Ramblings of aCurate!!
Genesis 1:26-28 reveals the origin of mankind, we are created male and female in God's image and likeness. We can be creative within the arts, create life, we can communicate and long for community because these are some of the characteristics of our triune God, and we show our creator through our lives.
Just as Christ came to make the invisible God visible by being the image of God, Colossians 1:15. We too are called to be imitators of God Ephesians 5:1. The Ephesians passage says that we are to live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
To love as Christ loved, forgiving, welcoming, friendly, serving, healing, and compassionate. These are some of the things we think of when we think of Christ's love. This is true yet often churches only focus on these aspects, and congregations are left with half of the Gospel. A Gospel filled with grace with no challenges and the message that God loves you just as you are.
Christ's love goes further, through His love he reveals the dark truth about who we are. We are sinful people in need of a saviour, Luke 5:32. Jesus did not come to sit and eat with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes to be all-inclusive and loving, He sat with sinners to call them into repentance. He challenged, judged people's hearts by their fruit, and disciplined and rebuked those who needed it.
Christ loves us though we don't deserve it, he came to give us new life in and through Him and that love we recognise that we need to be transformed. We are called out of the darkness and into His marvellous light as the Holy Spirit continues to work on our hearts.
Grace is that we are loved so much that Christ chose to give up His life for us, to take upon Himself our sinful natures and the wrath of God. Then, through His resurrection, we to take on His righteousness as Christ has defeated the consequences of sin and conquered death.
Truth is also His love as we come to understand our dependency upon Christ and our need to be transformed in all areas of our life that we too become imitators and image-bearers of God revealing both Truth and Grace.
As I reflect upon myself as an image-bearer of God, do I truly reveal the image of God or just the comfortable bits? Am I willing to be unpopular for speaking out in truth around certain aspects of the wider church life and the life within our church?
Also, am I consistent with my character or do I have two personalities a "church persona" and a "private persona". It seems easy to be one person in church but as soon as I am in the car and someone does not let me out of the roundabout, or the kids start arguing or if I have to listen to the same song for the twelfth time in a row, do I switch back to my old self?
I urge you to do the same, reflect upon your lives, the way you respond to someone annoying, someone you know who is living the wrong way or how you are, around different groups of friends and family. Is your life consistent with your new life in Christ?
Are you truly an image-bearer of God or the culture around you?
St Andrews Church