When we read the words “image” and “likeness” we should be reminded of Jesus Christ himself. The New Testament teaches that he is the very image and likeness of God. “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation…For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Col. 1:15, 19). In these verses, as well as others, there is a definite connection between being in the “image” of God and being God’s “Son.” Therefore we can deduce that in the beginning God made human beings to be his sons and daughters. He made us to be one with the eternal Son. This is a place of full acceptance, affinity and affection. This image was marred when we fell, but it was restored to us through the Son. God has again lifted us up into oneness with himself.
This is why the apostle Paul was adamant about salvation being in Christ. We are saved because we have been brought back into the Father’s image through the Son. There is no other salvation outside of that image. All the love the Father has for the Son is ours because we are in Christ. To say we are “in Christ” means we are in a position of intimacy with God. Moreover, we are in the Father’s eternal life––Jesus. We are in the very revelation of the Father himself. Nothing is held back from us, all is ours in Christ.
It is by the Spirit that we are brought into this dynamic relationship. Without the Spirit we are dead because the Spirit is the life of the Father and Son’s love. If we do not have the Spirit we do not have Christ because Christ as Son is the eternal recipient of the Spirit. The Spirit is like the woman who searched for the lost coin. We were that lost treasure and when the Spirit found us he brought us back into our original home: the Son who is the house of God, the eternal dwelling of the fullness of the Father. Because of the Holy Spirit we are not orphans; we are sons and daughters of the Father (John 14:18). The Spirit enables us to call the Father, “Our Father.” The very same relationship that Jesus has with his Father we have because of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s blood (Eph. 2:16-18).
Prayer: Father, I thank you because when I was born again I was made again into your image and likeness. I have been created to be in the most intimate place in the world––in Jesus. Through Jesus I am a son/daughter of God. And through Jesus I have been given the Holy Spirit. Nothing has been held back from me. Let me see and walk in that truth today, in Jesus’ name.