When a person accepts Christ as Savior and Lord they can expect that He will desire to live intimately with them, taking up residence in the heart, communicating and communing with every minute of the day. We are speaking of the things new believers can expect on Christian Holiness Daily.
Genesis takes a hard rap these days, as does much of the Old Testament. Much of it is perceived as mythology and a great deal is considered retelling of older tales. Few in this post-truth world consider Genesis as inspired by God. I do.
Genesis tells us that God created humans in His own image (Genesis 1:26-28). It tells us that we were given dominion over all animals, that we were to have dominion over the world. God created us to be His imagers. In other words, God created man so that we could represent Him, rule for Him, rule with Him, and model His behavior. We were not to be Gods; we were to be like God.
From the fall of mankind to the birth of Christ one rarely sees a human who is like God, for until Jesus was born, no one had been perfect. That is not to say that no one modeled a bit of His behavior or acted somewhat like God. Abraham was found worthy of fathering God’s children, but was hardly God-like. Isaiah spoke to and for God. Elijah and Elisha performed miraculous deeds through the power of God. David sought the heart of God. Moses, though, may be the only man short of Christ who best imaged God, but even he fell far short of God’s glory.
When Moses stretched out his hands, God moved, and when his hands rested, so did God. Moses was so like God they some readers – unfamiliar with the Bible or unfamiliar with theology – may be left wondering if God worked through Moses or if Mode worked through God.
Now, the term imager may be unfamiliar to many of you. I don’t know who coined the term but Dr. Michael Heiser does a great job explaining it in his book, The Unseen Realm. An imager of God is one who carries out the mission of “divine image-bearing.”
This commission, he continues, is given to men and women. It is what makes us unique from other created beings. There is something about us that makes us like God. It is not an incremental likeness; it was bestowed upon us at creation.
When Man fell in the Garden of Eden, he lost much of what it meant to carry the image of God. He lost all that was good and pure and holy. He lost life eternal. We lost the place of glory of ruling with Him.
Once we accept Jesus as our Savior part of what was lost is restored, in that God lives within our heart and works through us.
Here is an old hymn that many of you may remember.
Oh! to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart. – Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897.
Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.