Summary: Christians are to be a reflection of Christ. Are you reflecting Him?
OF WHOM ARE YOU A REFLECTION?
Introduction: A small child asked his father, "Dad, what is a Christian?" The father replied, "A Christian is a person who loves and obeys God. He loves his friends and neighbors, and even his enemies. He prays often, is kind, gentle, and holy, and is more interested in going to heaven than in all earthly riches. That, son, is a Christian!" The boy looked puzzled and thought for a minute, then asked, "Have I ever seen one?" (copied) Jesus Christ, when asked by the disciples to reveal to them the Father said, “If you have seen Me, You have seen the Father.” Hebrews 1:3 tells us that He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. He is the reflection of His Father. Of whom are you a reflection?
I. Man’s Distorted Image
A. Created in the Image of God
1. When God made man He made man to be a reflection of Himself.
2. Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
3. As such God created man a trichotomy having a physical body, an intellect, and a will. He created us as a mirrored reflection of the Godhead.
4. Man was perfect, sinless, and holy, the image of his Creator.
B. Distorted by the Fall of Man
1. Man’s mirrored image of God became distorted and twisted like the reflections seen in the mirrors on a carnival’s midway by his disobedience and sin in the garden.
2. Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
3. Man’s heart became darkened by sin and is exceedingly evil. Man’s body became terminal infected with physical pain, suffering, and death. Man’s soul died – no longer the image of the Maker.
4. Had Adam and Eve retained their original state, they never would have died. But Eve and then Adam yielded to the serpent’s temptation, and death came into the world. Before that moment, they were in a beautiful, pristine state. They existed on a level far above the present condition of the human race. It is difficult to imagine what man was like then by viewing him as he is now. David Breese, Living For Eternity, Moody Press, 1988, p. 99
5. Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
6. In Noah’s day it is said that " the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5) The Psalmist wrote concerning man that " together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one." (Psalm 14:3). And Paul reaffirms this statement from David applying it to the people of his day stating "As it is written, None is righteous, no, not one." (Romans 3:10).
C. Therefore, God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3) to provide the way for man’s redemption and transformation.
II. The Believer’s Changing Image
A. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
B. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory...” (HCSB)
C. The Christian is to no longer present a twisted reflection of the Creator but to reflect the beauty of Christ in every area of his or her life. We are to demonstrate Christ in all of our attitudes and actions.
D. Colossians 3:8-14 “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”