Bearing the Image Of Jesus
The first man was of the earth, made of dust: the second Man is the Lord from Heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as the heavenly Man so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. I Corinthians 15:47-49
Becoming a born again believer requires one to acknowledge his sinful lifestyle to God, repent of his sins and receive the cleansing power of Christ's blood to wash away his old life and allow forgiveness to flow from the very throne of the Most High. Upon receivingChrist as Savior and Lord the Holy Spirit comes into the heart and begins the restoration process of making the old man, new!
Buried with Christ in baptism, filled with Holy Spirit's power and resurrected to a supernatural existence, destined to become a functioning part of His body as a royal priest, the new believer takes on the image of the Lord Jesus Christ and bears His likeness and divine nature just as a brand new baby takes on the image of his parents. A dynamic transformation takes place as the old man dies and the new man takes on the very life of God.
When Jesus died on the cross and was buried His human body was transformed into a new supernatural heavenly body, indestructible and immortal through the ability of Holy Spirit's creative power that brought about a metamorphosis. So also is the transformation that the new believer receives in Christ upon becoming a new creation, old things pass away and new things appear bearing a new image that resembles the old man but is renewed into a supernatural being. In other words he can be recognized by his outward human features, but inside he has been totally transformed!
For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29
ANGEL FOOD OR DEVIL'S FOOD?
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. Colossians 3:8-10
The only difference between angel food cake and devil's food is the frosting, angel food normally doesn't have any. When I was saved thirty one years ago, the very next day my language took a drastic change because all of those filthy words didn't come out any longer. G-d and m-f were simply gone, non existent like they had never been there and I knew something supernatural had happened in my life.
Several weeks after my conversion I wandered into the neighborhood Baptist church and over a period of time began to adopt a religious language of praise God, hallelujah and glory to God. In other words I was mimicking what I heard others saying and took it into my vocabulary even though it bordered on taking the Lord's name in vain. Most of the time we just use these religious words instead of cussing and they really aren't praise to God but religious frosting!
Angel food cake is what it is, but to find out if you have devil's food you have to first scrape off the frosting! So it is with our modern so called Christianity, you have to see through the sweet fluffy facade in order to tell if it is of Christ or of the devil. In the years I spent in residential ministry as well as prison ministry and aftercare, men and women would profess to know Jesus and shout praise God from the rooftops but when they were released from the program or from being incarcerated immediately they fell away.
"But he who received seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; "yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. For when tribulation and persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away." Matthew 13:20,21
TRUE AND FALSE CONVERSION
"The kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; "but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. "But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared." Matthew 13:24-26
As with natural birth so it is with supernatural birth , there is a time of gestation or pregnancy. The seed is sown in the heart of man but the conditions of the soil must be right in order to produce a crop. Many confess Christ, are baptized and join up, but never receive that supernatural life giving transformation that comes when one truly becomes born again.
It is like a man with an artificial leg, it looks like a leg and can even assist in the ability to walk, but it has no feeling, no life because it is artificial. The true conversion of a man always brings about a supernatural abundance of life that flows out of his innermost being like rivers of living water. It cannot be explained to the carnal or natural man in his unconverted state because it is supernatural and he cannot understand because he doesn't have eyes to see, nor ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying.
There was an old song that we used to sing years ago that goes something like this: I've got a river of life flowing out of me, makes the lame to walk and the blind to see, opens prison doors, sets the captives free, I've got a river of life flowing out of me! That is the supernatural God given spiritual life that has the ability to transform a man into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:13,14
THE IMAGE OF JESUS OR THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST?
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed (transferred) us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:13:-15
Jesus is the very image of the living God and if you want to see God, look at Jesus, if you want to see Jesus, look at a Christian, because true Christians bear the image of their Savior. They bear His divine nature, His power and even His scars and suffering in their lives. They are not Christians (Christ followers) because they go to church, they are Christians because they have given their lives up to follow Him!
On the other hand there are those who walk in the image of the beast and they have his nature and character, they are unrepentant and rebellious and have not surrendered to the Savior, they are those who clean up the outside, but inside they are whitewashed tombs full of dead man's bones, a brood of snakes. The churches are full of them and the image of the true and living Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ has been distorted to the world and so it has taken on the image of the devil himself!
No power, no word and no conviction leaves a lost generation and in the last fifty years the image of the holy One has been blurred and His message watered down so that the multitudes can enter the broad road that leads to hell! Unsaved and unrepentant they fill the sanctuaries of this world, always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth that is able to set the many lost souls of this world free from captivity and eternal damnation. May God have mercy!
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. II Peter 1:5-11