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God’s Grace: Sanctifying Grace, part 2
Being like Jesus is Our Eternal Destiny
Verses 29-30 “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.” From the very beginning of time as we know it, God’s plan has been to make us like Jesus. This is our ultimate destiny.
God announced His intention of this at the point of creating mankind. Look with me at the first part of Genesis 1:26a: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make Mankind in Our image, in Our likeness’” NIV. In all of creation, only human beings are made “in God’s image.” This is a great privilege and it gives us dignity.
Now, being made in God’s image, means that we humans are a spiritual beings. Like God, humans think, feel, and chooses. When Adam and Eve were walking with God before the entrance of sin into this world, they were spiritually alive, and instructed by God as to how to think clearly, feel appropriately, and choose correctly. But with the entrance of sin into this world, the image of God in mankind became corrupted. Humans became spiritually dead, which meant that they were without God’s guidance in their lives, and the result was, their thoughts became inappropriate as did their feelings and choices. The image of God in mankind was corrupted.
And all of that added together is exactly why God came to rescue us, in Christ Jesus. He came on a mission, to restore the full image, we have lost. What does the full “image and likeness” of God look like? The simplest way to say it is; it looks like Jesus Christ! Jesus is… the physical image of God!” How do we know that? I am so very glad you asked that. Grab your Bible, and look with me at these passages, because the Bible tells us that Jesus is “the image of God!” 2 Corinthians 4:4 “…Who is – the image of God…,” Colossians 1:15 “… The visible image of the invisible God,” and Hebrews 1:3“… The exact representation of His being.” Paul says that being like Jesus is the eternal destiny of everyone - everyone who has placed their faith in Jesus.
When we are saved by the grace of God, we are brought to spiritual life and in that moment, God begins the work of making us like Jesus, in our spirit. And that work of making us like Jesus is what I would call the journey of sanctification. That journey will be completed the day Christ returns, when we will receive our glorified, resurrection bodies. Before that, every believer who dies, upon entering the Lord’s presence, is made to be like Jesus in their thinking, in their affections, and in their choices.
Let’s look at what the Apostle John wrote to us, in 1 John 3:2, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be… has not yet been made known. But we know that when He [Jesus] appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” NIV.
Medication: A Merry Heart
A child comes home from his first day at school. His mother asks, "Well, what did you learn today?"
The kid grumbles: "Not enough. They want me to come back tomorrow."
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
Verse of the Week: Daniel 12:3
Today’s readings: 2 Kings 5– 8