A New Image

June 15, 2015

                                                 A New Image

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18).

Many people spend money on products that promise to improve their image.  Some claim that they will make them look 20 years younger.  Others say, “Wrinkles be gone!” Perhaps some cosmetics are capable of doing that.  There is nothing wrong with the desire to have a better image.

God also wants to improve our image.  That is what the text of this article is all about.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit God is capable of giving us a better image.  What God offers isn’t so much a new outward appearance.  It has to do with the impression we make on others around us by the way we conduct ourselves.  This also is greatly to be desired.

This change is brought about when we let the Holy Spirit do his work in our lives.  It is his desire to produce in us the image of Christ.  That is brought about, in large part, by having the mind of Christ.  I Corinthians 2:16 says that our thinking can be Christ like.  “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

The way we think has a powerful impact on what we do.  If we think like Christ, we will act like him.  In the verse of our text we are told to behold the glory of the Lord.  Christ should be our mentor.  A mentor is someone we look up to, and seek to follow his example.  We all need mentors.  Any human mentor we chose is certain to have some vices.  We need to recognize vices in our mentors and follow only that which is good about them.  When we look to Jesus as our mentor, we are looking at one who has no vices.  He is perfect.  That doesn’t mean we don’t need earthly mentors.  Human mentors are an example to us regarding the proper way to live in this world filled with irrational and immoral behavior.  In Hebrews 12:2 we are told to look unto Jesus.  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

By looking to Christ we take on his image.  It isn’t his physical image.  We don’t know what his physical image was.  Some of the images that are drawn of the face of Jesus are almost repulsive.  I certainly wouldn’t want to have a face like that.  In Matthew 16:24 Jesus asked us to follow him.  “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

The result of beholding the image of the Lord is that there will be a transformation in our image.  This is talking about a total makeover of our personality.  In Spanish it is called our manner of being. (Manera de ser) That isn’t the way we express it in English.

            In II Corinthians 5:17 the Apostle Paul wrote,Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” That might be called a “makeover.” After we are saved God begins a work of grace in us.  In Philippians 1:6 Paul wrote  “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  This isn’t a transformation that takes place over night.  Our text says it is from glory to glory.  It progresses from one level of glory to another.  The child of God keeps on growing all his life.  Peter, in writing to believers, said “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.”

To grow in grace is to appropriate all the gifts that God has provided for those who are his.  II Peter 1:3 says God has provided all we need.  “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and Godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”  God wants to produce in us what the Apostle Paul calls fruit.  Galatians 5:22-24 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,   Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”  An abundance of these gifts can’t help but improve our image.

The progress of this transformation of our image depends on how much we are yielded to God.  If we aren’t yielded to God, he can’t complete his work in us that is spoken of in Philippians 1:6.  Romans 6:13 tells us that we need to be yielded to God. “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

The image God wants to produce in us will make us attractive.  We will have what some call a “pleasing personality.” We will be kind, considerate and compassionate.  Isn’t that the image you would like to have?  Therefore, God says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

If you have questions or comments you can send them to us at the following address:  rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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