We need a robust doctrine of the image of God (Trillia Newbell).
1. The Original Creation. What does it mean that we are made in the image of Good.
Gen 1:26-27 In our image after our likeness.
What exactly does “image” mean? Dominion? Communicable characteristics of God? Love? Focus here on the basics.
*It sets us apart from all of the rest of God’s creation. We are priceless and irreplaceable. By God’s design we reflect God’s image. Male and female and whatever skin color. Gender is a DIVINE construct.
CS Lewis. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…It is immortals with whom we journey.
We have never met mere mortals.
Racial reconciliation begins with the habit of seeing one another as possessors of the imago dei and possessors of the value infused by God.
Requires skill and practice. The renewing of our minds with regard to racial identity. We tend to avoid those who are not like us, as a natural act. We need to renew our minds to on the basis of reconciliation thinking. We must break stereotypes.
2. The distorted image. Creation. Sin.
This is not the world as God made it. Genesis 3. The Serpent tempts our human parents and they sin, subjecting all of creation and history to the effects of sin. Genesis 4. Cain murders Abel. Gen 4:19, Polygamy. Genesis 6 and humanity is destroyed.
What happened to the image of God? Genesis 9:6 recalled them into understanding image. The image is distorted by not lost.
When we come to racial reconciliation, we have to take sin seriously. It can’t be done by practical Pelagians or those who deny human depravity. You cannot educate people out of racism. You cannot do in human strength what can only be done by the redemption of God.
Sin must be dealt with and removed. How can Christians pull down the blinds and turn out the lights on this discussion? To be called racist is horrible and no one wants to risk that. But we have to accept the fact that our hearts are wicked and the darkness dwells within us. The gospel frees us to tell the truth about what lurks in our hearts and then it deals with it.
the church is so often impotent because it is unable to confess its sins or admit them. Do we do better by pretending?
If racism does not exist it would be the first sin that has been eradicated by human effort. No, it lurks in every heart and even where we have victory over it we are not free from it. We must set a guard over our hearts. Denying sin does not lead to victory. We must take seriously the reality of sin.
3. The recreated image of God in redemption.
In Christ, the image is recreated. It is Christ who will win the battle! That is what he did at the Cross. He killed the hostility that divided Jew and Gentile. Racial animosity cannot stand against the power of Christ.
Ephesians 4:17 No longer walk as Gentiles do. 18. Gentiles are darkened and alienated. but that is not how you learned Christ- assuming you were taught in him. New man is created after the likeness of God.
What the fall distorted, Christ restores.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death what is earthly in you. v7 In these once you walked. Verse 9 new self being renewed after the image of the Creator. In this there is not races, but “Christ is all and in all.”
You cannot be a Christian and be opposed to the reconciliation of the Body of Christ. It is part and parcel of the work of Christ. Reconciliation is not an implication of the Cross it is the Work of the Cross. It’s primary to the work of Christ, not secondary or tertiary.
This country’s greatest sin has been racism. So we need to address the issue in churches. We need to make it an issue. If we hold one another accountable. We are weak when the Fergusons erupt.
4. The Final bearing of the Image of God.
Glorification. 1 John 3:1-3. that we should become children of God. We are now, and what we will be has not appeared, but when he appears we shall be LIKE HIM. This is both your identity and your destiny. You are God’s child now. A fact. One day, it will get even better. Seeing Christ will actually make us like him. The work will be completed.
Today the work progresses, then it will be completed.
Racial Reconciliation rests on this basis. You’ve never seen a mere mortal!