Imago Dei (The Image of God) - Part Three: Why Am I? | Firm Foundation (Video and Audio)

Sunday, April 18, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments





Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

God’s image - Character
God’s likeness - Outward witness
Dominion - Responsibility, tasks, duty, service
Fruitful - Utilizing abilities and gifts
Multiply - Reproduce yourself, empower others
Subdue - Create and maintain order

What is the imago Dei?
Imago Dei is the Latin term for “image of God.”
Knowing who you are is foundational to both a healthy self-image and a strong sense of purpose.

God’s Purpose for People
Micah 6:8, He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly,To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Isaiah 43:21,This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.

1 Peter 2:9, But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

1 Corinthians 15:9, For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Imago Dei of God Calls to Imago Dei in You
Psalm 42:7, Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me—A prayer to the God of my life.

Reaching Our Community
Romans 9:1, I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…

Factors Working Against Imago Dei
1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
2, Mindsets not introduced by family and Kingdom of God
3. Anti-Christ forces
4. Self-loathing, Self-hatred
5. Confused and negative people
6. Failure to worship God

Reflections
1. Why was I born?
2. What place does Imago Dei have in my day-to-day life?
3. What is my role in the lives of others?

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Imago Dei (The Image of God) - Part Two: Restoring Human Identity and Purpose

Friday, April 16, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

 


Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Psalm 19:7 NAS, The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

What is the imago Dei?
Imago Dei is the Latin term for “image of God.” Knowing who you are is foundational to both a healthy self-image and a strong sense of purpose.

Psalm 86:10, For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. 11] Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. 12] I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore.

In today’s culture, people believe in a “God” who is made in their own image. He is a God who changes, adapts to whims and customs and permits whatever the maj
ority of people want to believe. Their god has many names, multiple personalities, no exclusive holy book and cannot be grieved by any act of sin except “intolerance.” – Dallas Willard

There are two Gods. There is the God that people generally believe in—A God who has to serve them. This God does not exist. But the God who people forget—the God whom we all have to serve—exists, and is the prime cause of our existence and of all that we perceive. God being God offends human pride. “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18) When the light of God is absent, the intellect become dysfunctional, trying to devise a truth that will be compatible with the basic falsehood that man is god. 
– Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines

Image
Hebrew צֶלֶם - ṣelem (Pronounced seh’-lem) 
From an unused root meaning a representative figure or image
It is best understood as representing the character of something or someone. 

Likeness
Hebrew דְּמוּת - demût (pronounced, dem-ooth’)
Stong’s dictionary word (#H1819); means, resemblance; shape; like (-ness), manner, similitude.
This is best understood as representing the likeness or appearance of something or someone. 

Indicators of the True God:

• Is from everlasting to everlasting
• Known to Adam, Abraham, Moses and the pagans of every generation
• Has the power to create, destroy, heal and reform
• Passes final judgment
• Knows the hearts of people
• Knows the motivations of the heart
• Has purpose that transcends the lifetime or sensual interests of people
• Manifests His presence in the earth through the Holy Spirit
• Has a son name Jesus Christ, who is God the Son
Thought: images, concepts, judgment; enables our will (or spirit) to range far beyond the immediate boundaries of our environment

Feeling: sensation, emotion; inclines us toward or away from things that come before our minds; involve a tone that is pleasant or unpleasant. Thoughts and feelings go together

Choice: Will, decision, character; our choices produce our unique contribution to reality. Temptation is the thought plus the inclination to sin. We must very careful about the things we allow our minds to dwell upon or allow ourselves to feel. Human life does not run by will alone. It must be organized by the will if it is to be organized at all. People nearly always act on their feelings, and think it only right.

Body: Our primary source of energy and the place from which we live. The body cannot be understood apart from human relations, The re-formation of the body is one major part of the process of spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is also and essentially a bodily process. It cannot succeed unless the body is reformed.

Social Context: The human self requires rootedness in others—God first, then people

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Imago Dei (The Image of God) - Part One: Who Am I? | Firm Foundation (Video and Audio)

Sunday, April 11, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


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Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

This is an instance where a biblical worldview is helpful. A Christian worldview only applies to Christians, but a biblical worldview is for everyone.

What is the imago Dei?

Imago Dei is the Latin term for “image of God.” The term is used because it is distinctive and beautiful sounding. Knowing who you are is foundational to both a healthy self-image and a strong sense of purpose. (Watch this video)

Humankind was created to be an image bearer of the Creator. This ideal state was to be a representation of who God is and what He is like. Of course, humanity is far from this ideal state.

“The imago Dei is not a quality possessed by man; it is a condition in which man lives, a condition of confrontation established and maintained by the Creator. … The imago Dei is that in man which constitutes him as him-whom-God-loves.” –John Piper

The imago Dei was the outcome of being created by God. No other creature was made in the image of God, not even Angels.

Look at the words image and likeness in Genesis chapter 1

Image

Hebrew צֶלֶם - ṣelem (Pronounced tseh’-lem)

From an unused root meaning a representative figure or image

Stong’s Dictionary word (#H6754) is used in the old testament as image (16x) and vain shew (1x).

It is used mostly to denote objects of false worship such as idols. It is interesting that this is the word used to describe people being made in the image of God. It shows that this word is only understood by the context in which it is used.

It is best understood as representing the character of something or someone.

For example, my father is technically inclined, a problem solver, and a hard worker. I have my father’s or character IMAGE in me. My mother loved people, served people, and had great compassion. I possess that particular image or character of my mother.

Likeness

Hebrew דְּמוּתd - demût, (pronounced, dem-ooth’)

Stong’s dictionary word (#H1819); means, resemblance; shape; like (-ness), manner, similitude.'

This is best understood as representing the likeness or appearance of something or someone. For example: I RESEMBLE both my mother and my father.

Maximizing Imago Dei (Genesis 1:26-28)

God’s image - Character
God’s likeness - Outward actions
Dominion - Responsibility, tasks, duty, service
Fruitful - Utilizing abilities an gifts
Multiply - Reproduce yourself, empower others 
Subdue - Create and maintain order
__________

Reflection Exercise 
1. Describes ways in which you carry Imago Dei (the image of God)
2. Describes ways in which you represent God’s likeness, His witness to the world around you

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Courage and Partnership

Friday, April 09, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



1 Samuel 14:6 Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 7 So his armorbearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.”

This conversation between Jonathan and his armorbearer happened at a desperate time in the history of Israel. King Saul had made the tactical error to attack the Philistines with 3000 men, but they were met by 30,000 Philistines. The outcome was tragic:

When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead." 1 Samuel 13:6 -7

Fear and panic paralyzed the army of Israel as some hid themslves and others ran away. What followed was an act of courage by Jonathan with the support of his unnamed armor bearer. Jonathan took the decision to go up alone against the Philistines, believing that God could work with few as well as with many. As important as Jonathan’s courage was the response of partnership by the armor bearer who said, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.”

You can read about the victorious outcome of this courageous act in 1 Samuel chapter 14, but note how victory and encouragement for others began with a singular act of courage and partnership. Support, love, and commitment are the beginning and sustaining of great works for God!

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What is a Christian Worldview? Does It Help or Hinder?

Wednesday, April 07, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



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Romans 12:2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Colossians 3:17, And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 2:8, See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. A worldview is a set of ideas, values, and presuppositions. It’s like putting on a pair of sunglasses that color how you view life, people, and ideas. People collect little pieces of their worldview through parents, school, movies, and friends. A Christian worldview is based on the Bible. https://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/what-is-christian-worldview/ Their worldview was one of the reasons why white churches of the 18th and 19th centuries did not work to end slavery (while many individual White believers did work to end slavery). In fact, many believed the Bible affirmed slavery and the inferior status of persons of African descent (which was part of their worldview at that time.)

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“It is done” Because Jesus said “It is finished.”

Tuesday, April 06, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

 






Philippians 3:10, That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…

John 19:28, After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

We can say “It is done” Because Jesus said “It is finished.”

#1 - Jesus finished the endless cycle of Jewish sacrifices and created the path to redemption

#2 - Jesus finished access to God the Father.

#3 - Jesus finished the endless cycle of guilt and self-condemnation.

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Jesus Is Risen! You Can Rise Too!

Sunday, April 04, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

 


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The Inertia of the Christian Worldview

Saturday, April 03, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



NOTE: This post is part of an ongoing exploration of the topic.

"The abolitionist movement ended the physical oppression of slavery. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s changed the laws of our nation and made overt forms of discrimination illegal. The emerging civil rights movement is concerned with dismantling systemic racism." ~ Ally Henny

Reflecting on these remarkable human rights achievements reminded me of something lacking in the practice of Christianity among many churches and Christians. Those of us who follow Jesus Christ as Lord take action in society, sometimes unrelated to preaching, as part of our spiritual and civic lifestyle. We also call it "social justice." Many do not act because of an error in thinking social action, or social justice, is inconsistent with biblical faith. This is one of the reasons why white churches of the 18th and 19th centuries did not work to end slavery (while many individual White believers did work to end slavery). In fact, in the 18th and 19th centuries many believed the Bible affirmed slavery and the inferior status of persons of African descent (which was part of their worldview at that time.)

This is part of the reason why white churches of the 20th and 21st centuries remain largely ineffective and silent concerning injustice or dealing with issues such as white supremacy. Many condemn social activism and concepts such as anti-racism, Black lives matter, Critical Race Theory, protesting voter suppression, the "woke" movement, and more.

In the 19th century, Christ Followers, such as Frederick Douglass, acting as citizens  empowered by God's grace (not as church members) "agitated" for change in society based on Constitutional provisions--though the Constitution was not originally designed to serve the interests of African Americans. 

A young Black man once asked an old black man what could be done to preserve and enhance the rights of black people. The old man, Frederick Douglass, an internationally known orator, had just one word of advice: "Agitate." (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1988/11/04/the-word-was-agitate/145738e8-5b66-4152-9bba-270956c4d4fd/)

Frederick Douglass also said, 
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both." (1867)

Much of the silence and inaction of white churches has resulted from the inertia of decades and centuries of building frameworks, and worldviews, that reject "secular" practices which have proved to be highly effective in society. Examples include protest, civil disobedience, and speaking out against injustice. By contrast, these were regular practices among what we call "Black churches" in the 20th Century.

So, we need to challenge frameworks and worldviews that cause churches and Christians to be ineffective, silent, and resistant to proven methods. Everything does not have to be strictly "biblical" to be helpful and effective in the larger society. 

Much of my research of the Christian, or biblical, worldview has demonstrated its application in encouraging students and church members to adopt a preset dogma while characterizing (or mis-characterizing) other worldviews as harmful. 

This statement from a Christian homeschool resources website advertises a book offered to prepare students to guard against harmful conscience and "subconscious" worldviews, like a virus,  such as "blameism" and "conformism." (which are made-up words)

The final chapter touches on the potential influence of other worldviews on you. For example, do you consciously or subconsciously embrace scientism, technicism, hedonism, individualism, consumerism, blameism, or conformism?  http://homeschoolingteen.com/article/introduction-christian-worldview/

There is the narrative that everyone is operating from a worldview, which contributes to the notion of "competing worldviews" or a type of "war of worldviews" in which the Christian faith is perceived as under attack. 

From Union University, a Southern Baptist Convention college:
A worldview must seek to answer questions like: 
• Where did we come from?
• Who are we? 
• What has gone wrong with the world? 
• What solution can be offered to fix it?  

In addition, a worldview must seek to answer the key questions of life, whether the general implications or specific applications.  It is to these foundational questions and attending issues that we now turn our attention.  
A Christian worldview is a coherent way of seeing life, of seeing the world distinct from deism, naturalism and materialism (whether in its Darwinistic, humanistic, or Marxist forms), existentialism, polytheism, pantheism, mysticism, or deconstructionist postmodernism. Such a theistic perspective provides bearings and direction. (From Shaping a Christian Worldview: An Introduction)  https://www.uu.edu/centers/faculty/teaching/article.cfm?ID=364)

Within a different context, the Apostle Paul wrote,  "For we can do nothing against the truth, only for the truth." (2 Corinthians 13:8) God's truth is stronger than we seem to believe. A foundation of biblical truth, and relationship with Christ, are stronger than outside influences.
We should acknowledge that the missional work of preaching the Gospel, leading people to Christ, and making disciples is different than taking social action, or practicing social justice, whether ending slavery in the past, securing civil rights for Black people, or dealing with white supremacy in the present.

We can do both by the grace of God, but we can no longer be guided by frameworks or worldviews that limit what we SHOULD do. The Christian faith does not effectively address every facet of life for everyone, everywhere (as history has demonstrated). The Bible and Christ shapes our lives so that we can use every resource to help others.  

JUSTICE = RIGHTEOUSNESS

Bryan Hudson, D.Min.

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