Back to the Image of the Father!

This one is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me!   If you've been around church or church people for any length of time, you've no doubt heard someone say "Oh, I'm just a sinner saved

This one is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me!  

If you’ve been around church or church people for any length of time, you’ve no doubt heard someone say “Oh, I’m just a sinner saved by grace!”  They usually say it in a “woe is me” voice.  Like Eeyore, from Winnie The Pooh.  There’s so much false humility that oozes out of these statements that it makes me want to puke!

Sometimes they follow it up with a statement like, “I don’t know why God would love me.”  Or “I’m just so lucky God took pity on me.”  Or “I’m just a blind beggar that God took pity upon.”

UGH!  Makes me cringe every time.

Folks, stop!  This is NOT the Christian life.

These kind of statements lead to a sin-conscious life, where we can’t quite figure out why God loves us, and we spend our lives going to church on Sunday and even midweek services on Wednesday or Thursday or Saturday night because he think we don’t measure up, God must be disappointed with us and we need redeemed yet again.  It leads to sermons that spend the first 30 minutes telling us how bad we are and how much we need saved week after week after week.

I remember a sermon series once at our local church that was about 6 weeks long.  Each week it was like they hit the reset button and even though we left the prior week being saved, healed, restored, fully set free, by the time we walked in the next week they were telling us how miserable and terrible we must be again for 30 minutes!  I was so confused and finally stopped going to that series by about week 5.

If you’ve ever felt the same way, take heart!  I have a good message for you!  Good news!  In fact, THE Good News of the Gospel is so much more freeing!  We do NOT have an Eeyore Gospel.  We are to live full of life, and life more abundantly!

We are NOT supposed to live sin-conscious lives.  We are supposed to be image bearers of Christ, broadcasting His light to the world around us!  You can’t do that when you’re self-focused and sin-focused.

Let’s go back to the beginning.  You have to understand in the beginning God created us in His image.  It’s so important, he told us twice:

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  – Genesis 1:27

We were created to bear God’s image on the Earth!

When Adam ate the apple and sin entered the world, that all changed.  God told Adam if he ate the fruit of the tree, he would surely die.  Did Adam fall over dead when he ate the fruit?  No!  But he was supposed to die.  So what died?  The image!  In the next verse, we see Adam hiding and suddenly conscious of his sin.

Since the Garden of Eden, God has been working to restore us back to His image!  The good news of the Gospel is that we are now fully restored back to the image of the Father!  Christ IN us, the hope of glory!

So does this mean we don’t have to confess our sins?  Of course not!  It just means we don’t live there.  We don’t camp out there.  It’s not our IDENTITY.  Confession of sins is what allows us to have our identity restored to the image of the Father!  It means we don’t wake up in the morning trying not to sin.  No – we wake up in the morning looking more like our Father!  If we sin, we confess it and we move on.  Guilt, condemnation and shame are not from God, they are from the Devil.

I can hear some of you as you’re reading this thinking about 1 John 1, saying careful there buddy, what about this verse: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  1 John 1:8.  But please read on!  Have you read the very next verse?  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9.

Over and over in the Bible we see that same theme.  Living totally set free!  Totally restored!  Purified!  No where in the Bible does it say you’re back to Square 1 again every Sunday morning.  No, we are to be fully set free living in boldness and broadcasting the image of Christ to the world.  Life and life more abundantly!  The kingdom of God advancing and the violent taking it by force!

When people look at us, they should see Christ in us!  Not “just a sinner saved by grace”.

That’s not high and mighty thinking.  That’s not arrogant thinking.  We are to broadcast the Father’s image, not our own.  It’s not about us, it’s about multiplying his image across the Earth!

No one can deliver this message better than Pastor Dan Mohler.  Here are two of his messages that absolutely make this whole topic crystal clear.  Buckle up, you’re in for a ride!  I guarantee you, after watching just 5 minutes of either of these messages, you’ll never even think of yourself as “just a sinner saved by grace” ever again.  You’ll be transformed into who God made you to be and restored you to be!

Please enjoy and then SHARE this article with your friends!  I promise you, someone needs to hear this message.

 

 

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