It’s All About My Image

It’s All About My Image

Posted on 17. Feb, 2011 by in Kingdom Notes eZine

Apostolic Notes vol 5 No 3

How many times a week do you get asked for ID? You’re at the store, ready to check out with your card, the clerk asks you, “Can I see some ID please?” So what do you do? You reach for your drivers license. Ok, so what is so different about this 2×3 piece of plastic, that it would ease the mind of the suspicious (or bored) clerk? Well duh! It has your picture on it. So what?

Once we have given them the drivers license, the clerk looks at the picture, and then looks up at you, then back at the picture. Why? They are comparing you to the image on the card. It is this image that is used to confirm your identity. Note – the image is not you, it is a representation of you, but it causes others to recognize you.

Pictures are images are ways to capture the memories and people of a moment. Have you looked at a photo album lately? As you peruse the old photo’s you catch yourself saying “look at…” as you point to a friend or relative; releasing a flood of memories.

So to ask a facetious question, how did you know who that was: Because you recognized the image in the photo. Now we know that this particular individual was not there with you, but again, the image allowed you to recognize them.

So what is an image? “a representation or likeness of a person or thing ”(1)

An image is not the actual “thing” or person, but it is something that is used for identification. Why is this significant? Glad you asked.

Based on my biblical study, this is one of the key results of the Gospel and God’s purpose for mankind. From the creation story, we know that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. He was given dominion and told to multiply and fill the earth. The significance here is that if he had been obedient, the earth would have become populated with the image God.

The OT word for image is tselem and means:

  • “image or copy” of something in the sense of a replica:
  • God made man in His own “image,” reflecting some of His own perfections
  • The word also means “image” in the sense of essential nature as used in the following text:
    • So Adam “begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” Gen 5:3.

So grasping the concepts of image, God made man in his own image to reflect his essential nature and perfection.

As God’s image, Adam was to manifest, reveal, make known to all of creation what God was like: his purpose was to make God tangible or real, ruling as God’s representative. When creation saw Adam, they saw God. Through Adam, God’s nature and character would be expressed.

Unfortunately, we know Adam disobeyed. Since sin entered in, he lost the likeness of God and could no longer act as His representative. Thus, banished from the garden.

From this point on, we see the good news (gospel) being worked out: not just to redeem man, but also to restore him back to his original purpose. A study of the scriptures reveals a focused part of the good news is a restoration back to the image and representation of God. This is seen first in the purpose of Jesus, then applied to the born again believer.

Jesus

It is common knowledge and understanding that Jesus came as the image of God, this is evidenced by the following:
The Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: Col 1:15

  • Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person… Heb 1:2
  • he that hath seen me hath seen the Father… Jn 14:9
  • I also think it is significant that in 1 Cor 15, Paul makes a direct connection to Adam, by stating that Jesus was the “last Adam:” implying a completion.

Us
The word tells us that we are renewed after His image

  • And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Col 3:10
  • For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son… Rom 8:29
  • And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness KJV Eph 4:24
  • …and to clothe yourselves with the new nature, which was created according to God’s image in righteousness and true holiness. ISV
    • The ESV states – created after the likeness of God…

These texts reveal to us that Jesus came as the representational image of an invisible God, to restore mankind to his original purpose. When we are born again, we are created after God’s likeness, bearing His image and to fulfill the role Adam was created for: representation!

As His image, our purpose is to live in such a way that others will recognize him.

However, we are not to just present an image of a good moral life, we have been authorized to conduct business as representatives of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are to walk in His delegated authority, demonstrating to this world what life in His kingdom will be like. This manifestation proves to the world there is something better: We reveal to them that there is a King and He is coming with His kingdom and His name is Jesus!

Food for thought:
Is the focus of my walk, to make it to heaven? Or, am I seeking to fulfill the purpose of my creation: expressing His image to a hungry world?

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Adapted from our teaching series: Living In Kingdom Authority and our book: Apostolic Authority, Every Believers Privilege

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