Romans 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
It’s like a mint condition 1957 Chevy given to you by your grandfather. As you are driving it home, you take the corner too fast and roll the antique car in the ditch.
The restoration of God’s image in His creation is so important He mentions His plan in the very beginning. In Genesis 3.15, God predicts the outcome of the great battle between Himself and Satan. There is an exchange of two wounds. Satan bruises the heel of the One come, but the chosen One will crush Satan’s head. This is the first mention in the Scriptures of God’s plan for restoration through a Messiah. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, will come and die for the sins of the people and then rise again on the third day. But Satan will be dealt a final death blow and his temporary reign will end.
It was thousands of years before the Messiah came. The relationship between man and God has its high points but normally falls far short of God’s desires. Although the Law of the Old Testament is instituted by God to help us, it is temporary and never meant to be a final solution for the marred image (Gal 3:17-29). Mankind waited for a Savior. It isn’t until Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead that real restoration begins (1 Pet 3.18).
But notice I said begins. Far too often this is where our spirituality begins and ends. The unfortunate focus of modern American Christianity is to secure salvation through whatever expedient means available. I believe in salvation by faith through grace and that conversion is an immediate, irrevocable gift from God (Rom 5.9-10). But, I also believe that many have been duped by the enemy into thinking that reciting a few words in prayer will unconditionally secure eternal life (2 Cor 13.5, Mt 7.21-23, Mt 13.24-30; Mt 13.36-50). An individual’s salvation is not hinged on a particular mantra they recite.
Salvation is directly connected to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Jn 14.6). The struggle in contemporary Christianity is not just securing an authentic conversion (justification through faith in Jesus Christ) but actively following the Savior Who has provided such a great salvation (Heb 5.12-6.1). Although many have received a true conversion, the real challenge lays in experiencing ongoing spiritual transformation (sanctification, Phil 2.12-13, Rom 12.1-2).
God’s plan to restore the image goes far beyond the cross (Col 2.6-7). It is a process of restoration evident by real change in a person’s life. It ultimately finds its end in a completely repaired image of God (glorification, 1 Cor 15.51-53). The remainder of this article will talk about the restoration process. So stick around and keep reading as we pursue the restoration of the image of God in us.
It’s like a mint condition 1957 Chevy given to you by your grandfather. As you are driving it home, you take the corner too fast and roll the antique car in the ditch. A policeman comes to your aid and to add insult to injury, gives you a ticket for speeding and talking on a cell phone while driving. But, he also gives you a business card for one of the best repair shops in town. To be continued…
(Part 1) – The Glory of His Image
(Part 2) – Too Much of a Good Thing
(Part 3) – We Need a Savior
(Part 4) – The Restoration Process: The Father
(Part 5) – The Restoration Process: The Son
(Part 6) – The Restoration Process: Discipleship
(Part 7) – The Restoration Process: Discipleship Continued
(Part 8) – The Restoration Process: One-on-One Discipleship
(Part 9) – The Restoration Process: Tools and Techniques
(Part 10) – The Restoration Process: Dangers
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