What does it mean to be created in the image of God? pt 3

In parts one and two we discovered that Christ is the gold standard of what ‘being created in the image of God’ looks like. Christ is the “express” image of the Father. He has the “fullness of the Father” which is expressed in the statement that he is in the Father and the Father is in him. Also expressed in the statement: The Father and I are one.

Christ is the pioneer and first born of the “new creation”. We are to be filled with the fullness of Christ and in so doing be filled with the fullness of the Father and participate in his divine nature.

By Christ abiding in the Father and Christ in us and us in him we abide in the Father. If we love Christ we love the Father and they will make their home (abode) in us and with us, and love us.

Was the receiving of God’s Spirit to clothe the disciples with power?

Luke 24:49 NRSV
And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”

Did Jesus tell the disciples to stay in Jerusalem prior to them receiving the Holy Spirit? Above scripture and following. See above and below.

Acts 1:4-5 NRSV
While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:8 NRSV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

We see from the above verses that receiving the Holy Spirit was associated with receiving power.

And indeed, on the day of Pentecost the disciples did receive the Holy Spirit

Acts 2: 1-4 NRSV
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Verses 7-11 explain that the crowds were perplexed because they were from different countries and spoke different languages. Each person heard in their own language the disciples speaking to them.

Were the crowds amazed?

Acts 2:7-8 NRSV
Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?

Acts 2:12 NRSV
All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

Peter’s reply was as follows:

Acts 2:15-18 NRSV
Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

Through God’s Spirit we are granted love, a sound mind, power, are strengthened, and given faith.

2 Timothy 1:7 NKJ
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind

Philippians 4:13 NRSV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 2:5 NRSV
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

2 Corinthians 13:3-4 NRSV
since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. 4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

Were the deeds of Jesus done in power?

Acts 2:22 NRSV
“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know”.

The receiving of the Holy Spirit bestows upon us power from the Father and we are to live by that power.

Are we the Father’s workmanship?

Ephesians 2:10 WEB
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

Does the Father even cause his children to desire and act for his pleasure?

Philippians 2:13 BBE
For it is God who is the cause of your desires and of your acts, for his good pleasure.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 Kingdom New Testament by N. T. Wright
All scripture is breathed by God, and is useful for teaching, for rebuke, for improvement, for training in righteousness,17 so that people who belong to God may be complete, fitted out and ready for every good work

Christ did not speak on his own authority but by Yahweh God’s authority. Christ did not do his own works but Yahweh’s works – so it is for us – not our works but the Father’s

John 10:32 NRSV
Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?”

John 14:10 NRSV
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Acts 2:22 NRSV
“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know

John 8:28-32 NRSV
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him. 31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

We can see from the scriptures above there are “works” to be carried out. But these are were not Messiah’s works but his Father’s works. The Father even put the desire to do the acts into Jesus’s mind via  His holy spirit presence.

In John 15:1-5 NRSV we are given a picture of a vine

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.

Those who belong to messiah are pictured as being the branches of the vine – we could actually say that the branches are the “fruit hangers”. The branches do not dictate  what fruit is to be borne but the vine does. Verse 5 states that Apart from Christ YOU CAN DO NOTHING.

How do we glorify the Father?

John 15:8 NRSV
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

We can see that we are to bear much fruit. Fruit that Messiah bears through us through the the Holy Spirit.

John 15:16-17 NRSV
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

What is the evidence of the spirit in you?

Galatians 5:22-25 NRSV
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NRSV
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end;

1 Corinthians 13:13 NRSV
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Jesus explains that he abides in the Father’s love and that we are to abide also in his (Jesus’s) love.

John 15:9-10 NRSV
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

We are shown what those commands are:

Matthew 22:35-40 NRSV
and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, ” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

We are given further scriptures of what is required of us (because we belong to Him and He lives in us) as follows :

Micah 6:8 WEB
He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Matthew 12:50 NRSV
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

Luke 8:21 NRSV
But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Summary
We can see that we are to abide in Christ and this is pictured as branches of a vine abiding in the vine, bearing fruit. We glorify the Father by bearing much fruit. We are shown what that fruit is. We are also left in no doubt that the fruit borne is determined by Christ and that basically we are the fruit hanger. The fruit is produced through us as we abide in Christ, and allow Him to live with us, in us, through us, for us, as us. Just like Christ, we of our own selves can do nothing. The Father is all, and in all (1 Corinthians 15:28).

In part four we will see Yahweh God pictured as a potter and we as the pot as he forms us into the perfect image of himself.

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