Pastoral Perspectives

LOOK AT YOU!

There was a debate online on Creation and Evolution. Many Christians were raining down insults on those who believed in the Theory of Evolution. One self-proclaimed atheist continued to stand his ground and kept asking very difficult questions. Finally, many left the debate after calling this person a “monkey” for believing in the Theory of Evolution. He was very upset that he was called a monkey. He eventually turned to me and asked if I would call him one. I took this opportunity to explain the doctrine of creation. I responded, “The very fact that you are not happy being called a monkey is because you bear the image of God in you. That image in you refuses to be called a monkey even if you choose not to believe in it.” Furthermore, I added that I could never call him a monkey because he was created in God’s image. He thanked me politely and stopped asking further questions.

The Bible says in Genesis 1:26-27 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness … And God created man in his own image … male and female he created them”. There are various traits that separate humanity from all other forms of biological life.

  1. Human beings can reason. Animals operate by instincts and react.
  2. Human beings can make choices- to obey, disobey etc.
  3. Human beings have an innate sense of morality, i.e. an awareness that there is a difference between “right” and “wrong.” It is called “conscience.” 

What does it mean to be human?

Animals don’t gather together to about their animal-ness or what makes them an animal. Human beings gather together and talk about what it means to be human. We are not mere genetics. We are particular individuals given with a unique composition: name, face, ideas…whatever it is that is us. He puts His imprint in us. “To be fully human is to understand the Imago Dei – that as God’s creation, we possess the image of God.”

Wayne Jackson writes “Scripture does not endorse the notion that man is an accident upon the planet, as atheistic evolutionism alleges. No fewer than 14 times in the OT God is designated as our “Maker” (Job 4:17, Psalm 95:6). Just as a potter forms a work of art from clay, so Jehovah “formed” the human body from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). David declared we have been “made,” and “fearfully and wonderfully” so (Psalm 100:3; 139:14). Isaiah marveled at the arrogance of anyone who would say of God, “he made me not” (29:16). The human body is a marvelous “machine” of complementary systems, each one of which depends upon the others. It could never have developed according to the Darwinian incremental scheme.” (https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1519-created-in-the-image-of-godl).

We bear more than just the image of God in us.

The Psalmist says in Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Celebrities are often asked if they wish they could change anything about themselves. Most would say something about their physical appearance. Somehow, we are not satisfied with what we are endowed with.  The grass is always greener on the other side. Isn’t it?

Moses went up to Mt Sinai to receive instructions from God about worship and the temple.  He was given detailed directions on how to build the tabernacle. The scriptures give us a very detailed and meticulous plan. Why was it so detailed?

“We see the answer in some very profound words that we might early miss at a cursory reading. God says “Moses, when you have finished building this tabernacle, exactly as I have told you, there I will meet you. There I will dwell with you.” Bring this detail into our modern-day setting. We have local churches where we meet together as believers, We no longer go to Mount Sinai to meet God. Why not? Because the place of the tabernacle and the temple is now replaced by the body-your body and mine- in which God meets with us and God wells with us, and where we have communion with Him. We bring our sanctuaries with us.  This individual entity is the locus appointment between God and me. There He meets. There He dwells. Will the God who sent such pains to physically decorate the tabernacle and the temple not also take great care in physically designing the human body?”

(Ravi Zacharias, I, Isaac, Take Thee Rebekah pg 72)

As God’s living temples, have we “conformed to the likeness of his Son, (Rom 8:29); “holy and pleasing to God”(Rom 12:1)? If we claim to be believers, we claim that Christ is in us.  We are to reflect the glory of God.  Col 1:27 “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” To reflect Him, we have to see Him. (2 Cor. 3: 18-4:2) We become what we behold.

“We are changed by beholding the glory of the Lord and standing in awe of Him…Behold the glory of the Lord and so be changed into His image.” J.Piper.

The Psalmist praised God for being “fearfully and wonderfully made.” He went further to say “I know that full well.” Are we praising God and do we know it full well? Who do people see when they look at you?


Ms Loliro Sani

May 31, 2015