Imago Dei (Image of God), Part Five - The Image of Love

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1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God uses many activities to prepare people to receive the Gospel of Christ. For example, we cannot preach the Gospel to hungry people until we feed people. We cannot preach the Gospel to persons who have experienced injustice without dealing with the forces of injustice. Whatever injures Imago Dei (Image of God) in people hinders the heart and mind from receiving the word of God.

What was impossible, the love of God made possible.

John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We carry that same love. Love awakens the Imago Dei by connecting us with the nature of God, which is love.

“As we begin to treat each other with more love and empathy, it will not only change the world around us; it will also change us. As I have taken steps to promote racial justice, I have developed more endurance, discovered untapped wells of creativity, and experienced more joy than I ever expected. The journey of racial justice is itself transformative." (Jemar Tisby, How to Fight Racism, p. 7).

This love helps us not to stumble, or help others not to stumble.

1 John 2:10, He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

Definition of stumble:

σκάνδαλον

Transliteration, skandalon - The Greek word for “stumble” means, “a trap, snare, a stumbling block, any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall. Sounds like “scandal.” 

Think of the all the traps and snares that come when we don’t receive God’s love, or share His love with others.

Realizing Imago Dei within ourselves and helping others realize it, is a function of the love of God. 

First, it is that God loved us, followed by the truth that because He loved us that we can love one another.

Many believers have misunderstood that social work and social justice is also the work of God and a manifestation of love. 

Anything that restores Imago Dei in people is a work of God.

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