Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Created – naseh – awsaw. – ‘Make’, as in create – to originate a species.
Sin, darkness and Satan have colluded to deeply blur this image of God in humankind. When we receive Christ, that image is recaptured. We are born again into the Father’s image. We are not just ‘created’. We are born of God. We receive the spiritual genetics of the Father when we are born from above. The traits of God manifest in our re-creation. When people meet us they should be feeling like they are experiencing reflections of God in the Earth. We do what God would do; we behave like Jesus Christ would behave. Our character reflects His.
Calvin stated, ‘The image of God is the complete excellence of human nature’.
The Bible calls us the image and glory of God.
1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God;
When we live in the ‘new man’, we live in the image of God.
There is a false righteousness and a false holiness. Neither reflects the image of God. The new nature reflects perfectly the true righteousness and the true holiness of the Father. This image we have been ‘made in’, is not just a distant reflection of the Almighty. Our intrinsic nature echoes the substance of God Himself.
Deuteronomy 28:68 And the LORD will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.
Under the curse you would be taken back to places you never wanted to return to. Your whole life would seem to go backwards, and there you would try to at least eke out a living – but no one would want you or employ you. The final and most terrible thing would be that you were rejected and not wanted by anybody.
But now, in Christ, under the blessing of God, you progress. You move forward. You will not be trying to sell yourself to others to make some money. Instead you will be employing all sorts of people. You will be the one calling the shots.
If Jesus has died to remove the curse then that is what has happened. The curse has been removed.
For a curse to be effective it must have grounds for resting on someone’s life. Once the blood of Christ has washed all sins from our soul, there remains no more ground for any curse whatsoever to gain access to our world.
Proverbs 26:2 Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.
This means that all those curses have been removed and reversed, so that under the blessing of God, instead of curses, blessings shower down on our lives in all these same areas.
Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.
When the Holy Spirit becomes part of our lives we are filled with the same power that created the entire universe. Jesus knew the job we had been given was beyond our own strength and so He commanded the disciples to make sure they received power from on high before they attempted to fulfill His plan. After ten days of waiting in the Upper Room, the disciples were baptised in the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). From that point those early disciples were completely transformed men and women.
The most dramatic turnaround was Peter, who just days before was a discouraged, dejected fisherman who felt he had completely failed Christ, having denied him three times. Yet, after being baptised in the Holy Spirit he fearlessly stands before a crowd of devoted religious people proclaiming Christ, bringing three thousand of them to Christ in a moment! All the disciples literally turned the world upside down with their preaching, miracles and healings after they had been baptised in the power of the Spirit. This power is the same that Samson used to defeat hundreds of warriors single handedly. This is the same power that healed the sick through Jesus. This is the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead after three days. This exact same power dwells inside each of us. We can never again admit to being powerless in the face of trouble. Jesus promised the power of the Spirit to all those that hunger for Him. God will satisfy our hunger for Him with the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Rom 5:17 For if by the one man’s offence death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says, ‘the whole statement amounts to this: ‘If one man’s one offence let loose against us the tyrant power of Death, to hold us as its victims in helpless bondage, ‘much more,’ when we stand forth enriched with God’s abounding grace,’ and in the beauty of a complete absolution from countless offences, shall we expatiate in a life divinely owned and legally secured, ‘reigning’ in exultant freedom and unchallenged might.
Adam was the head of the old creation and Christ is the Head of the new creation. 1 Corinthians 15 says that Jesus is the Last Adam. The OT is the ‘book of the generations of Adam’ (Genesis. 5:1) It ends speaking of a curse (Malachi. 4:6) The NT is the ‘book of the generation of Jesus Christ’ (Matthew. 1:1) It ends with ‘no more curse’.
Jesus reigned, reigns and will reign forever in this life and every other life. He has conquered death itself. Nothing else remains to be defeated and subjugated to Christ. He rules! I’m on His side. I’m inextricably linked to Him, united with Him, sharing His victory and power. My purpose in life is to now subjugate those areas not yet under His dominion. We are implementing and appropriating the victory Christ has won. Where sickness still exists in this world it is only because we have not implemented the healing of Christ through the cross. Where devils still oppress people it is because we have not yet taken dominion over them. Poverty rules in people’s lives because we have not brought the prosperity of Christ.
1 Timothy 6:3-4 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
Paul anticipated there would be those who would oppose his teaching (those who do “not consent to wholesome words”), preferring to admonish a rebellion against the empire. Many times I’ve seen leaders of churches derail their purpose by getting deeply embroiled in trying to change the government, change legislation, change society, when the high priority of the church is to save lost people and to make them disciples of Christ. There may be people in our churches engaged in these things, but the pulpit should not be hijacked by any purpose that focuses the people and the resources and time of the church on anything but reaching lost people for Christ.
When we become so result-orientated that we live out the principles of God for the benefit promised, rather than obedience to Jesus in the fear of God, we have wandered precariously close to this Scripture. In the context, “useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth” would mean that those who have come to Christ believe that will free them from their obligations as slaves, and that the more godly they become, the more they have a right to the “gain” of freedom and what would be considered normal living. This thinking will corrupt us and we will live crookedly in the end, trying to increase gain in our life.
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2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
The Word of God is ‘seed’ (Luke 8v11). This means that you can grow whatever you want in your life simply by planting the seed of that ‘whatever’ in your heart. If you want to grow apples in your garden, you don’t plant pear seeds. If you are in need of the assurance of forgiveness, don’t just meditate on anything in Scripture. Read what the Word of God declares about forgiveness. When you meditate in your mind on a specific ‘seed’ it digests in your soul. The light of its truth dawns in you like the morning sun. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:13). Take a verse from the Bible that you are particularly attracted to, or need, on the subject and speak it. Faith will fill your heart. Use this faith to believe the scripture in an even more complete way. This is one of the most powerful spiritual cycles to be engaged in.
Isaiah 43v22-26 reveals that God is more interested in forgiving us than in remembering our sins. He tells us to FORGET the former things. ‘Put Me in remembrance’, He says. ‘State your cause, that you may be acquitted’.
The Lord wants you to win your case. Even though you are feeling conscience stricken, state your case, stand your ground that you have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus. Your sin may be serious, but Jesus’ blood is far more serious. His power sets you completely free from all your sin. In the Old Testament, when the sinner brought a lamb as atonement for their sin, the priest did not look at the sins of the offerer. He looked at the lamb. God is looking at the sacrifice for your sin, Jesus. He is enough! He has completely covered us for the forgiveness of all our shortcomings.
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John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
The word ‘right’ (Greek – ‘exousia’), literally means –
- power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, permission
- physical and mental power, the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
- the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
- the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)
- universally, authority over mankind
- the power of judicial decision
- Of authority to manage domestic affairs
- a thing subject to authority or rule, jurisdiction, one who possesses authority, a ruler, a human magistrate
- the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates
- the sign of regal authority, a crown
Our dominion is based in these two facts;
– God has all authority.
– He has given that authority to us.
A police officer wears a uniform to identify his authority. Other people in positions of power use their signature. For some, a simple nod indicates their authority. For us, we exercise our authority through the name of Jesus.
When we obey God, we are acting in His Name. When we act in His character, we are acting in His Name. He has given us His Name so we have the authority to achieve those things that align with the will and character of God. He has always revealed Himself through His Name. He is known through His Name. His character is understood through His Name. If we do something ‘in the Name of’ God, then we reveal a characteristic of that name. His purposes are revealed in His Name. To act in His Name is to fulfill a purpose of God. All the Names of God throughout the Old Testament are now fulfilled in just one Name, that is, the Name of Jesus. God has invested the entire authority of Heaven into this Name. He has given that Name to every believer to use. When we act in that name, we let loose the power of Christ to do His will in the Earth.
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