Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” [Genesis 1:26 NIV]
I have lived in many different communities across America. Every community is different from the rest. When I move to a new place I have to take some time to take stock of my surroundings. What does this community offer? Architecture may be different but basically things look similar. But wait! It does not take long before I realize that life isn’t quite the same as it was “back home.” Likewise, there is a difference in ‘communities’ where people worship Christ and ‘communities’ where people ignore Jesus. The Bible reminds us that because we have distorted the image of God within us, but God, through Jesus Christ, “delivered from the domain of darkness” and transferred those who believe God into the kingdom of his beloved Son.
So if we claim to be of the community of Jesus, then we have a mandate to follow the instruction of God when He urges believers to “put to death” that which belongs to the old community where we once lived and “put on” that which belongs to the community of Jesus. When we become a Christ-one, we are to remember that our citizenship transferred to the community of the Lord Jesus and that now we need “to put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” As we allow God to renew and restore us in His Son’s image, that which we have distorted – namely, the restored image of God is being mirrored in us once again as we obey Him.
It is our task to practice what Christ has already accomplished. This is our goal. This truth also motivates us to be messengers of reconciliation in a world fragmented by sin.
You were created to enjoy God and reflect His glory. You and I made a shipwreck of that holy calling in each of our lives. Yet, God lovingly acted to redeem and restore us in Jesus Christ. Our only fitting response is to turn from life in Adam and, by faith, walk in our new life in Christ. As restored image bearers, we are called to be ministers of reconciliation. If you are still in the community of unbelievers, you are called to be reconciled to a loving God who is waiting for you.