Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Re-Created to Be Like Jesus

Part 5 of the Bible study series God's Image Bearers



Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:26-27).


Introduction 

Jesus alone has imaged God perfectly. “Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). “He is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3). “Whoever sees me [Jesus] sees him who sent me” (John 12:45). “Whoever has seen me [Jesus] has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Therefore, when we follow the example of Jesus, we are reflecting God. 


Discussion

In Jesus, we see human likeness to God as it was intended to be. In His life, how did Jesus image God? 


Explanation 

Read Rom. 8:29. God saves people so that they may be “conformed to the image of his Son.” How does this truth help you better understand v. 28? 

In Scripture, there are four stages in the doctrine of the image of God: (1) We were originally created in God’s image. (2) Because of sin, there was a distortion of God’s image. (3) Presently, redemption in Christ provides a progressive recovery of God’s image. (4) Finally, at Christ’s return there will be a complete restoration of God’s image. “We must constantly choose to believe the truth—that this reflecting God alone is a great life. It is not an easy life, or a simple life, or a perfect life. But it is a wonderful life in that it is filled with evidences of God’s grace, healing from our past, and hope for our future. Furthermore, because mirroring God is the essence of our true humanity, as we reflect his glory we discover the source of our deepest joy, even when life hurts most” (Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears, Doctrine, p. 139).

Read 1 Cor. 15:49. “The amazing promise of the NT is that just as we have been like Adam (subject to death and sin), we shall also be like Christ (morally pure, never subject to death again)” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 445). How does the restoration of God’s image give us hope for the future? 


Application

Read Phil. 2:3-8. The apostle Paul urged the Philippians to follow the model of Christ: “Have this mind among yourselves” (v. 5). How can you better image Christ in your relationships? 

Christmas is supposed to be a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. How would Christmas be different if we all imaged Christ as we observed it?