Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bittersweet Refinements: Chapter IV

The following is a rewritten chapter from Bittersweet Refinements.  If you would like to read the entire book, from start to finish and in the proper order, please go [here].

Chapter IV
A Matter of Image
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock; over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
It is, above all else, because of Adam and Eve being created by our Heavenly Father that makes Him ultimately responsible for their actions.  For it would be different if He was just a superior being that came upon them after they reached sentience, and took it upon Himself to show them and their descendants how to reach a higher plane of existence.
Many in the Christian community would argue that I have missed a critical point about our creation that changes everything.  For it is because of us being created IN HIS IMAGE that we are fully responsible for our own actions.
Methinks that they may have missed a point or two, themselves.  For a long, hard look in a mirror should serve as sufficient proof in and of itself that the image we were all created in is but a poor reflection of our Heavenly Father’s glory [1 Corinthians 3:11-12].  For who from among us, in the entire history of mankind, could have ever honestly said that they were all-powerful, or all-knowing, or always-present—let alone perfect in all of their own most awesome ways [Psalms 14:1-3]?
The counter to that is that it was not until after they had sinned that Adam and Eve’s image became tarnished, and there appears to be Biblical evidence to support this.  For it is true that our Heavenly Father considered everything He had created in the beginning as being VERY GOOD [Genesis 1:31], and we have been given written confirmation that only God is good.  For it is written: And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” [Mark 10:18 NAS]
However, if Adam and Eve had of been created as good as our Heavenly Father truly is, they would not have eaten of the forbidden fruit—now, would they?  For our Heavenly Father is not tempted by sin [James 1:13]!
On a related note, far too many have been led to believe just the opposite of that.  For it has been widely taught (in one way or another) that Christ Jesus was not so unlike we naturally are when He walked upon the face of this world in the flesh [John 1:14].
Much of this is based upon a misunderstanding of such passages as: But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.  For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.”  And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.”  And again, “BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.”  Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.  For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.  Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. [Hebrews 2:9-18 NAS]
Yes, that does make it sound like Christ Jesus was just like we naturally are before His resurrection [Luke 24:1-8], but who from amongst can honestly say that we are without sin?  For it is written: This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. [1 John 1:5-10 NAS]
Therefore, how can it be believed that Christ Jesus was not so unlike we naturally are?  For He was completely without sin [2 Corinthians 5:18]!

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