MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

We all bear the Image of the Godhead, however marred it may be from the treason in Eden. Yet as Jesus saves us and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, He conforms us into the image of Jesus—thus those of us who call upon Him also bear His Name. In the words of Paul, we are then to bear His Message. Scripture places a unique stewardship of the Message of Jesus on those He has saved. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

When the heart and mind of the Godhead first decreed the creation of humankind, They purposed that man—both male and female—would bear the Image of the beautiful One who inhabits eternity. With this holy dignity came a profound burden of responsibility; to align our affections and allegiances with anything other than our Maker, our “Source,” is more than simple “sin,” to “miss the mark” as if your arrow flew past the target and you could shoot another one instead. It is treason. This is why “the wages of sin are death.” Violations of goodness and justice may not dwell alongside the truth Adam and Eve determined by word and deed to forfeit forever.

The Godhead was never going to give up on the creature they had made in their own image. In fact, the following Scriptures reveals that they knew beforehand both that mankind would need to be redeemed and that only by a member of the Godhead, God the Son paying the price for our redemption could it be achieved.

He (Jesus) was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:20-21

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,Ephesians 1:3-5.

What a wonderful God we have. He loves us in a way it is hard for us to comprehend. Our Heavenly Father was prepared to ask His Son to die that we might be restored back into a right relationship with Him and inherit eternal life.

He is worthy of all our praise and worship above all else. We know we have eternal life and that God will be with us whatever He calls us to do. The big question is what are we prepared to sacrifice for our Lord?

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.1 Corinthians 7:17

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. ​ Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

It is time to rejoice, time to be thankful, time to speak the praises of Him who is faithful even when we are not.  It is time to know and to look forward to dwelling with Him in the eternal realm. It is time to know that the things of this world are unreliable, and not to trust in them, but to trust in Him who alone is entirely reliable, in all of life! 

Bible prophecy tells us that in the last days before Jesus returns the world is going to turn away from God and His Word. It is already happening. God has also said that many who think they are Christians will fall away.

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:10-13

Hence, it is important we remind ourselves of God’s promises and to not grieve the Holy Spirit.

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Having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of His purchased possession” Ephesians 1:13b-14

Christ … who has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:22

Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God who has also given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  2 Corinthians 5:5

“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

“The Lord Jesus Christ will confirm you to the end.”  1 Corinthians 1:8

“The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29

“Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“Begotten, born again, into a living hope, an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4

“Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:38-39.

That’s it – a cast iron guarantee!  It leaves only one question – is my guarantor reliable?  Can He be trusted?  

If we are faithless, He remains faithful.”  2 Timothy 2:13

GOD EXISTS – SO WHAT?

The People who best articulate the answer to the “so what” question of God are the atheistic existentialist philosophers. Nietzsche had the courage to admit that the rejection of God ends in nihilism (existence is senseless and useless). Another, Jean-Paul Sartre, well describes existence without God with the chosen title of his book Nausea and the portrayal of life as “an empty bubble floating on a sea of nothingness”.

Sartre’s study partner, Albert Camus, tells us in “An Absurd Reasoning” (contained in The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays) that a God-less life leads to there being “only one really serious philosophical question, and this is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” It’s what Daryl on The Walking Dead calls “opting out”.

Fred Hoyle, famous British mathematician and astronomer said “the probability of the formation of just one of the many proteins on which life depends is comparable to that of a solar system packed full of blind people randomly shuffling Rubik’s cubes all arriving at the solution at the same time” which of course is absurd. In fact, life without God is absurd.

Despite all of the above most people live their lives as if God does not exist. They do their best to live life on God’s planet, enjoying all that He has provided but not wanting to even know their Creator, in fear that they will not be able to “call the shots”, i.e., be God of their own little world. You only realise how sad this is when you know that our Creator loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place that we might be restored into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.2 Corinthians 4:4-6

Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” John 6:44.

Our first job: We need to pray that the unsaved we are connected to will be drawn by the Father.

Our second job: We need to pray that those that hear the Gospel will understand it. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” Matthew 13:19

Our third job: We need to pray that the eyes of unbelievers will be opened so they can see the light. Opening spiritual eyes is, of course, God’s business. But releasing God’s power to open blinded eyes is prayer business, to which God calls us.

OBEDIENCE AND LISTENING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

These interviews and testimonies will help you to acknowledge the necessary actions we need to take to disciple and make a difference in other peoples lives. There is 6 minutes of introductory music so you can do something else while you listen to the delightful music but the testimonies that follow are worth the wait. The TLR movement is being used by God mightily to bring many into God’s Kingdom. The healings and the miracles demonstrate that the power is back in the church as disciples move out into the marketplace totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit to do ministry. For me in Australia it was wonderful to learn what God is doing in Eastern Europe. It is wonderful to see how God was moving in wonderful ways so it was obvious God was doing the work. His children were just doing His will. The testimony of the couple Abraham and Annemarie Levy is powerful. You must listen to them on “love”, Abraham makes three important observations of being a disciple that stand out: “You cannot follow Jesus without sacrifice”, “You must deliberately bury your own life”, “The flesh will always war against the spirit”, tough but exciting when you learn what God has done and is doing with their lives. If you live in Poland make sure you connect with this couple.

WESTERN SOCIETY EXACTLY AS PROPHESIED

In the last days, there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God” 2 Timothy 3:1-4 New Living Translation

In particular, American society is plagued by real and worsening darkness. It has drifted farther and farther from God exactly as prophesied in the “last days” before Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom when He will rule with a “rod of iron” and the saints will rule with Him.

Riots on the streets of America

And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him (JESUS) on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.Revelation 19:14-16

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron... even as I (JESUS) myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.Revelation 2:26-28

Saints, finally, we will get an answer to the prayer we have been praying for years, The Lords Prayer – “your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

UNDERSTANDING GOD

The Openness of God by Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, John Sanders, William Hasker, and David Basinger (1994). The Openness of God presents a careful and full-orbed argument that God known through Christ desires a “responsive relationship” with his creatures. While it rejects process theology, the book asserts that such classical doctrines as God’s immutability, impassibility, and foreknowledge demand reconsideration. The authors insist that our understanding of God will be more consistently biblical and more true to the actual devotional lives of Christians if we profess that “God, in grace, grants humans significant freedom” and enters into a relationship with a genuine “give-and-take dynamic.” The Openness of God is remarkable in its comprehensiveness, drawing from the disciplines of biblical, historical, systematic, and philosophical theology. Evangelical and other orthodox Christian philosophers have promoted the “relational” or “personalist” perspective on God in recent decades. It was probably the first major attempt to bring the discussion into the evangelical theological arena.

653175
Christianity Today’s 1995 Book of the Year

God is everlasting, without beginning and without end i.e. God is eternal. God is not limited by anything outside of himself. However, Scripture reveals that God although omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, is not the “All” or the “Everything,” but He is a being rather than Being itself.

What do we read about God in God’s own revelation, the Bible? And what do we “see” in God-in-person Jesus Christ? We see a self-limiting God who grants His creation a degree of autonomy, freedom to go against and resist His will. We see a self-limiting God who enters into time and history and goes on a “journey” with His creation and especially with his covenant people. We see a God who can be deeply affected, grieved, made angry or blessed, by what his creatures do.

It seems that before there was a creation, God was not limited, but self-limitation out of love was potential within God.

Sure, philosophy can sometimes help fill in some gaps left open by the Bible, but we must be careful not to allow philosophy to overtake our thinking about God such that the God of the Bible is a mere symbol for something “more real” who is not really like the passionate, personal, historical, suffering, intervening, resistible God of the Bible. We Christians must begin our thinking about God with Jesus Christ and work our way out from there.