What We Multiply Matters (Doing the Math – Part 3)
Adam and Eve went crazy! When God told them to be fruitful and multiply, they did! Well, sort of. They did start reproducing but it wasn’t exactly what God intended. When we look at the original scenario we see that God wants them to multiply His image.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1.27-28)
But right about chapter three in Genesis the serpent added a little something called sin to the mix that basically messed up the whole “image” thing. Not beyond repair or the love of God mind you, but just enough to impact the whole human race…in a bad way. Now instead of multiplying the pure image of God, the “little something” was like an ugly smudge on the photocopy glass and shows up on the first copy. And instead of cleaning the glass, we just made a copy of the copy and things got worse until it was time to start over with a flood;
“Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6.11-13)
Oh, we had been fruitful and multiplied, alright. We had filled the whole earth with our violence. We multiplied but it wasn’t what God wanted us to multiply. And this is the warning; Just because we are increasing in number doesn’t mean we are multiplying the “Image of God” as He intended. I mean, Mormons and JWs are multiplying. Islam is multiplying. And secular Christianity is multiplying at an alarming rate as people buy into a discipleshipless form of a spiritual counterfeit.
Jesus gives His stern warning to the Pharisees;
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23.15)
Yikes! Is it possible that committed mission-minded people could actually multiply “hellish sons?” Quite frankly, this verse scares my pants off!
This is why “discipleship” is so important. If we define discipleship the same way Jesus defines it, we will see it as the process of becoming like Him, the perfect image of God (Matthew 10.24-25, Luke 6.40). Discipleship is not tools, or a program, or a higher level of Special Forces in the Christian life. No, discipleship is the process whereby we become everything we were meant to be, the image of God. And Jesus Christ is the perfect model we look to for our transformation.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8.28-29)
So as we commit ourselves to be “fruitful and multiplying” let’s have a clear picture of what we are to be multiplying. Let us master the Master. Studying His ways and His words to become conformed to Him. Let’s fix our eyes squarely on the Author and Perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12.2), the Lord Jesus Christ, and multiply Him over all the face of the earth (Matthew 28.18-20). To Him be the glory, and honor, and praise, forever and ever. AMEN
Are we mastering the Master? Are we reading the gospels daily to look intently on the perfect Man and conforming to His image? Is this our definition of discipleship and are we training others to do the same?