Imago Dei (The Image of God) - Part Two: Restoring Human Identity and Purpose

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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