Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:
give me understanding,
that I may learn thy commandments.
~ Psalm 119:73
God has fashioned all that we are. He gave us the capacity to learn of Him, to know Him, to love Him, and learn His commandments.
For the invisible things of him
from the creation of the world
are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead;
so that they are without excuse:
~ Romans 1:20
We retain the knowledge that we are created by God and are without excuse in our disobedience to this truth.
Through the fall of Adam, we lost our way. We need to seek Him, learn His ways, and separate ourselves from the world to be with Him.
For thou hast possessed my reins:
thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee;
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.
My substance was not hid from thee,
when I was made in secret,
and curiously wrought
in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance,
yet being unperfect (unformed);
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me,
O God! how great is the sum of them!
I should count them,
they are more in number than the sand:
when I awake, I am still with thee.
~ Psalm 139:13-18
God has designed us wonderfully, fearfully, and marvelously. We are immeasurably precious in His thoughts.
We cannot really comprehend how much God loves us. But we can see how much He gave of Himself through His perfect life and torturous sufferings at the cross.
We can also look around us and see the immense creation made for us to dwell in.
Thou knowest that I am not wicked;
and there is none that can deliver
out of thine hand.
Thine hands have made me
and fashioned me together round about;
yet thou dost destroy me.
Remember, I beseech thee,
that thou hast made me as the clay;
and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
Hast thou not poured me out as milk,
and curdled me like cheese?
Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh,
and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
Thou hast granted me life and favour,
and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
And these things hast thou hid in thine heart:
I know that this is with thee.
If I sin, then thou markest me,
and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.
If I be wicked, woe unto me;
and if I be righteous,
yet will I not lift up my head.
I am full of confusion;
therefore see thou mine affliction;
~ Job 10:7-15
Age of Accountability
God clothes us in skin, flesh, and bone, and imbues us with intelligence and morality.
His presence keeps us alive.
He did not make anything evil or wicked. Yet wickedness is found in everyone of us.
We learn about sin the moment this corrupt world influences our existence.
As we grow in understanding, seeking how to meet our needs, these processes bring choices that facilitate a sinful predisposition. Sin takes a hold and we become its servant.
Jesus answered them,
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whosoever committeth sin
is the servant of sin.
~ John 8:34
God marks us because we choose to sin. We have fallen short of His glory, deserving, His judgment.
From our youth, our willful actions and conscience of right and wrong gradually bring upon us the consequences of sin.
At what age this occurs, is a mystery and probably unique to everyone. But there comes a time when we are guilty of sin, have reached the age of accountability, and are no longer .
“Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven
belongs to such as these.”
~ Matthew 19:14
And he said:
“Truly I tell you,
unless you change
and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
~ Matthew 18:3
Even though we are created in God’s image, we are also created after the image of Adam. I do not quite understand how this works or how to define it.
I prefer not to use the term “original sin” since its origin is rooted in Manichean Gnosticism and was first articulated and defined by Augustine of Hippo, a Roman Catholic monk.
His definition is clearly pagan in origin and the other two prominent theoretical definitions do not satisfy my understanding either.
I choose to only use what biblical references I can find to define our sinful state from conception to death. Some call it a predisposition, wickedness, our sinful nature, (total) depravity, etc.
In time, my understanding of this troubling issue in our soul will grow and mature. Until then, I pray the Holy Spirit leads me into deeper understanding.
What I do know is that a new born baby has not consciously committed sin because they have not developed knowledge of the law and do not meet the criteria for volitional sin.
Also, Jesus stated multiple times that the kingdom of Heaven belongs to little children.
One of the beautiful aspects of God is His grace.
As we grow and live, God grants each one of us favor (grace) offering life abundant even in our sinful state.
He gives us the choice to choose His righteousness or to remain in our sin.
He longs to give us hope. But alas, like it was Adam and Eve, we are empowered with the ability to choose.
do not let anyone lead you astray.
The one who does what is right is righteous,
just as He is righteous.
The one who does what is sinful
is of the devil,
because the devil has been sinning
from the beginning.
The reason the Son of God appeared
was to destroy the devil’s work.
~ I John 3:7-8
If we choose to remain wicked, woe to us; for judgment awaits us while we remain in this state.
If we chose His righteousness and abide in Him, afflictions may still come, confusion may still beset us, but our guilt of sin has been purged and we are placed among the righteous.
The Lord examines us to see if we are righteous as He is righteous, or if we continue in the works of the Devil, namely, willfully remaining under the power and reign of sin.
The LORD examines both the righteous and the wicked.
He hates those who love violence.
~ Psalm 11:5
This is how it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will come and separate
the wicked from the righteous
~ Matthew 13:49
The original human image God created was beautiful, innocent, pure, and entirely dependent on Him. All was perfect. Sin was entirely absent.
There was not a hint or even an inclination to sin. At least not until the embodiment of death, darkened Eden’s home.
For more information describing sin’s origins, it is touched on here and here.
Even with sin, God has so generously bestowed upon our soul the grace to make us whole.
Somehow we are deeply flawed with sin. Adam brought death to us all, but Jesus brings us life.
Unfortunately, most of the world will not receive God’s gift allowing Him to change our hearts and lives.
Their sins will drag them into the depths of the eternal Lake of Fire.
His Image in its Purity
Our calling to purity, holiness, in humble and simple obedience to God’s plan. Life itself reflects God for God is the source of all life and in Him is life.
Then God said,
Let us make humankind in our image,
after our likeness,
so they may rule over the fish of the sea
and the birds of the air,
over the cattle,
and over all the earth,
and over all the creatures
that move on the earth.
God created humankind in his own image
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them,
Be fruitful and multiply!
Fill the earth and subdue it!
Rule over the fish of the sea
and the birds of the air
and every creature that moves on the ground.
It was so. God saw all that he had made
– and it was very good!
~ Genesis 1:26-31
Being made in the image of God indicates a capacity of authority. An authority to decide (true choice) to do what is good and right or wrong and evil.
His image also includes the power to procreate.
Moral intelligence and creativity reflects the image of God, who wants us to regain what was lost.
These two qualities remained after the fall however flawed they were.
But His grace abounds toward us and offering hope and peace.
By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
~ Romans 5:2
Do not think that at the fall the image of God in us was lost. It remains, however marred, we are still lovely and precious in His sight.
After the flood, God proclaimed once again that we are created in His image.
It is the sin in who we are and the sin that we commit that God hates.
He came to free us from sin. His freedom is true, pure, and yet not without its trials.
Your Image Restated
And God blessed Noah and his sons,
and said unto them,
Be fruitful, and multiply,
and replenish the earth.
And the fear of you and the dread of you
shall be upon every beast of the earth,
and upon every fowl of the air,
upon all that moveth upon the earth,
and upon all the fishes of the sea;
into your hand are they delivered.
Every moving thing that liveth
shall be meat for you;
even as the green herb
have I given you all things.
But flesh with the life thereof,
which is the blood thereof,
shall ye not eat.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require;
at the hand of every beast will I require it,
and at the hand of man;
at the hand of every man’s brother
will I require the life of man.
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood,
by man shall his blood be shed:
for in the image of God made he man.
Genesis ~ 9:1-6
We still have the power to procreate after God’s original plan.
We still retain our moral authority over all of creation though the relationship has changed.
We no longer live in harmony with all the creatures of the Earth. They fear us because of sin.
Not only are we responsible as stewards over them, we are told to use them as food.
The value of human life is also reinforced. Killing requires the death sentence of the offender.
Here we begin to see clearer that the thoughts of man carry with them the power of death or life, temporally and eternally.
We are told that if Christ is truly the head of our life, our entire person glorifies God through submissive obedience to His will.
This obedience must include the absence of sin. For there is nothing in sin that glorifies God. Only in its absence can we dwell in the place that God calls “Good.”
He has given us His power and His authority. He calls us to walk in His way. He has given us Jesus to show us, help us, and lead us.
We are called to enter into the narrow gait and travel the beautiful road with Him.
How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
~ Isaiah 52:7
A highway will be there, a roadway,
And it will be called
the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it.
~ Isaiah 35:8
God wants to help you every step of the way. Walk in Him, dwell in His word, obey Him in everything. Use your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Get as close to Him as you can.
In Obedience, you Reflect His Image
Be ye followers of me,
even as I also am of Christ.
Now I praise you, brethren,
that ye remember me in all things,
and keep the ordinances,
as I delivered them to you.
But I would have you know,
that the head of every man is Christ;
and the head of the woman is the man;
and the head of Christ is God.
Every man praying or prophesying,
having his head covered,
dishonoureth his head.
But every woman that prayeth
or prophesieth with her head uncovered
dishonoureth her head:
for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
For if the woman be not covered,
let her also be shorn:
but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven,
let her be covered.
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head,
forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God:
but the woman is the glory of the man.
~ I Corinthians 11:1-7
This scripture points out that the image and glory of God is present, true, and real, living in us.
The issue about the hair is not the point here. But the first twelve words give instructions to the church and settle this and all other issues for me.
We are instructed to obey all the ordinances as delivered by the apostles.
As a man, I will not wear a hat while praying nor will I let my hair grow out to look uncut. And to women, this instruction is about not cutting of hair or having a shaved head.
Sorry about the side-track but the underlying genre of this post is about the beauty of being in the image of God and the scripture above describes how our image is to be reflected in this life.
Be meek and Full of Wisdom
And the tongue is a fire,
a world of iniquity:
so is the tongue among our members,
that it defileth the whole body,
and setteth on fire the course of nature;
and it is set on fire of hell.
For every kind of beasts,
and of birds, and of serpents,
and of things in the sea, is tamed,
and hath been tamed of mankind:
But the tongue can no man tame;
it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God,
even the Father;
and therewith curse we men,
which are made after the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth
proceedeth blessing and cursing.
these things ought not so to be.
Doth a fountain send forth
at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Can the fig tree, my brethren,
bear olive berries? either a vine, figs?
So can no fountain both yield
salt water and fresh.
Who is a wise man
and endued with knowledge among you?
Let him shew out of a good conversation
his works with meekness of wisdom.
~ James 3:6-13
Let us be wise and follow after every Godly instruction. We are called to love our neighbor as ourself because they are made after the image of God.
God’s grace through us and in us reflects His image toward others. His is not a hypocritical love, a feigned or attempted love.
His love in us is a sincere, pure, and honest love.
Do you have genuine unconflicted love for your Christian brethren?
for family members?
How about Muslim terrorists?
A Holy Image
God is Holy. He is not the author of sin. He is the author of freedom, purity, love, and righteousness.
We are created in His image, and yet, have been nurtured to follow after Satan’s Edenic deceptions from our youth.
We must put away all sin, and let God sanctify us wholly through the knowledge and love of the truth.
Jesus came make us free. Let Him have His way in your heart.
We are to become as little children, to live in simplicity of faith.
From our birth, the looming clouds of sin and death, hover and wait. They seek to overwhelm and capture that which God is building.
Fear not, He has overcome the world!
As Christians, our intellect, emotions, moral judgement, body, and will are to be subject to sanctification of the Lord.
He seeks to change us so we can be salt of the earth, light to the world, not conflicted or marred by continued sin.
He is holy and we are to reflect His image if we are to truly be a part of his priestly and royal family.
How beautiful are the feet of them
that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!
~ Romans 10:15
It is funny how this post looking into how we are created in the image of God points to God’s redemption and holiness.
Like the glassy reflection in a pond on a cool winter’s morning, we are a reflection of what dwells within . . .
But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy
in all manner of conversation;
~ 1 Peter 1:15