The Walk Applied: THE NEW CREATION
THE SPIRITUAL IDENTITY:
THE NEW CREATION
What does it mean to be a Christian? In today’s society, ask anyone who defines themselves to be a Christian, and you’ll likely get many different answers. The Bible teaches us that to be a Christian is to be a born-again believer who maintains an ongoing faithful relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus. Some might simply say they are a follower of Jesus Christ. But what does that mean to us on a practical, day to day, basis? How do we translate that to something that’s really meaningful? Is it a concept we can express in a few words such that it will take on real meaning for us? Let’s start by looking at the “Christian identity”. In Christian circles, it won’t take very long before you start hearing terminology such as “your Christian identity” or “your identity is found in Jesus” or “your spiritual Identity”.
THE IMAGE OF GOD: “IMAGO DEI”
Recall that we were made in the image of God: The “Imago Dei”: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27)
The phrase “male and female he created them” is crucial here. It’s maintained that both male and female are “separate” images of God. Only when we are united together under the marital covenant are we a complete image of God. Otherwise, why would He tell us that the two have become one? Given the complex differences between a man and a woman, it makes sense that each gender has some qualities of God, but not all. A perplexing scripture is Mark 10:
”A man … is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. " (Mark 10:6-9)
This scripture, even though it differentiates between Man and Woman, still supports the idea that together, we get a complete image of God. The passage points out that even though the sexes are different, they are inextricably tied. Because the woman came after the man, she is to the glory of man because she came from the man. Yet, the scripture makes it plain that we are both of one another.
The significance of being made in the image of God is a profound notion. It’s the reason why we “sense” there’s a spiritual realm outside of us. It’s why we just “know” there’s something else that’s beyond what we see. Even as children, we feared the dark after Mom or Dad turned out the lights. Many of us just “knew” there was that awful monster under bed or in the closet – who couldn’t get to us as long as we were under the covers!
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N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive Christian commentary on this blog on a regular basis. He has been the Director of Godly Training Ministries since 1993. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the forthcoming book: "The Walk Applied". He has been married to Kathy since 1985. They have 2 adult daughters and an extraordinary son-in-law.
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