Ephesians 4:22-24 – Images

Genesis 1:26–27

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”… God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Ephesians 4:22–24

In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

I love pictures and videos of old memories. We have a lot of them from when our kids, Ellie and Clark, were small. We absolutely love to watch them, and the kids kind of enjoy them, too. I think what we like so much about them is that they remind us of that time in our lives. We recognize that those images aren’t literally the toddler version of our kids. We can’t talk with them or interact with them like we did at that time, but it represents the memory of their little personalities and all of the joy and laughter we shared with them. They were the cutest kids that have ever walked the earth…if I do say so myself!

It is amazing to me that human beings were made to be images and likenesses of God. Out of all of creation God chose us to remind others of Him. Unfortunately, we marred and scarred that image with sin. We took a high definition image, then bent and twisted it, pushing it way out of focus until all that was left was a photo of something that no one could make out. One of my greatest concerns about all of the photos and videos that we have of our kids is that the backups will be corrupted, and we will lose the images that so easily bring us back to that time and place. Unfortunately, that is just what has happened to the world of man. The whole human race has been corrupted by our own desires, lusts and pursuits, and the image is all but lost.

Thankfully that is not where the story ends. In the lives of those who have trusted in Him, He has taken those old, corrupted lives and made them brand new. He has a recovery program that is better than any software programmer could ever dream up. He is actively reforming our minds to make our thoughts like His thoughts. He is literally returning our minds to their original newness. He has made us into brand new creations. The word ‘new’ here indicates a completely original creation that has not existed before. This is not reforming the old person we were. It is not a ten step program for recovery. He has created us completely new. While we can still choose to act like the person we were before, we are no longer that person, so why would we?

Once again, we bear the high definition image of God. Now let’s be clear. This by no means indicates that we are gods in any way. That is a lie that has been twisted from passages like this by which unfortunately many have been deceived. Just like the video of my toddler kids is not actually my toddler kids. It simply represents and reminds us of them. In the same way, we are in no way God, but we have been created to remind people of His righteousness, His holiness, and His truth. What a great honor! What a great responsibility!

May we believe the truth about who God has made us laying aside the remnants of our old, corrupted lives, and instead living as reminders to others of the character of our great God.

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