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AWANA Journey Witness Section 6:1 Question 1: How Does Scripture describe humankind and how are we a

This Question will be an encouraging. To this question, We need to look at the “Imago Dei” Principle. I answer this question using the “Imago Dei” principle for a reason. You might be shrugging your shoulder or even thinking how in this world can this principle be applied to me. The “Imago Dei” principle radically changed my life. I hope it does the same in your life.  To begin, who are you? To put in other words, what is your identity?  If you answer these questions honestly, are you open to what the Bible says your identity is? My advice is do not reach rock bottom to seek help.

Now that we have these answers, we can start of the road of explaining what the “Imago Dei” principle is. The “Imago Dei” principle was built on the Scriptures. The Scriptures was built to help answer these questions and help you figure out who you are. God wants you the experience the “Imago Dei” principle. “Imago Dei” stands for the Image of God. Do you know who the Image of God (Imago Dei) looked like? If you do know, why is it so important?

“Imago Dei” (the Image of God) Principle has 6 distinct aspects: God’s Image is perfect, The Image of God is Jesus Christ, God fearfully and wonderfully made you, Our Image is marred with Sin, Jesus restores our image, and Jesus reconciles us with God.

First, God’s Image is perfect. Revelation 4:8 paints the picture of God’s Holiness. Revelation 4:8 states, “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come!” So, this shows that God is 100% perfect. 1 Peter 1:15-16 states, “But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” Man, Since God’s image is perfect, we are made in the likeness of God. Even the Seraphim cries out “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”(Isaiah 6:3) As Christians, we should look at creation and say “Man, YHVH is so holy and his creation is perfect also.” YHVH is the pure name of God. YHVH means “The existing one, or the Eternal one

Second, the Image of invisible God is Jesus Christ. Paul wrote the first chapter of Colossians to demonstrate the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Paul was imprisoned while writing this letter. Paul’s letters were considered Epistles back in those days. He wrote this letter to the Brothers and Sisters of Christ who reside in the city of Colossae. He wrote that Jesus Christ is the Image of God. Colossians 1:15-20 states, “He is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Bolding was added for emphasis purposes)” (Colossians 1:15-20).

Jesus Christ was the Image of the invisible God. When God created us, He had Jesus Christ in mind. That is why God wants us to grow more in Christlikeness. Also, Jesus Christ was present during Creation (Colossians 1:15-20). Since God is 100% perfect, His son is perfect also.

Third, God fearfully and wonderfully made you and me. Psalms 139 is a Psalm of comfort. Psalm 139 was written by King David. King David probably wrote this to remind himself that God is always with him and comforts him when he feels dismayed. King David wrote this to played with music. I wonder what it would have sounded like with Music.

Psalm 139:1-18 states, “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sands––When I awake, I am still with you.”

When reading this passage, what are your initial thoughts? If you are still on board, by reading this passage, who do you think God is? Do you believe God is a loving God?

In this passage, The Author conveys that God loves you so much that He fearfully and wonderfully made you. Also, the author conveys that God made you with a purpose. That purpose to glorify God in everything you do.

Fourth, the image of God, that God made us in, is marred with sin. We can never reach the full potential of being in God’s Image until we repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Do you know what sin is?

Sin is anything you think, say, or do that makes God sad or displease God. Sin is anything contrary to God’s nature. We are all born with a sin nature because Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Romans 3:23 states, “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” You and I have sinned against God. You might be thinking “What?????? I thought I was perfect.” Nope, we are all sinners. I have sinned and you have sinned. We have all sinned. Do you know what the punishment for our sins is?

The Punishment of sin is eternal separation from God. It is like crossing the Grand Canyon. You might go further than me, but ultimately, we both fail. We can never reach God. So, you are saying that I can never reach God because of my sin nature? That is exactly right. Romans 6:23 states, “for the wages of sin is death,” Wow. I am a sinner and the punishment for sin is death. I do not like where this is headed. I know. BUT God made a way out of your sin which is through Jesus Christ. This leads us to the fourth aspect of the “Imago Dei” Principle.

Fifth, Jesus Christ restored our Image. Jesus paid the price of our sin by dying on the cross for our sins and three days later, he rose from the grave conquering death. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 states, “For I delivered to you as first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the Third day according to the Scriptures.

If you accept Jesus Christ’s gift of salvation, you know restored in God’s eyes and are growing towards the Image of God (Christlikeness). You also have the amazing meaning that you are adopted son or daughter of God. Your inheritance is Eternal life and your down payment is the Holy Spirit. John 1:12-13, Ephesians 1:13-16, Romans 6:23b affirms these truths. John 1:12-13 affirms that we are adopted in the family of God. John 1:12-13 states “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of Blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” This indicates that once we accept, believe, and call upon the name of Jesus Christ in our hearts, we will be called Children of God. Ephesians 1:13-16 affirms that our down payment is the Holy Spirit while we wait on Earth until the fellowshipping with God in Heaven. Ephesians 1:13-16 states, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge (a down payment) of our inheritance (our inheritance is eternal life with God), with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Romans 6:23b reminds us that our inheritance is eternal life with God. Romans 6:23b states “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So, our gift is eternal life. When we do sin, which happens frequently, we will have to confess our sins to God. 1 John 1:9-10 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteous. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar and His word is not in us.” John is conveying the importance of confessing our sins. Once we confess our sins, God does not remember our sins any longer.

Sixth, Jesus Christ reconciles us in God’s Eyes. 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 states,

“Since then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you gain, but giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are ‘out of our mind,’ as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

This is the sixth aspect that God created us to grow in Christlikeness and be reconciled with God. What an amazing truth that we made right in God’s eyes through Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit to help us on the road of Christlikeness.

The six aspects of the “Imago Dei” Principle is the following.

  1. God’s Image is perfect. His image is without error and imperfections.

  2. Jesus Christ is the perfect Image of the invisible God.

  3. God fearfully and Wonderfully made you in His image.

  4. God’s Image, which God made us in, is marred with Sin

  5. Jesus Christ restored our Image by dying on the cross for our sins.

  6. Jesus reconciles us in God’s Eyes.

These six aspects are what I like to call the “Imago Dei” principle. Remember God wants you to practically live out the “Imago Dei” Principle.

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