Thursday, 6 June 2019

What is 'The Image of God'?

When I was a boy, nobody adequately explained to me spiritual matters such as why God used plural nouns for himself or why we were made in God's image. That was a pity because I really did want to know the answer to those things. Either the adults at the Anglican church were too busy or they didn't know.

The Bible says that we are the image of God because of our attributes. We have been given rulership over the animals and plants but the Father rules over us. Genesis 1:26 (BBE) states, "And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, like us: and let him have rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every living thing which goes flat on the earth."

And the reason that murder is such a heinous crime is that it's the malicious destruction of an image bearer of God. Even when an animal killed a human, God required its life. Genesis 9:5 and 6 (BBE) says, "And for your blood, which is your life, will I take payment; from every beast I will take it, and from every man will I take payment for the blood of his brother-man. Whoever takes a man's life, by man will his life be taken; because God made man in his image."

But how can animals be considered murderers when they can't sin? This law was given to us by God so we may exterminate dangerous animals which kill people. Even domestic livestock are subject to this law. Exodus 21:28 (BBE) decrees, "If an ox comes to be the cause of death to a man or a woman, the ox is to be stoned, and its flesh may not be used for food; but the owner will not be judged responsible."

Remember too that animals were used in sacrifices to God because of their innocence. In particular, the Passover lamb is symbolic of Christ and therefore it had to be innocent as he was. Exodus 12:5-7 (BBE) shows us how the animal was to be taken into the house of each Israelite. "Let your lamb be without a mark, a male in its first year: you may take it from among the sheep or the goats: Keep it till the fourteenth day of the same month, when everyone who is of the children of Israel is to put it to death between sundown and dark. Then take some of the blood and put it on the two sides of the door and over the door of the house where the meal is to be taken.

We know that Jesus was that lamb of God, as John the Baptist exclaimed. John 1:36 (BBE) says, "And looking at Jesus while he was walking he said, 'See, there is the Lamb of God!'"

This subject is too big for one blog post to cover. That's why I'll be writing about the Lamb of God in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? The entire Bible is about God's plan to rescue humanity from sin and present those people to himself at the end of this age.

On Saturday, I'll post about the foolishness of piling up wealth for wealth's sake. There's nothing wrong in providing for one's retirement or one's children. It's the fixation on money rather than loving God which is a sin.

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