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Pointers along the way #668

Man the glory of creation

- Jacob Ninan

It was at the end of God's creation of the heaven and the earth, and after creating all the living creatures on land, water and air, that God finally created man. What was special about man was that he was created in the image of God (Ge.1:27). Even though everything which God created was 'good', it was after man was in place in the midst of and in charge of everything else that God exclaimed that it was 'very good'. Here was man in His own image, with the ability to think, feel and choose with his mind and a spirit to communicate with Him. Even after man had sinned, the image of God was marred and all man's faculties became corrupted, God never took away His image in him. The final goal of salvation is that God's image in man should be fully functional in the way He intended.

He is now working through the Holy Spirit in those who have been born again to transform us little by little into His image (Ro.8:29). That will happen when we submit to the Holy Spirit and put to death the tendencies that rise from our old nature (v.13). God will not do it by Himself without our choice, because the freedom He has given us to choose is one of His most priced gifts to us, and He will not override that. Therefore, what we sow, we will reap (Ga.6:7).

The more we become like Jesus, the more we will be able to experience freedom in exercising our faculties according to the will of God. As we get renewed in the way we think (Ro.12:2), thinking in godly ways, we will also experience more liberation from the rule of negative feelings in our mind, and we will also be able to make proper choices in line with the will of God.

One way Satan tries to hinder this growth is by deceiving us to think that we must not 'think' but only believe! How many Christians are held in bondage in this way! The ability to question, learn and change is very much needed in the process of restoration of God's image in us. Another way the Devil works is by over-emphasising 'submission' of 'the ordinary brothers and sisters' to the pastors or leaders, even wives to their husbands, in such a way that free thinking is curtailed (He.13:17;Ep.5:22). People are taught to believe that humility implies unquestioning yielding.

This has an appearance of wisdom in the eyes of people (Co.2:23), but actually this is preventing people from exercising their God-given faculties. Think of the example of Jesus who was bold to the point of appearing to be arrogant before the Pharisees and Pilate who tried to intimidate and subdue Him. Think of the 'young' Paul questioning the senior leader Peter when the latter went wrong (Ga.2:11). Paul didn't give in one bit to those who tried to enslave him (vv.4,5).

Humility is not to make ourselves weak and to let others trample us down. It is to have a sober judgment of ourselves in order to let the image of God function freely in us (Ro.12:3).


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