Conformed to the Image

Hello everyone. I hope all my readers are ready to continue our study in the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re going to be continuing our walk through the book of Romans and we’re in chapter 8, which I have often had people tell me is one of their favorite passages in the Bible. We’re going to be looking at two verses tonight. Open your Bibles or an appropriate Bible website to Romans 8:28-29:

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

This is one of the greatest encouragements in Scripture and something we need to keep in mind when the problem of evil rears its head. Too often in our walk we often act like something has taken God by surprise. No matter where I am in my walk, I often try and remember “God has seen this moment and it has passed through his hand first.” Now I’m not going to tell you I’ve mastered this lesson. Far from it. It is a rather calming belief when I begin to really think about it.

Let us consider what we know about human beings first. We are created in the image of God according to Genesis 1:26-27. This is what ultimately sets apart humanity from every other species on Earth. There is no other creature that bears the image of God.

Man’s problem ultimately is that he is in the image of God but he does not act like he is in the image of God. Cats will be cats and dogs will be dogs, but humans are the species that we see that seem to continually go against their nature. We often speak of people acting “inhuman.” We do not speak of dogs acting “indog.”

There was only one person who did not fail at this, and that was Christ. Christ is the one who shows us what humanity is meant to be like. We all attempt to live human lives. Christ is the only one who truly lived a human life. In Christ, we have the true unity of humanity and divinity, though let us be sure that this does not mean the natures overlap. His humanity is still humanity and his deity is still deity and he is still one person in all of this.

What is the good news of this passage? The fulfillment of the image of God is to be conformed to the likeness of the Son. If you are to be like God, then you must be like the Son. Why? Because the Son is the exact representation of the Father’s nature as we will see in Hebrews. If you have a belief about the nature of deity that does not match with what you see in the Son, it is incorrect. If you have a belief about humanity that does not match what you see in the Son, it is also incorrect. Note we are talking about essential natures. This isn’t saying that people of different sexes or races aren’t human.

The biblical promise is also that you might be conformed but that you will be. You will be like the Son one day. When God looks at you on the final day, he will see his Son and thus not see anything that contradicts his nature. Now this does not mean you will be deity. You will not be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, eternal, etc. You will be what God wants to see however, a being that is like himself.

Why? You will be like the Son, a being who has the exact nature of deity. Isn’t that good news?

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