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Image and Likeness

In the first chapter of Genesis, Scripture records that God states He would make man in His image and likeness, Genesis 1:26. However, by Genesis 5:3, after the fall of Adam, the likeness and image of humans is that of Adam, for he passed on his corrupt nature to his children, Genesis 5:3.

The concept of image (צֶ֫לֶם – tsĕ-lĕm) is that which has a similar appearance. When examining God’s appearance, we find that He dwells in light, 1 Timothy 6:16; therefore, when God created Adam, He wrapped him in light so that Adam would have a similar image. When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, they were stripped of this image, Genesis 3:7. It is worthy to note here that the word used in Genesis 3:7, often translated as naked (עֲרוּמִּ֔ים), actually means stripped (עֵֽירֻמִּ֖ם). They both knew they were stripped, for they could visibly see that they had lost their covering. However, this does not mean that the similarity to God was lost entirely to humans, for Adam was made in the image of God. This is why, after the Noahic flood in the dispensation of government, a new rule is placed upon the household that if a man sheds the blood of another man, his life is to be forfeit, Genesis 9:6. Although Adam was created in a state of innocence (not knowing good and evil) and resided in the garden during a time when there was no sin upon the earth, his offspring inherit his corrupt nature resulting from the penalties of spiritual and physical death for his trespass and sin, which brought death into this world, Romans 5:12, 17.

In the realm of false religions, an image refers to the […]

Image and Likeness2023-12-14T08:08:24-08:00

A Doer of Wrong (κακοποιός)

There are two types of evil described in Scripture that are often not distinguished in many English translations. The first kind of evil (κακός) expresses someone who is doing wrong, doing that which lacks in character. The second form of evil (πονηρός) is the person spreading their erroneous ways to others. These expect and encourage others to participate in their wicked ways; hence, they are malignantly evil. A doer of wrong (κακοποιός) describes the character of a person who is known to do things in an untruthful, deceptive, or corrupt manner; a willingness to do things in a way they know is not correct to gain or to take advantage for themselves. In contrast to this type of evil is the concept of doing what is proper, which produces beneficial works rather than causing harm and calamity.

When the Jews sought to have Pilate put Jesus to death, they delivered Him over to Pilate as one who is a doer of wrong. However, Pilate found nothing in Jesus’ actions to indicate this; therefore, he told them to take Jesus and judge Him by their laws. However, the Romans did not allow the Jews to put someone to death; therefore, they required Pilate’s assistance to crucify Jesus, John 18:30-31. By continuing to hold Jesus, and ultimately fulfilling the desires of the Jews, both Pilate and the Jewish leaders are the ones who are actually doers of wrong, for they knew that Jesus had done no wickedness, yet still had Him put to death.

When it comes to the behavior of Christians, we are to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against our emotions (soul) while having a proper conduct among those who are not saved. When they speak […]

A Doer of Wrong (κακοποιός)2023-12-14T08:09:06-08:00

Waging of War (στρατεύω)

As Christians, although we walk in the flesh, our waging of war is not done according to the flesh, for our weapons of warfare are not carnal in nature, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. We battle malignantly evil spiritual forces that seek to ensnare our minds into doing the will of Satan while persuading us that we are doing what God wants, 2 Timothy 2:26. One of the most influential means by which war is waged upon humans is through the world system, for it is set up to pacify the sin nature through the desires of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of biological life, just as a baby is appeased by his mother rocking him in her arms, 1 John 2:16; 5:19. The wars of this world are a direct result of seeking to fulfill the desires of the flesh, James 4:1. Since we are engulfed in a spiritual battle, we are not to entangle ourselves with the affairs of this world, 2 Timothy 2:3.

Although we are at war, we do not need to fear. God has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness, 2 Peter 1:3. We are not ignorant of Satan’s methods and have been provided with armor that handles any attack he brings our way, Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 2:11. As part of our salvation, we also have light armor for everyday use so that we are always ready to give a defense for the hope that we have as we shine as luminaries to this crooked and perverse generation through living out who we are in Christ while casting off the works of darkness, Romans 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:8. We are not part of the world system, […]

Waging of War (στρατεύω)2023-12-14T08:10:23-08:00

Knowing the Desirous will of God – Suffer for our consistent testimony

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better while doing good if he desirously wills the desirous will of the God to suffer than while doing wrong.

1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore also the suffering according to the desirous will of God, as to a faithful Creator, while entrusting our souls in doing good.

In the first epistle from the apostle Peter, he writes to the saints that have been dispersed due to persecution throughout the Roman Empire into primarily Gentile regions (1 Peter 1:1). In this letter he writes concerning the persecution they will face and how to overcome it. Today, these words still hold true. When we as Christians are in areas that are primarily governed by unbelievers, living out our salvation will bring suffering.

We are not to follow in the ways of the unsaved, for they live a life of futility and are completely focused on satisfying their own depraved desires. They corrupt everything they touch, even the concept of love. Rather, we are to be of one frame of mind, suffering together, friendly, compassionate, and humble, not paying back wrong for wrong or verbal abuse for verbal abuse (1 Peter 3:8-9). We are called to inherent a good eulogy, for the Lord already speaks well of us in all spiritual things in the heavens (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, knowing we are called to this, let us speak well of others by speaking with grace, not considering if they deserve for us to speak in a good manner towards or about them, but because of who we are in Christ, as we refrain our tongue from wrong while turning from what is wrong to do what is beneficial while pursuing peace (1 Peter 3:9-11). However, this type of […]

Knowing the Desirous will of God – Suffer for our consistent testimony2023-11-25T07:53:03-08:00
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