James 1:22-24, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”
So, what is the nature of this man that looks into the mirror? What is the picture painted by the Word? The scriptures tell us of Jesus, for “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27). When we look at the scriptures we see Jesus, but we are told that it is Jesus in us the hope of glory. Thus, when we look at the scriptures, we should see ourselves as Jesus. We are often told that Jesus came to reveal God to us, and though there is some truth in this, it is more accurate to say that Jesus came to reveal God in us. That we truly are the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). Acts 11:26b tells us that in Antioch disciples were first called Christ-ians. That is, images or replicas of Christ. Prior to this they were known as ‘followers of the Way’, or doers of the word which James relates. Do we really believe and act accordingly on these truths, for example: I am a partaker of His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4); I am blessed (Galatians 3:9); I am a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17); I am raised up and seated in heavenly places (Colossians 2:12, Ephesians 2:6); and, I have received power, the power of the Holy Spirit, power to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, power to cast out demons, power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt me (Mark 16:17-18b). And so much more.
Did Jesus come to make us into His image? The answer is no, for as we are told in 1 John 3:8, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He did not come to make us something that we were not already, but to destroy that which held us captive to a false understanding of our true identity. Luke 3: 23-38 lists the genealogy of Jesus, and specifically in verse 38 we are told that His direct ancestor was Adam, who was the son of God. As we all know, if we trace our ancestors back we can find the origins of our DNA that makes us who we are. So it is that we are able to claim God as our progenitor and that we all contain His DNA. We are all ‘children of God’, and thus embody His essence, though we have chosen to believe the lie and have chosen to live contrary to our true nature. As a child today may leave his parents and deny being part of that family, their DNA will always be of the parents. Thus Jesus reminds us in John 10:34 (quoting Psalm 82:6), “do you not know that you are gods’.
Having our identity revealed, keeping in mind that God is love, we should now openly exercise our godly authority and power, having dominion over OUR earth (that which we have authority over – our body, our children, our home, our work), as proclaimed in Genesis 1:26,28, and ‘loving our neighbours as we love ourselves’.