In this chapter I want to talk to you about the importance of having the proper image of yourself according to what our Father has to say about you. We study the scriptures and learn what they have to say about us and because we struggle often to live up to the image they paint of us, we form an image of ourselves which is not the image God of us.
Remember what Paul had to say about our Father in Rom. 4:17,
"As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were."
Do you realize that God spoke the world into existence? Read again the first chapter of Genesis and take note that each time the Lord created something he spoke it into existence! "And God said, 'Let there be!' and there was!" The book of Hebrews, chapter 11 and verse 3 says,
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
There's something that you need to know about our Father. When He declares or prophesies a thing, it's as good as already done because He watches over his word to perform it. (Jer. 1:12, NIV) When God imagines something and speaks it forth as prophecy, it will come to pass even as He has spoken it. Paul said in Rom. 8:28-31,
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"
Let this truth sink down deep into your spirit. God, our Father, has predetermined, and has spoken forth the truth that the purpose of His Spirit being given to us is to conform us to the very image of His Son. Brethren, if you have the seed of God in you, and everyone does, that seed will produce the image of Christ in and through you. Paul said in Phil. 2:12-13,
"... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
The Spirit of our Father is working within each of us to bring about our Fathers will for us! Well, just what is the Lord's will concerning us? Paul said in Col. 1:19-22,
"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet NOW hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in HIS sight:"
Can it be any plainer what the image is that God sees when He looks at us? He sees the image of Christ because He knows the ending from the beginning and all the stages in between. In His sight we are just as Jesus was when He was here. Our problem is that we are constantly being instructed and thus have the mind set that we are something other than what God says we are and that is blasphemy.
We are thus projecting forth an imagine that is not the truth. We are the image of God whether we believe it or not. If God says we are something then that settles it no matter what a man may tell us we are or are not!
Paul said in Col. 3:8-17,
"But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, you also do . And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. And let (allow) the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and you be thankful.
Let (allow) the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
We often express lies about ourselves because they sound so good and we very often write songs about things that just are not the truth. For example: How many times have you heard some preacher or maybe even yourself say this? I'm just an old sinner saved by grace! Boy, that sounds so good to our carnal ears. The truth is that I am no longer a sinner but I am a child of God saved by His grace. I AM NOT A SINNER!!! YOU ARE NOT A SINNER!! If we should sin all we are instructed to do is to confess or acknowledge the sin. His blood has cleansed us from all sin and furthermore, Our sins and iniquities He has no memory of. (Heb. 8:10-12)
And do you realize that when we were sinners Jesus died for us in our place? Paul said in Rom. 5:8, (NIV)
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Paul also said in 2 Cor. 3:16-18,
"Whenever anyone turns
to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever–increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
The reason we have such a low esteemed image of our self is because we have not been taught much about spiritual life and how it differs from our fleshly life. The Lord has given to us the New Testament which paints a picture of His love and will for us that wasn't revealed in the Old Testament. Preachers have been very insistent on teaching us of the severity of the God of The Law which the Israelite Nation demand that He give them at Mount Sinai. Because preachers have preached so much on a hells fire and damnation doctrine, they often have failed to paint a picture of a God who is love and the measure of that love He demonstrated for us by coming down to our level of humanity and offering His very blood and life to redeem us back to himself.
Because man has developed this hells fire doctrine they have in days past tried to scare the hell out of us and as a result many have accepted Christ because they were afraid of the severity of a God that is going to send billions of His children to an eternity of the most agonizing punishment imaginable. The result of such teaching is that we have developed a false image of ourselves and it falls far short of the image our Father has of us because of what His Son accomplished on the cross. All of this in spite of the love and concern for us that Jesus demonstrated when He was here. Jesus came and revealed the love that His Father has for us and He revealed to us that God is the Father of all of mankind. (Mat. 23:9)
Most Christians have little concept of the Gospel that Paul was given differed from the Gospel the Jews were given in that it bypassed The Law and went all the way back pass Moses to Abraham the father of all who walk by faith and is a Gospel based upon faith and grace which both are given to us by our loving Heavenly Father. Paul said in Eph. 2:8-10,
"For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them."
Paul's Gospel reveals God greatest mystery which had been hidden from the very beginning and that mystery is, Christ in you which is our hope of having glory.
Paul said in Col. 1:25-27,
"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest (or revealed) to his saints: the hope of glory!"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you,
What about the image you have of yourself? Do you see yourself as a mature son of the most high God who is our Father and you can come boldly before Him and make your prayers and petitions known to Him without fear of punishment or harsh judgment? Do you know that you have eternal life and do not have to worry about where you will spend eternity? Or do you see yourself as filthy rags unworthy to ask your Father much and are you forever wondering if you are really saved and if you will be able to be good enough to receive a home in heaven when you die?
When I was growing up in church I was made to be sin conscience and was taught to always ask God to forgive me of my sins and my unforgiven sins. I was one time in a class at church when I was a teenager and was told by our teacher that he didn't know for sure that he would go to heaven but he hope that he would have lived his life good enough for God to give him a home in heaven. Well, that sounded good to the carnal mind but I asked him this question for which he had no answer. What did John mean if that is true that these things are written that you may know that you have eternal life. John said in Jn. 20:30-31,
"Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name."
He repeated this statement in 1 Jn. 5:9-13,
"If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name (authority) of the Son of God."
I am here to tell you today that you can not only know that you have eternal life today but that you can have a personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The words that I am speaking to you today are powerful and sharper than any two edged sword and are able to penetrate through all that false teaching that you have accepted in the past and cause you to have the same image of yourself that our Father has of you. (Heb. 4:12)
Will you, along with me, begin to confess and declare what the word of God has to say about you.
1. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! (Matt. 6:33)
2. I am a son of the most high God! (Jn. 1:12)
3. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil. 4:13)
4. Nothing is impossible for me because I am a believer! (Mk. 9:23)
5. My God is supplying all my needs through Christ! (Phil. 4:19)
Will you also declare with me the following?
We are the United States of America and we are a Christian Nation founded upon the word of God and the Lord has blessed us and is continuing to bless us because we believe in Him. This nation will continue to stand for freedom and liberty for all the people of the world and will continue to bless the nations with the Gospel message. We will not be defeated and if any nations or people come against us they will be defeated and flee in seven directions. We declare that men and women will come forth in our government and stand up for the principle set forth in our constitution!