Made in the image of God

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and ...
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27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

1This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”[a] when they were created. Genesis 5:1-2 (NIV)

7 A man ought not to cover his head,[a] since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 1 Corinthians 11:7 (NIV)

Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. They were like God. Then Satan, whose first words recorded in the Bible are a lie, convinced them that they needed to be like God.

 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)

Though they were already like God. They succumbed to temptation to get try to get something they already had.

Eating the fruit that Eve shared with Adam brought shame upon them. Their innocence was gone.

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:6-7 (NIV)

Jesus at the Last Supper brought forgiveness with the bread and wine he shared. His body and blood. He reversed what had happened in the Garden of Eden.

26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26-28 (NIV)

We are the image of God.

 

 

 

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A Rebellious Son and The Prodigal Son

The Law required a father to kill a wayward son.

A Rebellious Son

18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid. Deut 21:18-21 (NIV)

In the kingdom of God redefined by Jesus, the father forgives he does not condemn.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The Prodigal Son

21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)

Having ran away twice from my work, family and friends 4 years ago, I know what it is like to be in both stories. No understanding and being condemned. Then later, understanding and help from those very same people. Feeling God was condemning me, then later realising that under the grace of Jesus Christ there is no condemnation.

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Purified by the blood of Jesus

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Rom 3:23-26 (NIV)

“Our justification is not simply a matter of God’s pardoning our guilt; our need can be met only if righteousness, full and entire holiness of character, is credited to us. This is the amazing gift of grace. Christ’s law-keeping and perfect righteousness are made ours by faith in him. It is not simply that our whole guilt, even to every tiniest shortcoming in life’s moral examination, is overlooked; more than that – we pass 100%, we pass with perfect righteousness!” Bruce Milne, Know The Truth.

By the blood of Jesus there is no guilt, no shame and no condemnation.

 

A breath of fresh air from Joel Osteen on homosexuality

Some pastors preach that homosexuality is the worst sin, and seemingly that gays will cause the end of civilization as we know it. Joel Osteen doesn’t. Osteen told Oprah:

I believe they [homosexuals] will [be accepted into Heaven]. Because I believe that you have to have forgiveness for your sins. But sometimes we look at gay being a bigger sin than being proud or not telling the truth. I don’t think God categorizes sins. To think we’re all going to be without one sin …  I don’t think any of us would make it to Heaven.

I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the scripture.

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Been thinking about Han… 恨

My Theology professor has introduced me to a new concept, Han, which comes from the Korean culture:

“feeling of unresolved resentment against injustices suffered, a sense of helplessness because of the overwhelming odds against one, a feeling of acute pain in one’s guts and bowels, making the whole body writhe and squirm, and an obstinate urge to take revenge and to right the wrong—all these combined.” – Yoo, Boo-wong (1988). Korean Pentecostalism: Its History and Theology. New York: Verlag Peter Lang. p. 221.

Alright then… he ties it to sin, among other things.For more, read his book The Wounded Heart of God: The Asian Concept of Han and the Christian Doctrine of Sin

Sometimes, I think we Westerners could learn a lot from our neighbors.

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