2:7 merely states: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Thus, the creation of man in the image and likeness of God was completed as God had declared unto the angels in Genesis 1:26.
But sin marred the image and likeness of God in him, and tainted his mind, body and soul. The Fall also deprived him of his first estate as lord over the creatures of the earth. And since then, Satan has reigned as the god of this world.
The soul of man is not his body Genesis 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the soul is the intangible, innate and inherent part of living creatures. The soul of man is different from that of the animals. Every living thing, by the law of nature, brings forth its own kind – the lion has lion nature. But the Man, Adam was given the spiritual nature of God before he appeared on the earth in his house of clay to manifest that nature.
A close examination of the Word of God reveals that the two words, spirit and soul, are interlocking. One cannot separate the soul of a true child of God from his spirit, because his soul was quickened by the Spirit of Life Itself.
“For all have sinned” (Rom.3:23), and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23). “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek.18:4). That is a spiritual death caused by sin. Unless the soul is quickened by the Spirit of Christ, it will remain dead forever, not having eternal and spiritual life.
The soul is controlled by the imagination, conscience, memory, reason and affection. They are the intellect and the emotion of the spirit (cf. Gen.41:8; Exod.6:9; 1 Sam.1:15; Psm.77:3; Eccle.7:9; Matt.26:41; John.11:33) The physical brain has no intelligence, conscience, emotion. It’s the spirit that possesses all these elements.
When sin was imputed unto Adam and Eve because of their disobedience, death reigned over their whole being. When Seth was born, he naturally possessed that marred image and likeness of his father, Adam, a fallen man. The couple were separated from God and faced eternal death. But God provided a remedy, and death was swallowed up in victory through Christ Jesus! Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Amen!
In Romans chapter 7 St. Paul wrote, concerning the struggle of the two natures within man, how that the good nature is diametrically opposed to the evil nature.
Because his soul is spiritually dead, man loves darkness rather than light. With an evil nature within him, that nature tends to pull him away from the Light. Knowing that the Light would expose his evil deeds, he keeps away from It and feeds his mind upon the things of the world through his natural senses. Each time when the Light shines before him and he rejects It, he will drift further away from the Truth and Eternal Life. Read John 3:19-20.
God’s Resolution for the Marred Image
God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, and condemned sin in the flesh. This was done that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in those who would believe and live according to the Spirit and not according to the sinful nature. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom.8:6). For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God.(Romans 8:14)
Man is a free moral agent. God, Who is rich in mercy, had provided man in his fallen state an escape pathway from death to life eternal. Man has to choose between the ways set before him. God, being omnipotent and omniscient, knows all things from the beginning to the end, and the end from the beginning. As such, He had already foreknown the choice of each and every one even before they were born.
With the Water of the Word and the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ coming upon him, the soul is quickened and made alive by the Spirit. Like a butterfly emerging from its pupa cocoon, a transformation has taken place; a new life bursts forth. The old nature has died, and the nature of God is resurrected, and now lives in him by the Word of God. (1 J0hn.3:9; 1 Pet.1:23).
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ( 2 Cor.5:17)
“And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;…But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” ( Eph.2:1,4-6).
In the rebirth, the Holy Spirit converts the soul of the believer into a new soul, which has the nature of God. As the believer still lives in a natural environment, the five senses of his physical body are in constant contact with the environment around him. If he is not careful, his spirit could respond to the influences of the world and succumb to them.
Paul commanded the believers to put off that “old man”, the former life, which brings nothing to the body but sins, and to put on the “new man”, the new life, and be renewed in the spirit of the mind, in the knowledge after the image of God Who created him. ( Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10; Romans 6:6-12.) “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom.12:2).
The other Apostles, in their respective epistles, also exhorted Christians to walk in the Light of Christ’s Word that they may grow thereby. King David in the Book of Psalms, summarize it aptly: “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psm.119:11). Amen! In these last days, let every true “born again” child of God endeavour to walk diligently in the Light of God’s Word that the Seed of God within us change us completely.
Sin cannot thwart the Eternal Plan of God. God is Almighty. Knowing the end from the beginning, He purposed in Himself to be the Kinsman Redeemer. “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope” (Rom.8:20). And in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Only Begotten Son, “Who is the image of the invisible God” (Col.1:15), “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image (Grk: exact copy) of His Person” (Heb.1:3) to redeem all predestinated seeds of God, and to restore their original image. He was THE GRAND MASTERPIECE of God by whom God sacrificed, broke Him down, and raised Him up from the earth that the marred “masterpieces” would also be raised up together with Him. Those marred “masterpieces” would be remoulded and restored to their original glory – the Image of Christ – and each of them would “have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him” (Col.3:9-10). Each one will strip his old unregenerate self with its evil practices, and clothe himself with the new, through the process of renewal and remolding into fuller and more perfect knowledge (upon knowledge), after the pattern in which he was originally created. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord…For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (or person) of Jesus Christ.” ( 2 Cor.3:18; 4:6).
The Fall had so distorted the Image of God in man that he could no longer reflect the full Glory of God. Now, as we, the children of God with unveiled face, continue to behold (to reflect) in the mirror of God’s Word (the Glory of the Lord), we are constantly being transformed into His very own Image in ever increasing splendour, from one degree of glory to another. This comes from the Lord God, the same Spirit Who commanded “Let there be light” to shine out of darkness; He now shines in our hearts, illuminating His majesty and Glory in the Person of Jesus Christ. We are all changing back to the original pattern in which we were created.
Paul taught the most powerful and precise summary of the Christian message in the entire New Testament, in Romans chapter 8 – the Christian life in the Spirit of the Lord. In verses 1, 5 and 14: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
See how important it is to walk in the Spirit? The Spirit of God will lead a believer, and change him, from glory to glory, to be conformed to the Image of His Son, Jesus Christ, Who is the Image of the Invisible God, and the Glory of God. ( 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:6 and Hebrews 1:3.
Christ’s Redemption includes the body’s victory over death
Christ Jesus came to save and to purchase back the whole man, first his spirit-soul and then his body. The believers, both those that are asleep and those that are awake in Christ, are now waiting for the redemption of their bodies (Rom.8:23). It will take place when Christ Jesus, the Bridegroom of the True Church, comes to be glorified in the saints (2 Thess.1:9-10). “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1 Cor.15:52-53)
“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” ( Rom.6:4-5)
The Son of God came to rid the flesh of its sinful power by being a sin offering. Then, “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom.6:6-7). Amen! So, we are free from sin because we have become one with Him by baptism into death.
As we are identified in the likeness of His death so also are we identified in the likeness of His resurrection! As we are transformed into the Image of Christ Jesus, we shall likewise be transformed into the same Likeness of His Glorious Body — in Newness of Life, so in Newness of Body! Oh, Blessed be the Holy Name of the Lord!
What shall our response be?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ( Rom.12:1-2)
What more can we say then, as Paul proclaimed, “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God…We know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom.8:18,19,22,23).
According to the unfailing Word of God, surely we will be manifested as His sons in the millennial Age of Regeneration (Matt.19:28), when Christ shall come to be glorified in His Bride Saints (2 Thess.1:9-10), and we shall be put on public display, as adopted sons of God, to the glory of the Father — broken masterpieces, finally restored, and put to sit with Christ on His Throne! Amen!
Meanwhile, let us continue to walk in the light of every Precious Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Every child of God must live by every Word which God had established, before the foundation of the world, for him to live (Matt.4:4; Deut.8:3).
Being the Bride and Glory of Christ, Who is the Glory of God, we shall possess and live by every Word of God, letting It grow in our lives. Those who cut the Word of God are cutting off His Glory. Thus, they shall not have any part in that Glorious Position of the Bride, which awaits every Word-abiding child of God.
So, live the Word, Which is here! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me
All His wonderful passion and purity
Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me