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 Category 3 definition 1 image of God (Courtney)

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Courtney Gray

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Number of posts : 17
Age : 27
Registration date : 2007-12-01

PostSubject: Category 3 definition 1 image of God (Courtney)   Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:48 pm

1. Explain the meaning and significance of the image of God.

While I was on a missionís trip in Peru, I met a homeless blind man who walked into the church where my team was ministering. He was missing one eye, and the eye that remained was foggy white and crusted over. His entire body was filthy, and he smelled terrible. I looked over and saw one of the adult team leaders giving him a hug. I felt myself cringe as I thought how difficult it would be for me to do the same. As we began to worship that night, I closed my eyes to sing a contemporary worship chorus. I sang the words, ď I want to know you Lord, I want to see your face.Ē As my eyes were closed, an image of this blind begger kept popping into my mind every time I sang the words ďI want to see your face.Ē I struggled to reconcile this image with the words I was singing. I didnít want this horrible face to be the face of my Lord. I didnít want to worship a face that made me turn away in disgust. As I continued to sing, I felt my heart soften as I began to understand that God was touching my heart with a very important message. This precious man was made in Godís image and I must learn to show him love.
This experience has changed my understanding of the question that I have been asked to answer today: Describe the meaning and significance of the image of God. Iím going to start by describing what it means to be created in Godís image. Then Iíll move on to telling why this is a significant aspect of the Christian faith, and how this reality should influence our personal behavior.
First what does it mean to be created in Godís image? The Bible tells us so in Genesis 1:27 "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
Having the image or likeness of God simply means that we are made to resemble God. Scripture says that God is spirit and therefore exists without a body. Therefore the image of God refers to the immaterial part of man that sets us apart from the rest of creation. It is the mental, moral, and social aspects of Godís character that serve to distinguish us from all other living creatures on earth.
Let me briefly give some examples. We know that mankind can reason, imagine and create. These characteristics set us apart from other forms of life. Our cognitive processes make us like God but we are not God. We can reflect his image in the same way that we see an image in the mirror or a photograph on a piece of paper, but this image or reflection, never becomes the reality it represents.
Being created in Godís image is complicated by the reality of sin in our lives. Sin distorts our ability to reflect Godís image of holiness. Just like a smudge on a mirror, sin prevents us from reflecting God accurately to others. It is only through a relationship with Jesus Christ that we can reconnect with God as a holy and moral being. It is through Christís work on the cross that we are able to reclaim who we are as image bearers of God.
Now that we know what it means to be created in Godís image, we must ask ourselves why this is significant to the Christian faith, and how this should influence our lives as believers. Let me borrow the famous question that was asked by theologian Francis Schaeffer, ďHow Then Shall We Live?Ē
We must seek to conform ourselves to the image of Christ, because it is through Christ that we have our salvation. The bible tells us in Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
We must focus our minds on conforming to Christís image. Through studying Godís word we learn what pleases God and how Christ would respond to the trials and tribulations of daily living.
We need to understand that our self worth does not come from what we do, how we look, or who we associate with, but rather our worth is determined by our creator and it is given to us because we are a reflection of His love and His character in this world. This realization must not only be turned inward but it must also be turned outward as we interact with those whom God created. If we accept the fact that God created us in His image, then we must also acknowledge he created everyone else in his image too. Therefore, all human life has worth and value, because of this, we must learn to love all people: the lovely and the unlovely, because they too are created in Godís image. They are deserving of our love and respect.
As I think back to the blind beggar who rocked my pristine image of Godís face I have been challenged to re-evaluate my thoughts and actions towards others. I wish I could say that Iíve made great progress in my journey of loving those who arenít so easy to love. The reality is this is a daily challenge that I continually pray for God to assist me with. I do know that God continues to bring to mind, the face of a very ugly and dirty beggar and this image continues to remind me that I must reach out and love others who are created in Godís image.
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scottwylie



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2009-11-17

PostSubject: Great Job!   Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:22 am

Courtney,

I like this speech and think it is great. Your illustration is strong and compelling!
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