I’m no theologian, nor am I into Latin, but Imago Dei, “the image of God,” has been on my radar a lot over the past few months.
It started at an Apologetics Canada Conference a friend invited me to back in March and, not surprisingly, continued as I tied into the Apologetics Canada’s podcast. But it has also been popping up somewhat regularly and frequently in a number of things I have either read or listened to. All to say that I’ve been somewhat taken with the profound implications of Imago Dei, and what it means to be a human being created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27).
Maybe then, I shouldn’t be surprised that it surfaced again this morning as it jumped off the page during my reading in Ephesians.
. . . put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
(Ephesians 4:24 ESV)
Reminded this morning that, while all men and women have been created in the image of God and thus possess an intrinsic worth, only those born again have been re-created after the likeness of God and thus, with the potential to reflect Him in “true righteousness and holiness,” can also know an intimate walk. Or, as Peter puts it, be “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pet. 1:4).
And I’m a bit in awe at the reminder.
Created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Really? True righteousness? Actual holiness?
Yup! Imago Dei.
That’s who I am in Christ. That’s what I am because of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich” (2Cor. 8:9). Rich in real righteousness. Abundantly resourced in true holiness. That’s me. That’s the likeness I bear, along with all who are children of God, saved by grace through faith, “and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
No boasting. Just bearing. Bearing the image of God. Feebly at times. Faltering at times. Nevertheless, by His grace, an image bearer of God in true righteousness and holiness.
If this is true, and it is, then how could I not long to heed Paul’s plea to believers to “put on the new self?” To stop walking as the unsaved do, “in the futility of their minds . . . darkened in their understanding . . . alienated from the life of God . . . callous and given to sensuality?” (Eph. 4:17-19)
How could I not desire with great desire to “be renewed in the spirit” of my mind (4:23). To seek the kingdom. To feed on His word. To abide in the Vine. To walk in manner worthy of our calling.
We have the promise, that we are new creations in Christ and the old has passed away (2Cor. 5:17). We have the platform, the righteousness and holiness of our Savior credited to our account (2Cor. 5:21). And we have the power, for we’ve been created, and re-created, after the likeness of God.
By His grace. For His glory.