Listen to the message
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Series: In His Image
Sun am 2nd June 2013 – Kobus Swart
Gen. 1:26-27; Gen. 3:4-11, 21; Eph. 2:10 (Amplified); 2 Pet. 1:3-4; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:1-2; Gal. 3:27;
(Matt. 23:33); Phil. 2:7-8; (John 8:32); (Gen. 4:26); (John 11:39-44); (1 John 4:17); (Prov. 23:7)
In this apostolic frequency of word, our hearing should adjust to that level so we can get maximum benefit from it. Don’t allow old paradigms to hold you captive to the ways you previously understood certain scriptures.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Gen. 1:26-27). God is a “let us” God! Our God is sovereign, almighty, all powerful, omnipotent, and omnipresent; He does not need anybody or anything, yet He said “Let us.” When He raised Lazarus He said, “You roll away the stone; you unwrap him” (John 11:39-44). The words “image” and “likeness” are not quite the same. Even the so-called sinner who has not been reborn, the image is still there, although marred by sin. I am not sure that the “likeness” is still there after the Fall until we are “clothed” again, as we will see in certain scriptures.
After the Fall, their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? (Gen. 3:4-11) Adam and Eve were not physically blind, and they did not discover that they were physically undressed. There is more to these verses than is on the surface. Adam and Eve lost the light that they radiated in the garden. The fig leaves were simply the birth of religion. Then the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them (Gen. 3:21).
The New Testament puts more light to many of the events that took place in Eden. The Church is called to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, to radiate the light of God. Let us see what God had in mind with redemption. And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:24-Amplified). For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Gal. 3:27). God sewed garments of skin for Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:21). We are to be clothed with Christ. We are to put on a new nature, a new self. This is part of the plan of God to bring man back to the original intention of being light to the world. God had a plan with redemption; He was going to redeem what was lost with the Fall. For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live] (Eph. 2:10). The word “create” means “coming out of” God. We were created out of God. Everybody in Christ has been re-created. Those of us who have fully assimilated and received the truth in this verse, are where Adam and Eve were before the fall. However, it is not for us to stay there, but to continue the journey to maturity. The gospel of salvation usually stopped at the born again experience, it did not take Christians further; the gospel continued to be milk and they remained babies. Before you were born God had a plan for your life. The Christian who has not connected with this plan is confused and remains in a cul-de-sac. The message from pulpits should not focus on church membership but on connecting people to the plan which was predestined before they were born.
Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (2 Pet. 1:3-4). Godliness is “God-likeness”. Man was created in the image and likeness of God. God in Christ has given us everything pertaining to life and God-likeness.
For example, God is love. Religion says, “Because God is love, I must try to be like God.” When you try to be like God you are actually admitting you are not like God, and you still have to do something to be like God. In that process you deny who you truly are. We must connect with the truth and reality of who we are, not will be, but are, otherwise we fall victim to religious thinking and activity. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and that truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Religion has put a gulf between God and man. After Adam and Eve were banned from the garden, man began to call on the name of the Lord (Gen. 4:26). The moment man began to call on the name of the Lord, they admitted distance. Adam and Eve did not have to call on God when they were in the garden. He was there; He blessed them in the cool of the day.
Go back to your genes, your genesis – what you have been created for. It has been restored in Christ. We must subject ourselves to our true nature. We must confess that we have received a new nature. It does not mean “I am God”. I am not a god, I am not God, but I am what He is. There is a difference. We have been created in His image and in His likeness. Jesus came and He re-created us and rescued us from the results of the Fall. If I act godly, does it make me Godly? Religion has taught us to act “like”. If I act godly through the religious paradigm I change my voice and posture when I pray. If it is something you can do, somebody can take it away from you, but nobody can take away who you truly are. If this truth grabs you, you will not go the way of licentiousness, you will rejoice in the fact of who you are. If you know who you are you will stop trying to do good things, it will be you because it is the authentic original genesis you. Religion has hijacked God’s people. Satan is not God’s enemy anymore; religion is! Jesus called the religious order of His day snake pits, whitewashed tombs (Matt. 23:33); He had no soft words for them! As He is, so am I in this world (1 John 4:17). The moment you try to be, you are a candidate for religion.
Some questions remain:
1) How do we avoid spiritual elitism and pride? We must have the attitude of Jesus (Phil. 2:7-8). Jesus had every opportunity to become proud, but He humbled Himself. We have to ensure that the knowledge we are gaining does not make us proud.
2) How do we reach the ragamuffins of this world, the people of no repute? The Church can easily drift away from this mandate.
Ragamuffins are happy to go to a place where they can mingle with other beggars at the door of God’s mercy. How do we activate the overcomers in this new discovery of who they are? When and how are we going to touch the ragamuffin of this world with the gospel that we have? Church cannot become a place of elite Christians otherwise God is going to start a new move outside of what we call “church”. I would like to part of the next wave in God. Do you? God’s love is still for the world. There are a whole lot of people waiting to hear and encounter God.