20 comments on “The Image of God and the Apostle Paul

  1. I have been studying a long time with a Muslim in Uzbekistan. I always use John 1 as my explanation of God the Father and Son being interchangeable and one, not three Gods as Muslims claim we believe. He wrote this to me just now: “Faith is belief and trust. I believe and trust God as our Creator and Judge. I believe in Jesus Christ, in whose body, God walked and talked to people; taught them about God; told them how to tell good from bad; and showed the right way to God.”

    • Wow!

      The Holy Spirit is doing a mighty work in this Katheryn; we are so fortunate to have so many like you who allow Him to work through them! There is a lesson for the rest of us in this; thank you so much for telling us about it!

  2. That is why, in my studies in the Old Testament, I try to understand the life, culture and mindset of the Old Testament Jews, so that I see as “normal” what WAS “normal” to them. It is also helpful in sorting out the difference between what was “sinful” and what made a person “ceremonially-unclean”. We often confuse those, making what made a person “ceremonially-unclean” – “sinful”, even if God commanded it.

    Blessings!

    Steve

      • I am also bring the historical-background of events into our studies in John’s Gospel. Last week, we looked at the Wedding in Cana, and I brought in some background about why the large stone jars were there, for ceremonial-purification. Yesterday, we looked at Passover, when Jesus cleansed the Temple, so we looked back at the original Passover-event and its institution as an annual-feast, and then I gave them some background on the Temple itself. These events have much more meaning to us if we understand the historical-context in which they occurred.

        Blessings!

        Steve

    • REALLY good point. Ceremonially unclean and sin were not the same thing at all. That’s something I never really took the time to connect, at least not explicitly. I’ve moved through the idea in my teaching, but only touched on it implicitly.

    • I thank you for bringing to light those verses in the OT that speak of an individual being “ceremonially-unclean.” When I was studying the sacrifices and offerings, I slowed down my studying and research in order to gain insight into what this meant too.

  3. Pingback: The Image of God and the Apostle Paul | A disciple's study

  4. I just completed a biblical historical novel in my “Intrepid Men of God” series entitled, “Paul: The Unstoppable.” I cannot come close to comparing myself to him, but do have to say with Jeremiah, “I cannot hold it in.”

  5. I think my struggle with Paul’s use of flesh and spirit has always stemmed from my Western “filter” translating “flesh” into “physical” and “spirit” into “insubstantial”. I’m probably not alone in that, but the epiphany I had in re-framing it into a flesh/spirit whole and the problem being which one I give preference to was a shock to my mind. I’m still struggling out of my Western mental cocoon, and my wings are wet, but I’m getting there. I’ll probably have a different way of referring to it in a few days.

  6. Having a clear-understanding of how we are created in God’s image is crucial to my ability to minister where and how I do. I couldn’t do ministry there if I was stuck in my old mind-set.

  7. Some good points made in your posting.
    A verse of Scripture that is not often quoted is the following: Romans 8:7 ‘Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’.
    Comes as a bit of a shock to some people!

    Generally speaking, it would appear that Human Nature/Human Spirit – OF ITSELF- is not created, initially, to understand or to even interest itself in the Laws of our Creator. It would appear that we are not able to start on the journey of renewal until such times as we are ‘called’ (John 6:44).

    The carnal mind of Mankind would appear to be incomplete – it only sees the things of this world. The spiritual world is a mystery – although the occult world (the world of the ‘god of this world’) appears to be very attractive to the carnal mind.

    We have, however, just like Adam, been given the ability to freely choose which path we take in life.

    • Thank you for your comments; I think it would be helpful to our readers if you would discuss the context in which the Romans and John verses you mention fall within and how that relates to your application.

  8. I have already written an updated provisional posting regarding ‘Human Nature’ that I am considering publishing on my own blog. It is rather long and not really appropriate as a comment on your own posting. However, I can send an URL to your site when published if that would be agreeable to you?

    I hasten to add that I am not attempting to advertise my own blog on your site.

    I always keep one particular verse of Scripture in mind when writing my own postings or making a comment on another person’s: Math.24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    There is a plan for humankind and the framework of that plan is revealed through a study of God’s annual and weekly Sabbath Days – which most Christian churches do not observe – being rather more inclined to celebrate their man-made ’holy’ days.

    The Gospel is to be preached as a witness (which will be proved to be true in the coming future) and not in an effort to convert everyone now or in the past. That is why we need faith – if we already knew the truth we would not need faith!

    Regards

    John Graham

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