Skip to content

Starting New Things – Image Bearing

Starting New Things – Image Bearing

Jesus is the perfect man and the second Adam[1], he bears the image of God[2]. Disciples of Jesus are called to do what Jesus does, and that includes bearing God’s image[3]. This bearing of God’s image, through Jesus, is a return to God’s plan for human beings set out at Creation in Genesis 1:26-28. Starting New Things gives people a way in to finding out more about their calling as Image Bearers and a way to engage with it.

Being made in God’s image, the first thing we do is to give ourselves back to God. In the parable of the coin, Mark 12:13-17, Jesus asks “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”. The reply comes that the coin bears the inscription of the Roman Emperor. Jesus says, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” The coin should be given to the Emperor because it has his image on it. Jesus says we should give to God, what has God’s image on it, that’s ourselves. We are made in God’s image, we belong to God, we should give ourselves to God.

The image of God is ours through Jesus but it is refined in community. In Paul’s letters he makes many references to changing our behaviour. He talks about putting on positive attitudes or ways of being in Romans 13:12, Eph 4:24, Eph 6:11 and 13, Col 3:10 and 14, and 1 Thess 5:8. Putting on love etc. Paul talks about putting off or taking off negative attitudes in Eph 4:22 and 25, Col 2:11 and 3:9. The analogy might be being clothed, an analogy he uses in 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians and Galatians. All of this is in the context of living closely in a community

Disciples are therefore made in community. We have our rough corners knocked off, we call out each other’s gifts and talents. We encourage each other in our new lives in Christ. We practice humility, kindness, forgiveness and so on until we get better. We put on these things until we forget to take them off and we become more like Christ, made in the image of God.

Encouragement: When we Start a New Thing we are giving new and different people the opportunity to engage with their responsibility and privilege as creatures made in the Image of God. And the opportunity to give themselves to Him.

To think about: Refining the image of God in us is helped by being in close community. Do we have that sort of community already in church? How could we create it? How could we multiply it?

For more posts in this series click here

If you want to talk about Starting Something New, or church growth, or mission in general do get in touch

[1] Romans 5:12 to end

[2] John 14:9, Col 1:15 etc

[3] Col 3:10