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The image of God is in the soul

September 9, 2015 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The image of God is in the soul. Its nature may be learnt from its renewal by Christ. What comprehended under this renewal. What the image of God in man before the fall. In what things it now appears. When and where it will be seen in perfection.

4. But our definition of the image seems not to be complete until it appears more clearly what the faculties are in which man excels, and in which he is to be regarded as a mirror of the divine glory. This, however, cannot be better known than from the remedy provided for the corruption of nature. It cannot be doubted that when Adam lost his first estate he became alienated from God. Wherefore, although we grant that the image of God was not utterly effaced and destroyed in him, it was, however, so corrupted, that any thing which remains is fearful deformity; and, therefore, our deliverance begins with that renovation which we obtain from Christ, who is, therefore, called the second Adam, because he restores us to true and substantial integrity. For although Paul, contrasting the quickening Spirit which believers receive from Christ, with the living soul which Adam was created, (1 Corinthians 15:45,) commends the richer measure of grace bestowed in regeneration, he does not, however, contradict the statement, that the end of regeneration is to form us anew in the image of God. Accordingly, he elsewhere shows that the new man is renewed after the image of him that created him (Colossians 3:19.) To this corresponds another passage, “Put ye on the new man, who after God is created,” (Ephesians 4:24.) We must now see what particulars Paul comprehends under this renovation. In the first place, he mentions knowledge, and in the second, true righteousness and holiness. Hence we infer, that at the beginning the image of God was manifested by light of intellect, rectitude of heart, and the soundness of every part. For though I admit that the forms of expression are elliptical, this principle cannot be overthrown, viz., that the leading feature in the renovation of the divine image must also have held the highest place in its creation. To the same effect Paul elsewhere says, that beholding the glory of Christ with unveiled face, we are transformed into the same image. We now see how Christ is the most perfect image of God, into which we are so renewed as to bear the image of God in knowledge, purity, righteousness, and true holiness. This being established, the imagination of Osiander, as to bodily form, vanishes of its own accord. As to that passage of St. Paul, (1 Corinthians 11:7,) in which the man alone to the express exclusion of the woman, is called the image and glory of God, it is evident from the context, that it merely refers to civil order. I presume it has already been sufficiently proved, that the image comprehends everything which has any relation to the spiritual and eternal life. The same thing, in different terms, is declared by St. John when he says, that the light which was from the beginning, in the eternal Word of God, was the light of man, (John 1:4.) His object being to extol the singular grace of God in making man excel the other animals, he at the same time shows how he was formed in the image of God, that he may separate him from the common herd, as possessing not ordinary animal existence, but one which combines with it the light of intelligence. Therefore, as the image of God constitutes the entire excellence of human nature, as it shone in Adam before his fall, but was afterwards vitiated and almost destroyed, nothing remaining but a ruin, confused, mutilated, and tainted with impurity, so it is now partly seen in the elect, in so far as they are regenerated by the Spirit. Its full luster, however, will be displayed in heaven. But in order to know the particular properties in which it consists, it will be proper to treat of the faculties of the soul. For there is no solidity in Augustine’s speculation, that the soul is a mirror of the Trinity, inasmuch as it comprehends within itself, intellect, will, and memory. Nor is there probability in the opinion of those who place likeness to God in the dominion bestowed upon man, as if he only resembled God in this, that he is appointed Lord and master of all things. The likeness must be within, in himself. It must be something which is not external to him but is properly the internal good of the soul.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation

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What the Father Sees in Jesus

August 21, 2013 4 comments

The Wednesday Word:

                    

What the Father Sees in Jesus

When we look at Jesus we see the perfections of God, but when the Father looks at Him, He sees, among other things, the perfections of man. This is why Christ is the only qualified mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

As you remember, when God created man, He created Him in His image, but through unbelieving disobedience, man fell from his position of intimacy with the Lord. Adam failed … as has every man since then, save one.

From the time of Adam to Christ, untold multitudes of people have come and gone, but all of them have been flawed, they were all imperfect, they had lost the image of God.  They could not love God with all of their being. They were subverted with the sweat stain of sin.

But then, 2000 years ago a baby was born to a virgin, and in this child we witnessed the arrival of the last Adam, the second man (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47). He was and is the representative man, man as God had intended. This new man, though truly human, was holy, righteous and perfect in all that He did, thought and said. In man’s spiritual blindness, however, few noticed anything in Him that should be desired (Isaiah 53:2). But no matter, in Christ, the Father saw His own thoughts and intentions realized. In Christ, the Father saw a sinless, righteous life lived out before Him in perfection.

No human eye saw what the Father saw in His Son. In Christ, man saw a carpenter, a travelling preacher and a miracle worker, but in Christ, the Father saw the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3).  In Christ’s teachings, men heard wisdom, but in these same teachings the Father heard His very own words. In the Son’s worship, men saw only that Christ withdrew to a quiet place, but in that quiet place the Father saw and received perfect worship. Men heard the Lord Jesus pray, but the Father heard perfect pleading and perfect petitioning according to His own will.  Praying and worship like this has not been heard since, nor does it have to be, for it is already credited to the believer’s account.

What a perfect substitute we have in the Lord Jesus. This is why He is the only one qualified to save us to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). By the way, is He your only confidence or is there something else you would like to add to Him?

When it comes to Jesus, is it any wonder that when the Father speaks of Him, He speaks in superlatives?  He could have simply said, “This is my Son in whom I am pleased,” but He didn’t; He said much more. He declared,“This is my ‘BELOVED’ Son in whom I am ‘WELL’ pleased.”  The Lord Jesus was the sheer delight of the Father for he loved the Father with His entire strength, soul and mind.

In Christ, we see the unfolding of the Father’s glory. We sometimes forget that we have been saved for the glory of God and the honour of His Son (Ephesians 1:5-6). We often centre too much on ourselves as being the hub of attention in salvation. We, for example, consider Christ Jesus to be our Shepherd, and so He is, but He is also Yahweh’s shepherd (Zechariah 13:7); the chosen shepherd who would be smitten. We say that Jesus is our Lamb and yes He is, but He is also God’s Lamb (John 1:29). He is the Lamb whom the Father has provided, not only to save us, but also to ensure that His justice would be satisfied. How the Father delights in the Son! May we also learn to do the same.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

 

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Confession statement 11

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XI UNTO this office He was appointed by God from everlasting; and in respect of his manhood, from the womb called, separated, and anointed most fully and abundantly with all gifts necessary. God having without measure poured out His Spirit upon Him.

Prov.8:23; Isa.42:6, 49:15, 11:2.3.4,5. 61 :1.2 ; Luke 4:17,22; John 1:14,26, 3:34.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46