Bible Pathways in Picture and Word

Heart Reform and the Image of God 

 

 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.   And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].  Ezekial 36:25-27

Heart reform, you may think is not something that another human can tell you how to accomplish.  True, but I can give you the reason behind all reform.

 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.      Genesis 1:27

In the beginning God created humankind in his image.  When man sinned he lost part of the image of God.  God gave us the ten commandments and the statutes to help us attain to the image of God again.

The principles of the ten commandments existed before the fall, and were of a character suited to the condition of a holy order of beings. After the fall, the principles of those precepts were not changed, but additional precepts were given to meet man in his fallen state.  {3SG 295.2}    

 The moral law was repeated in awful grandeur from Sinai. Christ gave to Moses religious precepts which were to govern the everyday life. These statutes were explicitly given to guard the ten commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon man in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the moral law, and they clearly and definitely explained that law {RH, May 6, 1875 par. 10}   

Man tried to keep the commands of God, but failed. So God sent Jesus to show us the way and to give us another picture of his image and character.  In order to become like Christ we must behold him daily.

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). Beholding Christ means studying His life as given in His Word. We are to dig for truth as for hidden treasure. We are to fix our eyes upon Christ. When we take Him as our personal Saviour, this gives us boldness to approach the throne of grace. By beholding we become changed, morally assimilated to the One who is perfect in character. By receiving His imputed righteousness, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we become like Him. The image of Christ is cherished, and it captivates the whole being.  {AG 96.4} 

Satan does not want us to become like Christ.  Just like Nebuchadnezzar he makes his own image of himself.  He wants us to be changed into his image.

Satan accomplished the fall of man, and since that time it has been his work to efface in man the image of God, and to stamp upon human hearts his own image. Possessing supremacy in guilt, he claims supremacy for himself, and exercises over his subjects the power of royalty. He cannot expel God from His throne, but through the system of idolatry, he plants his own throne between the heaven and the earth, between God and the human worshiper        (RH Oct. 22, 1895).  {1BC 1105.9} 

Idolatry is anything that absorbs our time, money and attention from God.  Anything that blocks our view of heaven, the commandments of God, and our example Jesus.

    It is by beholding that we become changed. And as those sacred precepts in which God has opened to men the perfection and holiness of His character are neglected and the minds of the people are attracted to human teachings and theories, what marvel that there has followed a decline of living piety in the church.-GC 478 (1911). 

 

 The heart is the citadel of the whole man, and until the heart is wholly on the Lord's side, the enemy will find unguarded entrances through which he can take possession. "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" (Philippians 2:12, 13).

 

Each of us has to decide which direction he will look.  Will we behold Jesus and his character, the 10 commandments, and be changed back into the image of God receiving a blessing, or we like Ham behold sin and even tell others so they can do the same receiving a curse.  Shem and Japheth chose to help one who had fallen into sin, but they did not behold it.  They resolutely turned their backs on sin.  And we must to if we would receive the promise.

 And Noah began [to be] an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:  
  And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.  
 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.  
 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid [it] upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces [were] backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.  
 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.  
  And he said, Cursed [be] Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.  
  And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.  
  God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.                     Genesis 9:20-27

We are engaged in a real war.  Each leader wants us to bear their image.  Will we cherish selfishness and  idolatry by what we watch, what we listen to, what we wear, what we eat, and how we spend our time and money causing us to be changed in to the image of the evil one? Or will we cherish each moment in beholding the image of God, in nature, in the life of Christ, in His written word and in his commandment law causing us to be changed into unselfish, self-sacrificing Christians following in the pathway of our Saviour?

 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  
  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  
  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.  
  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.   2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Are we beholding Jesus?

Do we follow where he leads?

Do we study on his image?

Are we sowing righteous seeds?

 

Or do we like the shadows,

The things of compromise?

When the artist draws our picture

Whose image will he find? 

 

And are we striving daily

To like our Savoiur be,

Oh, when you look upon my life

Do you my Savior see?