returning to the incorruptible image of God

We are all familiar with mankind’s beginning in His story

In the beginning, man and woman … we … were created IN the image of God.

God created man IN His own image, IN the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 (NASB)

But what we typically fail to remember is that the fall of man … sin … corrupted what God created …

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.       Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Romans 1:20-23 (NASB)

Even here in the midst of the beauty of springtime in the north Georgia mountains I must remind myself that regardless of how beautiful it is, it is nowhere near as beautiful and glorious as the week God created all …

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. Romans 8:19-22 (NASB)

Remember Genesis 3:16?  Remember why the entire earth was flooded? Remember that man and animal were not always carnivorous?

Yet God always had a plan for returning man to the image to God

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, IN whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him ALL things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–ALL things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:13-16 (NASB)

It’s not lost on me that Jesus, through Whom and for Whom ALL things were created is declared to be the image of the invisible God.  And thus through Him our return begins …

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NASB)

God’s plan … believers are to be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus … Who is the image of the invisible God.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; Romans 8:29 (NASB)

By God’s design, man will once again bear the image of God …

As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. 1 Corinthians 15:48-49 (NASB)

How then does the image of corruptible man return to the image of the incorruptible God?

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is ALL, and IN ALL. Colossians 3:9-11 (NASB)

The Lord God Almighty, the Holy Spirit … is transforming us INto the image of God!

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB)

We may surrender, we may submit, we may believe … all the work of God IN us …

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13 (NASB)

Suddenly this commandment comes into focus …

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Exodus 20:4 (KJV)

I think I’ll meditate on that a bit …



About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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3 Responses to returning to the incorruptible image of God

  1. You are so right. How often we forget that the image of God was severely marred in mankind in the fall. That’s why Genesis 5 records that Adam, created in the “likeness of God” (5:1) instead begot a “son in his own likeness, after his own image” (5:3). It’s been nothing but the likeness of man ever since … unless and until we be born again.

    I really enjoy your blogs. You don’t dangle your feet in the shallows from atop a pier; you dive into the things of God, do some deep-sea diving and a bit of snorkeling too. Something for everyone who is interested. Thank you.

    • bwebbjr says:

      Richard, your words are such an encouragement and a blessing. Thank you>

      Also, thanks for sharing the passages from Genesis 5 … they fill in a blank on this post that I had missed.

      Richard, I so believe that if we truly desire to understand the depths of Scripture and spend time digging, that just as promised the Holy Spirit will indeed teach and reveal the truths within … I went through decades of simply being spoon-fed by others and I truly believe that oftentimes it is in the midst of exploring the Scriptures one-on-one with Jesus that He builds and strengthens His relationship with us.

      Thanks again brother!


  2. Pingback: In His Image | Where Living Begins

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