Resembling Jesus and doing what He did.
This is my first attempt at writing a newsletter for Calvary Assembly, And as everyone knows, my favourite verse is Genesis 1:26. So let us get this one out of the road.
In Genesis 1:26 we see where GOD created Mankind in HIS Image and in HIS Likeness, now let us look at what it means to be made in the Image and the Likeness of the Creator of all things.
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
This is what the Strongs Concordance has to say about the word seen in this verse as "Image".
It is the Hebrew word tselem, which is pronounced tseh'-lem, and it means :-- From an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, that is, (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence a representative figure, especially an idol. And this word has been translated in various areas of the Bible as " image, vain shew".
Now let us look at the word translated as "Likeness". It is the word demûth, pronounced dem-ooth', and this word means:-- resemblance; concretely model, shape; adverbially like: - fashion, like (-ness, as), manner, similitude.
So we see that we were made in the Image and the Likeness of GOD, and when we translate back to the original language that the writer spoke we see that it simply means to be made in the resemblance of GOD. Do you get the importance of that, WE WERE CREATED TO RESEMBLE GOD.
One thing to keep in mind is, at the fall of Mankind in the Garden of Eden mankind lost that image. It was only through CHRIST JESUS and HIS gift of HIMSELF at the Cross that we were able to once again be the Children of GOD RE-MADE (born Again) in the image of CHRIST JESUS.
There are those who are not being led by the HOLY SPIRIT, even some who are calling themselves Christian. These people might know the written word but they are not being led by the SPIRIT of that Word. Then there are those who simply do not know GOD, but when they see the Born Again Child of GOD, they are meant to be seeing GOD. We must ask ourselves, does our lifestyle reflect GOD to them?
So this raises another question; what does it mean to "resemble the GOD of all Creation"? In order to answer that question we first need to realise just what we know about GOD. After this, we must get this information from the Bible as it is illuminated to us by the HOLY SPIRIT.
Firstly we know that it was GOD who created us. (Genesis 1:26-28,) A Father figure is how HE is seen throughout the Bible. We know that a Father is one who is involved in the Creation of a Family and that it is his seed that gives life to the dormant seed that lays within his wife. This seed is dormant even from the time of her own birth, but when the seed of the father joins with the seed of the Mother, life begins.
So it was with us. We were dormant, just dust upon the face of this planet. Yet, when GOD formed that dust into the shape that we are now in, HE breathed HIS life giving breath into that dust which gave birth to us. This is similar to how the seed of an earthly Father enters into the seed of the Mother thereby giving life.
A Father (or Mother) is to be the one who strengthens, nurtures, and encourages that new life to grow into the fullness of the potential that is inherent within each and every one of us. This is what our Father GOD does with all of us. It is this GOD GIVEN potential to be just as CHRIST JESUS was when HE walked this Earth that we should represent to the world. Also, we are to recognise that every last person upon this planet was created by GOD, and WE are to help those around us to grow and be strong. We are to encourage them to reach THEIR full potential IN GOD, even if they don't know GOD yet.
Then, we know from GOD's Word that HE is strong, HE is powerful, HE is all caring, all Loving, and compassionate. This too is how we are to be seen by those who as yet do not know their Heavenly Father.
So now that we know that we are to reflect the knowledge, the Wisdom, the Love of GOD, what else are we to gain from this understanding?
JESUS tells us in John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Yet even then, the Disciples asked HIM to show them the Father, look at how JESUS answered them. John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? This clearly shows us that when those around us see us, and when those that we interact with see us, they are to see our Heavenly FATHER IN US.
So how do they see that truth of GOD in us? JESUS shows us how this is to be in the very next verse. John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
It is by our works that they will see the Glory of our Father GOD.
Then JESUS goes on immediately to show us an even greater truth. Just as HE has been doing the works of HIS Father GOD, so too, HE expects that we also will do the works of the FATHER. Look at this.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. JESUS had been doing the works of the FATHER and HE then tells us that we are to do likewise, we are to do the same works as HE had been doing, the works of the FATHER. John_5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
JESUS was sent to do the works of our HEAVENLY FATHER. JESUS completed HIS share of the work, but has left us behind as HIS able bodied servants and HE has given us very explicit instructions as to what we are to do. "We are to do as HE has done".
JESUS went Himself into all of the areas that He lived in and also went into the surrounding areas through HIS Disciples, who had minimal transport at their disposal. After His resurrection, JESUS went through them, into the world that was available for them to go into. But for us that live in this day and age with all of the modern transport available to us, we have access to the whole wide world before us to take JESUS into. That is why JESUS gives us this very clear instruction in Matthew 28: 18-20 and in Mark 16:15-18.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
JESUS has shown us that we are to represent the ones whose Image and Likeness we are formed in, we are to represent GOD, in all of HIS Forms, we are to represent GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON, and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT. WE are to do the will of our FATHER GOD, we do it in the name of our LORD JESUS, the SON OF GOD, and we do it through the power of the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD.
GO therefore, in Love, in Power, in Truth, in Compassion, and most of all,
IN GOD, into all of the world, representing the one who formed us all to be just like HIM.(THEM).
Next week we will look at how to go, IN HIM.
Lots of love