CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE
Understanding how mankind went from being made in the image of God to a carnal and selfish nature.
In the beginning, man was created in God’s image. There is no doubt about it, the Scripture is clear.
Genesis 1:26-27 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." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image. This was in the original plan. Mankind was pure like God. They had no bad nature.
At the end of the day that Adam and Eve were created the Lord was pleased with His work, that all was good: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” Genesis 1:31.
But they were equipped with the option to disobey God if they wanted.
Genesis 2:15-17 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
And when they disobeyed God, they lost their godly nature. They then took on the nature of the evil one they listened to instead of God. From then on, their descendants have not been born with a godly nature, but with a sinful nature.
Everyone born of their human parents since Adam and Eve fell, has not been born in God’s image (with the exception of Jesus Christ who had an earthly mother but was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born with a human nature but never sinned). One look around this earth, and no one in their right mind would say the way man acts and behaves in general, is still today born in God’s image. On the contrary, man is born with a fallen, carnal nature and is inherently evil.
Genesis 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 8:21b Then the Lord said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.”
When Jesus came, He came to make a way for us. Jesus explained to a Pharisee named Nicodemus how unless we are born-again, meaning delivered from our fallen nature and reborn in our spirits, that we cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:1-3 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
This baffled Nicodemus and he asked Jesus, how can we go back into our mother’s womb and be born-again?
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Sometimes people interpret these verses as having something to do with water baptism. But Jesus was referring to being born of one’s mother the first time and then being born-again by they Holy Spirit unto salvation.
The second birth, takes us from being carnally led (by the fallen nature) to being led by the new born-again nature which is pure and godly.
I do not usually quote personal words from the Lord in articles but I think it is important to do so here.
One time I was seeking the Lord sincerely with a serious question. I was frustrated with committing sin and seeing others in the body of Christ sinning too and I cried out to the Lord about it. “How will we ever be able to make it in heaven without sinning? We are so bad Lord. We try, but we still sin. How could we all of a sudden be in heaven and sin no more? And in time, the Lord answered me. He said that once we are free from our human bodies, once they die, the carnal nature will pass with them and our born-again spirits will have no problem keeping from sinning.
Oh what peace flooded my soul.
Once we choose the Lord and have the born-again experience, we have the opportunity to be Spirit-led. We must continuously choose to follow the Lord.
Luke 9:23-24 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
The “deny himself” is to deny the fallen, carnal, fleshly nature and to follow the Lord. It is to seek Him and His will with the help of being led by the Holy Spirit.
Paul wrote much about the evil human nature throughout the New Testament and also about the difference Christ makes.
Ephesians 2:1-7 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:5-6 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Ephesians 4:17-24 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:9-11 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Even King David wrote of his parents that he was conceived in sin. His parents were long married. He meant that all people are conceived and born in sin. Thank the Lord He made a way for us. First through Moses and the Law and then finally, the best way, through Jesus Christ of whom the old sacrificial system was a type and shadow of.
We are slaves to whomever we obey. Being a slave to sin kept us in bondage to the enemy. The quality of life for a slave depends on who the slave owner is. Now being slaves to Christ, we find total freedom! In Christ, we have the strength to overcome sin and the kingdom of darkness. In Christ, we have our needs met. In Christ, we have the fruit of the Holy Spirit, “love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence), excerpt from Galatians 5:22-23 (Amplified). And in these attributes, we find great life and are a blessing to others.
To conclude, we are are all born from human parents with a fallen nature, fleshly and carnal. But thanks to Jesus Christ, for those who surrender all to Him and call upon His name for salvation, we can be reborn in our spirits and the new us, is in the image that Adam and Eve forfeited and Jesus made possible for us.
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