The word gospel means good news and it really is good news!
Made in God's Image
God said "Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness...
then God blessed them, and God said to them
"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;
have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air,
and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
The first two pages of the Bible tell us that humans were made in God's image. This means that we were created to enjoy relationship with Him, to reflect His character here on earth and to rule with Him. To be made in God's image also means that each human has intrinsic worth and value.
Psalm 8v5 tells us that God crowned humanity with “glory and honour”. We are the crown of God’s creation. As image of God we are relational beings, made to know God, know one another and know ourselves. We are moral beings, made to reflect God’s gracious and holy character through our thoughts, words and deeds. We are stewards, made to rule over creation with love and justice.
The Image of God Shattered
"Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
The third page of the Bible shows us how that beautiful image was shattered. Humanity broke God's clear commandment. We chose to listen to another creature instead of the Creator. Rather than ruling over the creatures, we allowed a creature to tempt us to rebellion.
This rebellion separated us and continues to separate us from God. Although we still understand good and bad, we are rebels who choose to do what is wrong. We lost our stewardship of earth and, instead of ruling over the earth, we lower ourselves to worship creation - to find fulfilment and pleasure in it, instead of in knowing God.
The many pages after Genesis 3 show us the terrible consequences of this rebellion; injustice, cruelty, idolatry and rebellion. Humans turn their backs on God and they stop treating each other with worth and value.
As well as showing us the continuous downfall of humanity into rebellion, the Bible also promises us that someone will come and fix it all. This someone will be a person who restores humanities relationship with God and with each other.
Christ, the Exact Image
His Son...who being the brightness of His glory
and the express image of His person
As we read the Bible it keeps showing us people that almost fulfil this promise; people like Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon. However, just as we begin to think that they might be the one who will fix it, they rebel too. We are left disappointed, but hopeful. Someone is coming, someone who is like these men, but will not fail like them.
Then Jesus comes. John 1v1 explains that Jesus is God. Hebrews 1v3 tells us that He is the exact image of God. This is beyond our wildest dreams! Not only has God sent someone to fix this; He has come Himself.
Christ perfectly represented God. He lived in right relationship with God and with others. He resisted sin and showed His authority over all creation through His miracles.
Christ, as the perfect human and perfect image of God surrendered His life for us, the broken ones. He died our death, taking our deserved punishment for our rebellion. He rose again and offers restored humanity to all who will come to Him by faith. He has the power to put the shattered image back together again.
The Image of God Restored
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5v17
Jesus Christ now offers restored relationship with God to us as a gift that He paid for through His death and resurrection. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10v9).
The forgiveness of sins, the broken relationship restored, the shattered image fixed; all of this is given to us if we come to God through faith in Jesus.
Here’s the great part. Not only does He restore us back to what we were before sin, He actually makes us better. There is an art form in Japan called Kintsugi (see picture above). Essentially, it takes a vase, or bowl, or plate that has been broken and puts it back together again using gold as the adhesive. This means that, not only is the item restored, but it is actually worth more than it ever was. Those who have come to God for restoration have Christ living in them. They are made part of a new creation.
The Image of God Complete
Beloved, we are God's children now,
and what we will be has not yet appeared;
but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
because we shall see him as he is.
(1 John 3v2)
Christians, however, still sin. We still stumble into rebellion. We still fail to reflect God's perfect character. Although we are now part of new creation, we are still also part of the old creation.
The beautiful promise is that, one day, when Jesus returns, He will transform us completely. We will be like Him. We will be the image of God complete. We will be new creation in its fulness. We will never experience temptation or rebellion again. We will never have broken relationships again. We will never experience the consequences of the fall again.
Now this is good news! Thank you for taking the time to read through this. We would love for you to experience the same forgiveness and restoration that we experienced when we came to God through Christ.
Please let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to know more.