Imago Dei — To Such As These

Screenshot (1816)

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:26–28, NIV 1984).

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”  (Acts 17:23–27, NIV 1987).

My Musings – “Racism exists in the hearts of sinful men and women because a profound belief in and commitment to the doctrine of the imago Dei does not.”  I “stumbled” across this line in another’s blog (https://fourofnine.net/2020/06/06/racism-and-the-imago-dei/) and it really resonated with me.  Check this blogger out and offer some encouragment as he appears to be just getting started.

From one man He made every nation [race] of men…So God created man in His own image, in the image of God [imago Dei] He created him; male and female He created them.”  What Four of Nine is saying is if we truly believed this, if we were fully committed to this doctrine, then racism would not be an issue.  But we are at heart sinful men and women, and racism is a sin.  And we in the Church, should be at the forefront of erasing this.  Peaceful protest is helpful, but it won’t change the heart.  Legislation is desirable, but morality cannot be enacted.  Accountability is essential, but it will not eliminate the root cause.

Only the Gospel of Christ can change the heart of mankind.  So we in the Body of Christ must be diligent in carrying (and living) the message that we believe, to an unbelieving world.  It took awhile for the early Church to overcome their prejudices against the “gentiles,” but we’ve been about this for a long time and there should be no racism or exclusivity left within the Church.  But sadly there is some.

We all came to the foot of the cross on level ground, “for all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, NIV 1984). But the “Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.”  (John 6:40,NIV 1984).  All have sinned.  That’s everyone, regardless of color or any other external characteristics that makes us seem different.  But we are not different, because in our hearts we are all sinners.  Everyone who looks to the Son will be saved.  That’s all who beleive in Him, regardless of any of those externalities, because everyone who is in Christ is a new creation, with a new heart.

My Advice – As Christians, we have the message of reconciliation.  Let’s be reconcilers, not dividers.