You Are An Image Bearer (Dr. Aaron Glover)






You were created to bear the image of God, but sin distorted that image. Jesus’ finished work on the cross is able to restore you to that image if you’ll just receive His salvation by faith.





Sermon Audio Transcript
Did anybody see anything strange yesterday when they went outside and anybody noticed that things look a little bit different. I yesterday I went, I went to the gym and I came out. And everything looked like there was just like a strange tint, it was almost like looking through a tinted window in a car. You know if there was just something odd and if you looked on the ground, if you looked at shadows of leaves, instead of being the shape that they normally are, everything seemed to be in like this almost like half moon kind of shape. You know, the sun was still exactly where it always is shining in the sky. But something had altered the view. Because of the eclipse, the sun was still shining just as brightly. But the moon the way everything lined up, hindered. And suddenly the images that we normally see everything looked different. And just to be honest, it's just kind of strange, isn't it? I can see how people long ago might have thought there was something really wrong with the Earth at a time like that, if they didn't know, kind of the science behind everything. But it parallels with the message that was laid on my heart to bring to y'all this week, how things can distort the image and make things appear different than what they actually are. Now, let me ask you a question. As we dive into this, how many of you have ever seen a child that looks exactly like their parents? I'm talking about the little boy who's a carbon copy of his dad, or the little girl who's a carbon copy of her mother or even vice versa. When you look at these kinds of children, and we've all seen them throughout life, you you have no question Who that kid belongs to right? There's no doubt in your mind where that kid came from. I happen to know this because I've got a son just like that. His name is Carter. I mean, boy, even especially when we're dressed up like this dressed in the same outfit on Easter. That boy looks just like me. Now. This is a picture from whenever he and I were both in kindergarten. And when you look at these photos, right, you see, he bears a family resemblance to his father. There's no question about who his dad is. We don't need a DNA test. We don't need to see Maury, we know who this boy's father is right? I don't need it. I am the Father. He bears my image. And now this physical truth also parallels a great spiritual truth. My son bears our family resemblance. Just like me up here singing with her mother. For those of you who don't know, Mia, the young lady right here, standing by my wife, Emily, Mother Daughter, they look just like each other. But me has got a leg up meow can sing just like her mother. Goodness, I wish I got that from somebody in my family. But when we see this in our children, when we see this in people, this physical truth parallels one of the greatest spiritual truths in our lives. That humanity was made to bear the image of our Heavenly Father. We were made to bear the image of God to all of creation, to shine His glory, everywhere we go. When God created us, He created us to be displays of who he is. So let me ask you this question this morning. When people look at you, what do they see? Now go beyond the physical attributes, the the traits, the characteristics, the features go into that spiritual realm, when people see you living your life. What do they see? Do they see your family resemblance to your heavenly Father? Because they should. In fact, that's the way that we were created to be we're going to talk about that here in a minute. We were actually created to be that we are different from all of creation in that. The truth is, is that you as a human being man, woman, child, old, young, doesn't matter. You are an image bearer. It was always intended to be that way from the beginning. God designed us that way. We broke and shattered and damaged that through sin, which God fixed and made new in Jesus. And then he calls us to bear that redeemed image in Christ. But the truth is, you bear one of two images Do you either bear the image of God that was fallen and shattered through sin that has not been fixed or redeemed, the image of God, it's still there. It's just scarred, marred and broken. You still have dignity, you still have value. But that image no longer shines and shows the way it should. You either bear that image, or you bear the image of Christ Jesus, who has redeemed, renewed and restored the full image of God, and each and every one of us who believe in Him. And there's no middle ground. You either bear the image of the broken or you bear the image of the restored. And we're going to find out today which one you bear. And you need to know this as well. This right here, when I'm talking about the image of God, when we go back to looking at the purpose, the original intent of man, people ask the question, what is humanity here for what's the purpose of life, you've got to go back to the source back to the Creator. And when God made humanity made us different from everything else. And don't get me wrong, everything else in creation was good. You go through the first few days, everything is good, everything is good, everything is good. But when he makes man he gets to that and he said, he is very good. And there's something different about humanity. There's something different about humanity. We are the only things in creation, that are said to bear his image. And God's original design and plan. He wanted us to be His perfect representatives to all of creation. Let's read Genesis one beginning in verses 26 and 27. Genesis one says this. And then God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and over the livestock and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Verse 27, and so God created man, in his own image, and the image of God, He created them, male and female, He created them. Guys, this is a striking crescendo in the creation account. Nothing in all of creation is like God, but us. The final stamp on creation, was God making us after his image? Could you have a higher honor? Could you be made more beautiful, more wonderful than to be made in the image of Almighty God? like Emily said, who created everything? One more could we ask for? What more could we need? And when we look at Adam and Eve, let's let's go into the garden and let's look at them before sin. We have Adam. We have Eve together in His image. He made them male and female, He created them. We look at them before the fall. They're sinless. They're innocent. They're pure. They're ruling over all of creation. They live in harmony with all things. They are upright in every way. There's no sin. There's no shame. No death. There's no hiding. No fear, no punishment. That's the life God intended for us to have. That's what God created us for. We weren't made for sin and death and destruction. We were made for God, but we chose to sin. When we were tempted in the garden, Adam took of that fruit and that once shining image of God was shattered into 1000 pieces. Have you ever looked into a mirror? That's just absolutely perfect. You look in that mirror and when a mirror is perfect, what do you see? You see yourself exactly as you are. You see the image reflecting back to you just in the right way. But what happens if I took a hammer and I smashed that mirror?It's crap. achten shattered and pieces falling out missing. It's a mirror. But now when I gaze at it, the image is distorted. The image is shattered parts look in the different parts of the face. It reflects different ways. Some things look smaller, some things aren't there. It's broken. This is what sin did to the image of God in us. Like I mentioned, we still have dignity and value and worth and purpose. But what we were called to be as the image bearers of God was no longer shining forth the way it should have. And when we look upon Adam and Eve after their sin, after the effects of the curse of the fall, here's what we see. And instead of innocence, we see guilt. Instead of purity, we see pollution. Instead of life, we see death. And instead of the freedom we were given by God, we find slavery to sin.That's a pretty sad story. But God, being rich in mercy, and with his great love for us, did not want to leave us that way.You look throughout the Old Testament, you see stories of people, and good, faithful people, you see stories of man trying to make things right. But time after time, after time after time, we see no one can get it just quite right. It's kind of like when our children make a mess in the house, that's an accident happens, they make a mess. And being the sweet little kids they are they want to come and help clean up the mess. But as they're in their flurry of cleaning, they actually end up making the mess worse, and you're like, I just go I'll take care of this. You get out of here. I'll take care of this. It's not so much different with the gospel. In all honesty, we made a mess of things. And us trying to clean it up on our own just makes things worse. And God's like, hang on, buddy, I got you. Let me clean this up, right. Let me do this right. And that's exactly what he did through His Son, Christ Jesus. God, the Son, the second member of the Trinity, became a man just like you and me. He felt pain he suffered, he was tempted. He was tried just like us, one of us. And he lived among us. But there was something different about him. When we look at the life of David, we find sin when we look at Abraham, we find sin. When we look at any of the Old Testament, patriarchs, we still find sin and lack and fallenness. But Jesus. Something is different about Jesus. When we look at his life, he was different from everyone else. His life was one without sin. He lived in this perfect relationship with his father. It was a life of love, a service, a sacrifice, a life of compassion, of helping, encouraging of healing, restoration, faithfulness. When we look at the life of Christ, what we find is the perfect image of God, on display. In everything he did, and everything he thought and everything, he said, Jesus was the perfect image of our God, where Adam had the potential, right. Adam was made innocent, Adam for God's image. But when Adam was tempted, He failed. Jesus was the actual Jesus innocent. And whenever he was tempted and tried, he over came and offered Himself as that perfect sacrifice for our sins. Paul says this and Colossians 115 that He is the image of the invisible God. Which honestly, that sounds kind of like an oxymoron, doesn't it? How do you see the image of something invisible? Doesn't but again, it's not just the physical what Paul is doing is he's tying in the physical reality the life he lived is the bearing of the spiritual truth. That the life we see in JESUS IS THAT A The perfect God, the perfect life seen on full display in him. But you might wonder how that helps us. Well, sure, Aaron, that's great that he could be perfect. But guess who still has problems? This guy? How does that help us that Jesus was the perfect image bearer of God? Don't understand. One of the greatest blessings that we receive when we become believers. The moment you believe in Christ Jesus, the moment you put your faith and your trust in Him for salvation, so many good things happen. I couldn't sit here and name them all if I had time. But I'd love to if you'd give me the time. Among them, yes, you are fully justified, declared righteous, holy and set apart. But another one, going back to our original purpose that God made us with. Another one is that we are transformed into the image of God in Christ Jesus. That image that God created us with is restored in Christ Jesus. Here's what Paul says in Second Corinthians chapter three, verse 18. This is a it's a promise, and a declaration over believers, Paul's kind of explaining to the early church believers because you got to remember the early church was made up of Jews and Gentiles, many of the other Jews who were not believers. They didn't see Christ as the Messiah. But those Jews who did come into the face, they saw Him for who He really was. And Paul says this of those who have believed that's you and me as well who have believed, he said, and we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is Spirit. What Paul is saying here is that we Christians, the veil has been removed from our eyes, we see Jesus for who He truly is not just a man, though he is truly a man, but he is also the only begotten Son of the Father, he is the Messiah, come to rescue us from sin and death, and to redeem us to our Heavenly Father, we behold the glory of the Lord, that is Christ Jesus, there is nothing more glorious than Christ Jesus. He is the fullness of God on display. And then here's what it says, not only do we behold it, right, it's one thing to see it. Wow, that's beautiful. But we see it. And the Bible declares that we are also being transformed into that same image. We behold the glory that is Christ Jesus, the beauty of God on full display. And the Bible declares that you believer are being transformed into that same image. doesn't always feel that way, though, does it? I mean, there's times whenever we look at our lives, and sometimes we, you know, we get a little proud of ourselves like, Man, I'm really looking like Jesus today. I'm doing real good. I read my I did this, I help that guy. But then there's those other days. We don't share those as much. And we feel like we're not really bearing that image as well. What I want to remind you is promises like this in Scripture, don't say if you do this thing, good enough, then you'll be transformed. Now it says you are being transformed. You need to trust that your heavenly Father knows exactly what he's doing in your life. He knows how he is growing you how he is shaping you how he is maturing you he knows how he's using everything to build you up, and conform you to the image of His Son.So every day, we as believers look a little bit more like Jesus isn't that good? We got that family resemblance, we start bearing the family resemblance to our Heavenly Father to the first born among the many brethren to Jesus and, and here's what Paul says, again, I love these words. Paul uses all this great imagery. He says it like this to the to the Colossian believers. We talk about this, this old self with the shattered image that was damaged by sin Paul says no, no. Put that one away, you don't need that anymore. says put on the new self Colossians 310 says and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge, after the image of its Creator, put on the new self which is being renewed, you're always being renewed in Christ. And it's renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. The image of Jesus, that new self. In Romans chapter eight, Paul says it like this again, another promise, the plan, the purpose, where's God taking all this? It says that for those whom he for new, which are believers, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. If you ever wonder what your destiny is what the future holds, I can't give you all the details. But I can tell you this, if you're a believer, your destiny is to be conformed into the image of Christ Jesus. That's a promise in Scripture, that you are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.That's a guarantee you can take that to the bank. We are being conformed. So here's what I want you to know. And here's how I want you to go.As humans, our original design and purpose getting back to the the beginning of things, our original design was that we were made to bear the image of God, we were supposed to be those showing God to the world. But our sin damaged that. So it was never properly displayed. And we all know even us, believers, we know times in our lives where the image of God was not properly on display, we know that it was shattered within us. But Christ has restored us. He has given us that new image through His life, death and resurrection. And now as Christians, we have been made new to bear the image of him who has freed us from sin, and death. We have been made new to shine the life and the light of Christ into all creation. So how do we do that? I mean, that's a great calling. It's a mighty calling. It's a promise given to us from God. What's it look like? Right? What does it look like to actually see this on our every day life? Well, let's go back to pastor Jason's recent sermon series. The one another series last week, we talked about serving one another. Look at the life of Christ, whenever he came, the King of kings, the Lord of lords humbled Himself and took the form of a servant. When you serve one another, you are showing Christ to the world, because Christ was a servant. Talk about accepting one another. We never read a story in the Scripture whenever someone comes to Jesus faithfully and him turning them away. Now Jesus accepts every single person who comes to Him in faith. Shouldn't we then accept everyone who comes in faith? And when we accept one another, when we don't regard them based on their their status, or their income, or their education or their achievements, or their this or that, when we accept people? Aren't we then displaying the glory of God to the world? When we encourage one another, doesn't Christ encouraged us constantly the Holy Spirit uplifting and building us up encouraging us as well? When we encourage one another, we're putting Jesus and God the Holy Spirit on full display. Just like when we forgive one another, and I won't lie that's that's for me. That's the hardest one. Yeah. So hardest. It's easy to talk about forgiveness, it's hard to walk in. But forgiving people when they wronged you, I think that puts God on display like nothing else. And we forgive because we've been forgiven. In the same way, we should love because we too have been loved. We were called to love one another just as God loves you while you were yet his enemy, Christ died for you. The New Testament is filled with so many examples of what this looks like to display the life the love and the glory. of Christ to bear God's image. But if I had to summarize that I kind of liked to take big complicated things and make them real simple and easy. Okay?Here's what I would say. If you look to Christ, people will see Christ when they look at you. If you look to Christ, people will see Christ when they look to you.How to handle that difficult person, look to Christ. How to handle this hard situation, look to Christ. What do I do about this or that look to Christ, looking to Christ at all times, and I promise you, people will begin to see Christ, when they look at you. And where we want saw sin and death, we will see newness, we will see life, we will see the image of God on full display because like I said earlier, you are an image bear. You were made to display the glory of God to all creation. And believers, I want you to know, this is absolutely true of every single one of you. You may not realize that you may not feel like that. But it is absolutely true. If you have believed in Jesus, then you have received every bit of this blessing. You've been transformed, you are being transformed, you are being renewed in the image of Christ. Now go walk in a manner worthy of that. Put Christ on full display for the world to see, to love to glorify and turn to. So that when people look at you, they see your heavenly family resemblance. They see your heavenly Father. They see your brother Jesus. But for anyone else who's not yet believed. This isn't true of you yet. The good news is, is that the invitation is open to every single person who will turn to Him and believe but if you have not believed in Jesus, then you're not yet forgiven. You're not redeemed, you've not been made new. And that image that you were supposed to bear is still shattered and broken. And there's nothing that you can do to fix it. There's nothing you can achieve nothing you can give nothing you can do to fix that brokenness, but you can turn to Christ. And he will fix everything and make it brand new. So let's go back to my original question. Like I said, you're an image bearer. So what do people see when they look at you? Do they see the image of the broken the fallen, the shattered? Or do they see the image of the redeemed? The forgiven, the beloved, the made new in Christ? Let's pray.