Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Imaging God

How does unauthorized idol worship harm humanity? It results in a defacing, so that humans do not appropriately bear the glorious image of God to creation. That is, when a person is truly acting as the image of God, he or she serves as a genuine contact point between God and creation, mediating God’s presence to creation (including other humans and all other creatures). But when a person worships false idols, the capacity to serve in this way is undermined. The glory of God that the image is to radiate has become distorted. So other humans, animals, plants, and the rest of the earth fail to experience God’s sovereignty through that human as God would desire it to be exercised, and the creation falls into corruption. As Paul puts it, “The creation waits eagerly for the revelation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19). And why? Because it is awaiting the fullness of the glory of the children of God as they reign alongside the Son (Rom. 8:17; cf. Col. 3:4; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:6). In fact, it is in association with the “freedom of the glory of the children of God” that creation is finally “released from its bondage to decay” (Rom. 8:21). In short, if I fail to act as the full image of God, then my neighbors, family, pets, livestock, and the places on the earth over which I have royal stewardship will be bereft of God’s life—giving, wise, ordered rule. 152

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