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The Divine Image – SHATTERED! Lord’s Day 3


The Divine Image – SHATTERED!

Text . Lord’s Day 3. Gen 1:26-31, 2:18-25,, 3:1-7

Mankind wasn’t made sinful. We were created in the image of God. So what does that mean, and what happened to us?

The Image of God – Our Unique Dignity.

In what way did God make us different from the rest of creation?

  1. A Special Image. We are created in HIS IMAGE!  Let’s be careful that we don’t reverse the order and start to create God in OUR image! Remember that GOD IS NOT LIKE US! Isaiah 46:5 We are not saying that God is like us, that he looks like us, or dresses like us, but rather that we are like him, there are certain of his attributes and characteristics that he has bestowed upon us also.  The catechist singles out two of these attributes for special mention:
    1. Righteousness. In our created, pre-fall state, we had a right standing before God, we were by creation just.
    2. Holiness. We were created spotless and sinless. Gen 2:25 reminds us of our initial innocence.  Even though Adam and Eve were naked, they were not ashamed, they were innocent, righteous and holy, they could look upon their nakedness without sinful thoughts….  And because they were righteous and holy they could approach the Lord God in the garden, and enter his holy presence.
  2. A Specific Image.
    1. Personal being Relational. We are capable of having a relationship with other people and with our maker. In fact that is exactly why he made us.   2 Corinthians 3:18
    2. Rational beings. We have intelligence and a will.  A God like capacity for knowledge and thought and action.   Colossians 3:10
    3. Creative beings. Mankind is extraordinarily creative. It marks him our from the rest of creation.  In this sense he is displaying one of the attributes of his own creator.
    4. Authoritative beings. He made us to rule, to subdue the earth and rule over it and populate it.
    5. Moral beings. As He is Holy, so we were created to be like him. Ephesians 4:24
  3. A Shared Image.
    1. No distinction by skin. Have you noticed that there is no distinction made here as regards race or colour or ethnicity?  This is why Christians can NEVER be racists.  We all share the same common first parentage.  We all have equal dignity.
    2. No distinction by age. That extends to all ages.  Old people, middle aged people, young people – all are equally to be valued, all are created in God’s image.  And what of the unborn.  The fact that we are made in the image of God –  does that not mean that when we deliberately deprive that baby of life, we are attacking the uniqueness and dignity of God’s creation?
  4. A Sexual Image! God made us as either men or women.  One or the other. Genesis 1:27   Genesis 2:23    This modern notion that gender is ‘a social construct’ has no place in God’s economy.
  5. A Shattered Image. We still have the image of God stamped upon us, but because of sin it is distorted and warped and disfigured beyond recognition.

Why would God bestow this very special status upon us, the crown of his creation?  Our instructor puts it like this ‘that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love him, and live with him in eternal blessedness to praise and glorify him.’  The S/C agrees.  ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever…”

The Image of God – Defiled and Restored.

Genesis 3:1-7 So what happened to make creatures with such great dignity, the very pinnacle of God’s creative work, into miserable guilty sinners?

  • The Image DEFILED and DISTORTED. The Heidelberg asks about where our ‘depraved nature’ came from.  What does that mean?  How can we say that we are depraved?  …everything is affected and influenced by our sinfulness.  So, how did such an awful thing happen to the peak of God’s created order? It happened in a garden :  note: The people who were responsible.   Our first parents, Adam and Eve.  The place where it happened.  The garden of Eden, a paradise. The powerful repercussions of the event.   Romans 5:12 Gen 6:5  Gen 8:21  Isaiah 53: 6   
  • A single exception.   There is only one way to have our sins dealt with, and the evil influence of our perverse human nature corrected, and that is through the regeneration of our spirit, that is the work of the Holy Ghost within us. As we were made in the image of God, we must be REMADE in that image, so that God’s image in us is repaired and restored.  The Lord Jesus referred to this as being BORN AGAIN, (BORN FROM ABOVE)  John 3:3 -5

 Summary:  The Scriptures teach us that we are created in the image of God, but that because of Adam’s fall, God’s image in us has been defiled and marred and distorted by sin.  Our original state of innocence has been lost and we are guilty before God and under the broken law.  We need to be created again, to be new creations, born from above, and that is what God does for us, when he regenerates our souls, through the application of God’s word by the Holy Spirit, who makes us aware of our sin, and inclines us to repent of it, and to rest in Christ’s finished work on the cross.  Romans 5:17  – 21

© Bob McEvoy January 2017

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