Christ Formed in You

13 posts

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

IN HIS RESURRECTION AND EXALTATION, Christ did far more than return to us our humanity. Even as the Son of Man departed from the earth, he sent us his Spirit. This was a pivotal event, unprecedented in the history of God’s saving deeds. As Peter points out, it was also the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that God would pour his Spirit out in the “last days” (Joel 2:28–32; Acts 2:17–21). True, the Spirit of God was active before the coming of Christ. Scripture speaks of the Spirit’s involvement in both creation (Gen. 1:2) and redemption (Isa. 63:7–14). From Peter and Paul, we know that the Spirit was also the agent of God’s self-revelation through Scripture (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Tim. […]

The Godwardness of Sin

THOUGH WE ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, the tragic reality is that we have rebelled against God and now live under his judgment and wrath (Gen. 3: 16–19; Rom. 1:18). The image of God is therefore distorted. In Calvin’s words, God’s image is deformed, vitiated, mutilated, maimed, disease-ridden, and disfigured. This is true for all of us. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We have failed to glorify God by not loving his person, obeying his laws, and delighting in his glory. Rather than exclusively worshiping our glorious Creator, we have served and worshiped created things (Rom. 1:21–23). We are “alienated from the life of God” and “dead in trespasses and […]

Created for Relationships

TO BE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD means we are designed to display God’s nature, character, and glory. As a mirror is made for reflection, so God created us to be mirrors of his character, instruments for reflecting his glory. Created in God’s image, we are invested with special dignity and entrusted with particular duties. Our distinct worth as human beings springs from being God’s image-bearers, the unique reflectors of his character on earth. The rest of creation declares God’s glory, speaking of it vividly in a great variety of ways (Ps. 19:1). But we reflect it, actually making it, in small part, visible and tangible. One of the supreme ways we reflect God’s glory is by relating to […]

The Chief End of Man

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27) WHY DID GOD CREATE US? For what purpose? The Westminster Shorter Catechism answers, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Speaking originally of the scattered exiles of Israel whom God promised to redeem, Isaiah 43:6–7 agrees: I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. In the first chapter of Genesis we don’t read […]

Introducing “To Be Like Jesus” by Brian G. Hedges

“SOME BOOKS FOCUS on what Christ has done for us, and others on what Christ does in us. Rare, however, are books that teach us how Christ works in us on the basis of what he had already accomplished for us. Brian Hedges has written one of these rare books, laid out in short devotions crafted to stimulate faith that bears fruit through love. This is a book not only to read, but to practice in the pursuit of holiness.” —Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan THE CHRISTIAN LIFE is a journey of spiritual and moral transformation into the glorious image and likeness of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This journey is lifelong. […]

Life in the New Creation & The Imitation of Christ

Continued from Beholding and Becoming Life in the New Creation Paul describes the change believers have experienced as a new creation. In Ephesians 2:10, he says that we are the workmanship—the masterpieces!—of God “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Similarly, Paul reminds his readers that when they “learned Christ,” they were taught to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:20–24).26 A parallel passage in Colossians 3 says the new man, “is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (v.10). And 2 Corinthians 5:17 exults that, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” […]

Beholding and Becoming

Continued from Restoration: New Man, New Creation The question this book aims to answer is how do we become like Jesus? How does the restoration of the image of God within our hearts take place? In the following chapters we will explore how Scripture gloriously answers this question. For now, let’s consider a passage that compellingly describes the transforming power of gazing at God’s glory revealed in Jesus. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory […]

Restoration: New Man, New Creation

Continued from Redemption: The Gracious Rescue In contrast to Adam, the first man, Jesus came as the second Adam, the true image-bearer of God. Paul, looking forward to the final resurrection, says: Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the […]

Redemption: The Gracious Rescue

Continued from The Fall: Shattered Mirrors The good news is that God is reforging the shards! When he is finished, no trace of the breakage will remain. For God has formed a rescue plan. Not willing to abandon his creation to evil, God has purposed to redeem and restore the world by setting a new people apart for himself. Although hints of this plan are given even before the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden (Gen. 3:15), God’s redemptive mission truly began to take shape when he called Abraham.13 God promised to give Abraham two things: A son (and descendants) through whom the world would be blessed (Gen. 12:1–3), and a special land that would belong to his heirs […]

The Fall: Shattered Mirrors

Continued from Created in His Image: Reflecting, Relating, Reigning The tragic reality, however, is that the mirror itself has been shattered. We rebelled against God and now live under his judgment and wrath (Gen. 3:16–19; Rom. 1:18). The image of God is therefore distorted. In Calvin’s words, God’s image is deformed, vitiated, mutilated, maimed, disease-ridden, and disfigured. This is true for all of us. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We have failed to glorify God by not loving his person, obeying his laws, and delighting in his glory. Rather than exclusively worshiping our glorious Creator, we have served and worshiped created things (Rom. 1:21–23). We are “alienated from the life of God” […]