Eastside Baptist Church
- Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God’s Royal Priests by Edward T. Welch“In God’s Image” (Chapter 2)26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”We are created in God’s own image.To bear his image is to be like him and have the capacity to grow in a relationship with him.All creation is made to reflect God’s glory, but we are like him in every way a finite creature can be like him.Not Just PharaohIn the Egyptian religion, Pharaoh was an “image” of the gods. Everyone else was a servant or slave to Pharaoh as the representative of the gods.In biblical theology, all human beings were created to be “images” of God, each designed to relate to their Creator God.3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.Images of the FatherAs a child reflects the likeness of the parent, so we reflect the likeness of our Creator God. We are his offspring.We experience a likeness or kinship to God that uniquely qualifies us for a relationship with him.“We can represent him to the world, we can participate in his purposes, and we can imitate him. Of all creation, we share the closest kinship with God, so we alone can know him and be known by him in the most intimate of ways.”We alone have the capacity to live in God and he in us.5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.We are priests, the very offspring of God, who share in his likeness.Our Priestly MissionWith Eden as the epicenter, we were sent out to tame the untamed world. We were called to claim it for the Lord, work it, and keep it. There was much to do.Our mission was to imitate him and represent him on earth.“Be Fruitful”In reproducing image bearers of God, we were called to expand the boundaries of Eden to the ends of the earth - to fill the earth with the glory of the Lord.The New Testament image is disciple-making: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations...” (Matt. 28:19).“Not Yet Dressed” (Chapter 3)“Naked and Not Ashamed”God always intended to dress us.The announcement that Adam and Eve were “naked and not ashamed” points to the need for clothing that would come with maturity.Royal RobesWhen kings ascend to their thrones, they were majestic garments.When priests were installed they were invested with royal robes.With new status comes new clothes.Humanity’s task was to grow in wisdom, and with wisdom would come investiture and robes of righteousness.Beauty and GloryBeauty is a part of the priestly package. If we are close to God, it can be no other way.As humanity matured into its mission, their role would be manifested in adorned beauty.10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.The path toward this beautification was straightforward:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”This was the path toward beauty, honor, and communion with God. Do this and truly live.“The path man chose veered from this path, but the beautification project continued nonetheless because it did not rely on man’s obedience and best efforts but solely on God’s pursuit.”
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