Weekly Devotional 6-1-20 Are you being Conformed?
In the Book of Beginnings (Genesis), we find two interesting passages; Genesis 1:26-27 and Genesis 5:1-3.
Genesis 1:26-27 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Genesis 5:1-3 “1This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. 3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”
In the first passage, it is declared that God created man in His own image, but in the second passage, it is declared that Adam fathered a son in his own image. Immediately we should recognize something different in these two passages. In the first passage, God created Adam in His own likeness, but in the second passage, Adam fathered a son in his own likeness. We should note, Adam was created, but Seth (Adam’s son) was not created, at least in the same sense as was Adam, He was the offspring of Adam. Certainly, there is a difference between creating something from nothing, as did God, and reproducing something. That said, perhaps we should consider the two images, the image of God and the image of Adam.
According to Websters Ninth Collegiate Dictionary the word “image” is defined as having the quality of existing strikingly like another person, a visual or tangible representation of another and Genesis 1:26 would support that definition, as it says: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
Adam, therefore, was created in the likeness of God, but Seth was reproduced after the likeness of his father. Was there a difference? Yes!
What was the difference? Adam was created in the likeness of God with eternality, with morality, with authority over creation, with divine awareness of God and the ability to communicate with Him. Seth was born of Adam with mortality, with an immoral nature, subject to creation, and separated from God.
So what happened, why was Seth born differently without the attributes of which Adam had been created with, a God likeness? Genesis 3 gives the answer. Even thought Adam was perfect when created, with a righteous nature he had the freedom of choice and when tempted by Satan he succumbed to that tempting and chose to disobey the only prohibition imposed by God. By doing so, an immediate change in him occurred. He lost his eternality, he lost his moral nature, he became subject to creation, he lost his divine perception and the desire to communicate with God. Upon sinning (disobeying God) Adam lost the nature in which he had been created and took upon himself a different nature, an unrighteous nature of unholy desires, and perform-ances.
The apostle Paul writes that Adam’s newness of being was passed seminally to all of his offspring, including Seth. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” Romans 5:12. (For context please read Romans chapter 5 in its entirety).
Such passages as 1st Corinthians 11:7 and James 3:10 say that man is in the image of God but upon examination, it is soon understood that this was true of man in his origination. John 3:1-8 however tells us that man must be reborn spiritually, because it is in his spirituality that man is connected to God and is able to reflect God’s image. Romans 8:29 tells us that God predestined man to be conformed to the image of His Son, something that would not be necessary if man had retained the image in which Adam, man’s federal head, had been created.
All of Adam’s descendants, including Seth, bear the image of God to some extent, but that image is greatly marred by sin. While the image of God is becoming clearer in the born-again person still sins effects are reflected in his nature, mentality, morality, and sociological determinations.
Mentally, Adam was a rational, volitional agent. Able to make choices and had the power of discernment and the ability to see (understand) His Creator.
Morally, Adam was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. He was given a conscience, a “moral compass”.
Socially, Adam was created for fellowship with God, i.e., in Eden, he walked and talked with God (Genesis 3:8-13)
All these things were corrupted in Seth and all of Adam’s off-spring. Each of the mentioned attributes remained/remains to a certain extent but not in the originality of Adam’s creation. To bring man to that originality man must be reborn spiritually. However, spiritual rebirth is only the beginning. Restoring man to the image of God is an ongoing process, reborn persons are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, in essence, God. Through Christ, we are made new creations and are being restored in the likeness of God; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). What a blessing!
The question is, are you, am I being conformed?
F/B – stevelampman.com