Archive for April 2021

Part One: Who Am I?
Part Two: Restoring Human Identity and Purpose
Part Three: Why Am I?
Part Four: Factors That Hinder Imago Dei
Part Five: The Image of LoveReaching Our Community
Romans 9:1, I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…

Restoring Imago Dei in Community
“And at the core of urban apologetics is a restoration of the Imago Dei . Racial injustice and inequity have created a complex need to affirm humanity while challenging human sinful pride. Scripture demands that we treat all people as bearers of God’s image.”
– Eric Mason, Urban Apologetics (p. 32). 

Restoring Imago Dei in Community
Religious and Ethnic Identity Groups confuse the image of God in people 
The Nation of Islam -  God is a man, Allah is the latest
Hebrew Israelites - Christianity is a white man’s religion 
Kemeticism - Egyptian religion called Kemet
Black Conscious Community - Started in South Africa
Black Atheism 

Factors Working Against Imago Dei
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Mindsets not introduced by family and Kingdom of God
Anti-Christ forces
Self-loathing, Self-hatred
Confused and negative people
Failure to glorify God

Failure to Glorify God
Appreciation
Adoration
Affection
Subjection

Appreciation
To glorify God is to set God highest in our thoughts, and, to have a venerable esteem of him. 
Psalm 92:8, But You, Lord, are on high forevermore.
Psalm 97:9, For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.

Adoration
Very strong love or worship for someone 
Psalm 92:2, Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
Psalm 97:9, For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth;You are exalted far above all gods.

Affection
This is part of the glory we give to God, who counts himself glorified when he is loved.  The heart is set upon God, as a man’s heart is set upon his treasure.
Deuteronomy 6:5, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Subjection
When we dedicate ourselves to God, and stand ready dressed for his service. We are devoted to his service
Deuteronomy 6:5, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Not suggesting or diagnosing here, only considering the effects of trauma at verious levels. 
Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better.

Effects of PTSD
From Mayo Client: Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include: 
Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world 
Hopelessness about the future 
Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event 
Difficulty maintaining close relationships
From Mayo Client: Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include: 
Feeling detached from family and friends 
Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed 
Difficulty experiencing positive emotions 
Feeling emotionally numb 
Changes in physical and emotional reactions 

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Imago Dei (The Image of God) - Part Three: Why Am I?

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

God’s image - Character

God’s likeness - Outward witness

Dominion - Responsibility, tasks, duty, service

Fruitful - Utilizing abilities and gifts

Multiply - Reproduce yourself, empower others 

Subdue - Create and maintain order

 

What is the imago Dei?

Imago Dei is the Latin term for “image of God.” 

 Knowing who you are is foundational to both a healthy self-image and a strong sense of purpose.

 

God’s Purpose for People

Micah 6:8, He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly,To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Isaiah 43:21,This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.

1 Peter 2:9, But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

God’s Purpose for People

1 Corinthians 15:9, For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 

Imago Dei of God

Calls to Imago Dei in You

Psalm 42:7, Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me—A prayer to the God of my life.

Reaching Our Community

Romans 9:1, I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…

Factors Working Against Imago Dei

  1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  2. Mindsets not introduced by family and Kingdom of God
  3. Anti-Christ forces
  4. Self-loathing, Self-hatred
  5. Confused and negative people
  6. Failure to worship God

Reflections 

  1. Why was I born?
  2. What place does Imago Dei have in my day-to-day life?
  3. What is my role in the lives of others?

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Psalm 19:7 NAS, The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

Psalm 86:10, For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. 11] Teach me Your way, O LORD;   I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.  12] I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. 

In today’s culture, people believe in a “God” who is made in their own image. He is a God who changes, adapts to whims and customs and permits whatever the majority of people want to believe. Their god has many names, multiple personalities, no exclusive holy book and cannot be grieved by any act of sin except “intolerance.” Evil has become a non-category. It is like a farmer who plants crops but cannot admit to the existence of weeds and insects. He thinks the solution is to pour on more fertilizer. Today, education is the fertilizer.

There are two Gods. There is the God that people generally believe in—A God who has to serve them. This God does not exist. But the God who people forget—the God whom we all have to serve—exists, and is the prime cause of our existence and of all that we perceive. God being God offends human pride. “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18) When the light of God is absent, the intellect become dysfunctional, trying to devise a truth that will be compatible with the basic falsehood that man is god. (Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines)

C. Indicators of the True God:

  1. Is from everlasting to everlasting
  2. Known to Adam, Abraham, Moses and the pagans of every generation
  3. Has the power to create, destroy, heal and reform 
  4. Passes final judgment
  5. Knows the hearts of people
  6. Knows the motivations of the heart
  7. Has purpose that transcends the lifetime or sensual interests of people
  8. Manifests His presence in the earth through the Holy Spirit
  9. Has a son name Jesus Christ, who is God the Son

Thought: images, concepts, judgment; enables our will (or spirit) to range far beyond the immediate boundaries of our environment

Feeling: sensation, emotion; inclines us toward or away from things that come before our minds; involve a tone that is pleasant or unpleasant. Thoughts and feelings go together 

Choice: Will, decision, character; our choices produce our unique contribution to reality. Temptation is the thought plus the inclination to sin. We must very careful about the things we allow our minds to dwell upon or allow ourselves to feel. Human life does not run by will alone. It must be organized by the will if it is to be organized at all. People nearly always act on their feelings, and think it only right.

Body: Our primary source of energy and the place from which we live. The body cannot be understood apart from human relations, The re-formation of the body is one major part of the process of spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is also and essentially a bodily process. It cannot succeed unless the body is reformed.

Social Context: The human self requires rootedness in others—God first, then people

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Imago Dei (The Image of God) - Part One: Who Am I?

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www.BryanHudson.com

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

This is an instance where a biblical worldview is helpful. A Christian worldview only applies to Christians, but a biblical worldview is for everyone.

What is the imago Dei?

Imago Dei is the Latin term for “image of God.” The term is used because it is distinctive and beautiful sounding. Knowing who you are is foundational to both a healthy self-image and a strong sense of purpose. (Watch this video)

Humankind was created to be an image bearer of the Creator. This ideal state was to be a representation of who God is and what He is like. Of course, humanity is far from this ideal state.

“The imago Dei is not a quality possessed by man; it is a condition in which man lives, a condition of confrontation established and maintained by the Creator. … The imago Dei is that in man which constitutes him as him-whom-God-loves.” –John Piper

The imago Dei was the outcome of being created by God. No other creature was made in the image of God, not even Angels. 

Look at the words image and likeness  in Genesis chapter 1

Image

Hebrew צֶלֶם - elem (Pronounced tseh’-lem) 

From an unused root meaning a representative figure or image

Stong’s Dictionary word (#H6754) is used in the old testament as image (16x) and vain shew (1x).

It is used mostly to denote objects of false worship such as idols. It is interesting that this is the word used to describe people being made in the image of God. It shows that this word is only understood by the context in which it is used.

It is best understood as representing the character of something or someone. 

For example, my father is technically inclined, a problem solver, and a hard worker. I have my father’s or character IMAGE in me. My mother loved people, served people, and had great compassion. I possess that particular image or character of my mother. 

Likeness

Hebrew דְּמוּתd - demût, (pronounced, dem-ooth’)

Stong’s dictionary word (#H1819); means, resemblance; shape; like (-ness), manner, similitude.

This is best understood as representing the likeness or appearance of something or someone. For example: I RESEMBLE both my mother and my father.

Is the image of God something only belongs to Christians? Did sin remove the image of God?

No. Man’s fall into sin didn’t destroy or remove the image of God. Sin obscured the Imago Dei. Sin always darkens and distorts reality.

The apostle James confirms that God’s image i when he states that all people, not only Christ followers, 

James 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude [or likeness] of God

So, what was the effect of sin when it comes to the image of God in man? 

Adam’s disobedience to God, severed fellowship with God, which led to physical and spiritual death. Adam, representing all humankind, became an image without the substance of God. They were expelled from the garden of Eden.

Example: Like a wax sculpture that looks like the person, but has no life. It is appearance without spirit and substance. Like a corpse.

People maintain the image of God — even in a broken or distorted form — that they are redeemable and worth redeeming. Without it, God would have had no reason to send His Son to die on our behalf.

Maximizing Imago Dei

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God’s image - Character

God’s likeness - Outward actions

Dominion - Responsibility, tasks, duty, service

Fruitful - Utilizing abilities an gifts

Multiply - Reproduce yourself, empower others 

Subdue - Create and maintain order

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What is a Christian Worldview?

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Romans 12:2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Colossians 3:17, And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 2:8, See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

A worldview is a set of ideas, values, and presuppositions. It’s like putting on a pair of sunglasses that color how you view life, people, and ideas. People collect little pieces of their worldview through parents, school, movies, and friends. A Christian worldview is based on the Bible.
https://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/what-is-christian-worldview/

 

This is one of the reasons why white churches of the 18th and 19th centuries did not work to end slavery (while many individual White believers did work to end slavery). 

In fact, in the 18th and 19th centuries many believed the Bible affirmed slavery and the inferior status of persons of African descent (which was part of their worldview at that time.)

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It is Done!

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Philippians 3:10, That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…

John 19:28, After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. 

We can say “It is done” Because Jesus said “It is finished.”

#1 - Jesus finished the endless cycle of Jewish sacrifices and created the path to redemption

#2 - Jesus finished access to God the Father.

#3 - Jesus finished the endless cycle of guilt and self-condemnation.

 

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