Monday Reverb – 13September2021


… by Michael Morrison (GCI)

I. Introduction: why we need this

A. Stating the topic

B. Not trying to criticize others

C. A desire to understand as much as we can

D. Practical significance


II. Centered on Jesus Christ

A. Jesus is fully divine

B. Jesus is fully human

C. Connecting human beings to God


III.  Humanity in the image of God

A. Created in his image

B. Sin defaces the image

C. God restores the image – in himself

D. We are in the image of Christ


IV.  The covenant relationship

A. The covenant formula

B. A new covenant promised

C. Relationship terms in the New Testament


V.  Salvation is more than a verdict

A. Restoring us to God’s image  

B. The role of the Father  

C. The role of the Son  

D. Role of the Spirit in our salvation 


VI.  How do we respond?

We have seen some of the ways that God is working in our lives: He is restoring in us the divine image, so that we are living representatives of who he is and what he is like.  It is a spiritual image, started when God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.”  We were made to be like God, and since Jesus is the perfect image of God, we are being conformed into his image, changed so that we are more like he is.  The Spirit is doing that work in us, producing in us the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, and other attitudes and actions that help us have better relationships.  This is part of the ongoing work of salvation that God is doing within us.

But a time is coming when we will be transformed into God’s image in additional ways, too.  Romans 6:5 says, “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.”  Our physical nature will be changed, and we will share in the glory of Jesus Christ.

  • In 1 Corinthians 15:49, Paul describes the resurrection, and he says in verse 49, “just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man [Adam], so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven [Jesus].”   We will have the image of Christ in a more glorious way.
  • In 1 John 3:1-2, John gives us a similar picture:

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

We will be like he is; we will be even more fully made in his image.

All humanity has been created in the image of God, made for this purpose.  We are already his children, already “in his image” in one sense, but there is more to come.  As we are transformed into his image in this life in the way we live and think, we will be transformed more completely into his image when we are resurrected into glory and given immortality and incorruptibility.  This is the wonderful future God has prepared for us.

What conclusion does John draw from this wonderful promise?  He says it in the very next verse: “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (verse 3).  When we want to be like God is, then we want to be like him in our thoughts and actions.  The glory that God has designed for us is that we should be like he is.

There’s a lot more to eternal life than just living forever.  A never-ending life of suffering would not be good, and that is not what God wants us to have.  Rather, he wants us to have a never-ending life of love and joy, of good relationships – relationships with millions and billions of other people who help one another and love one another.  The good news of the gospel, the good news of the Bible, the good news of salvation, is that not only do we live forever, but that we will live with God.  That’s the best part: God wants us to live with him.  We can see this in the last book of the Bible, Revelation 21:1-4:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look!   God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

God will live with us, and we will live with him.  We will be his children, adopted as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, part of the royal family forever.  We are already his children.  We already have a relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit.

How can our vision of future life affect the way we live now?  Here’s another thought that many Christians struggle with: If salvation is by grace, why does the New Testament have so many commands about what we are supposed to do?  Is it grace for how we get in, but works after we get in?   No.

It is because God is not just giving us existence that lasts forever – he is giving us life of a certain quality, life that is based on love rather than selfishness and competition.  That’s the kind of life we will enjoy in eternity, and that’s the kind of life that is good, not just in the future but also right now.  When the New Testament gives us commands, it is describing for us the kind of life that God is giving us, the life of the age to come.  Grace says: I am giving you a never-ending life of joy.  The commands say: This is what it looks like.  This is the way that will help you have joy and express love.

In a parable, we might say that God is at the gateway to his kingdom, and he invites us in.  You are welcome to come in, he says, where there is no more pain or sorrow, or lying or cheating or selfishness.  Some people may say, “I would like to have ‘no more pain,’ but can’t I keep my selfishness?”  God replies, “No, they are two sides of the same coin.  Selfishness causes pain.  If you go through this gate, I will scrub all the selfishness out of you, so that you don’t cause pain either for yourself or for anyone else.”  It’s possible that some people will be so in love with their selfishness that they will refuse to go in.

We do not want to be in love with our selfishness.  Rather, we need to see selfishness as one of our enemies, an attitude that can rob us of joy and peace.  It is part of the sin that so easily besets us – it is an enemy that keeps us in slavery – it is an enemy we need to be liberated from.  It is an enemy that Christ has already defeated on the cross, and he wants us to share in that victory, and it is done though the Holy Spirit living in us.

A Trinitarian understanding of our purpose in life helps us see the purpose of salvation, and the purpose of the commands we see in the Bible.  Once we see where we are going, it is easier to see how God is bringing us there.  Love is central to the whole picture, because love is the life of the Father, Son and Spirit, and we are participating in the divine nature, sharing in the life and love of the Triune God.  

As images of God, we want our life to be characteristic of the age to come, patterned after the life that God himself has.   We are images of God and representatives of God, and we should want to live in the way that he does, the way that we will all live in eternity. This life is representative of God himself, a fulfillment of the image that we are supposed to be.  In the age to come, we will forever be images of God, children of God, completely and perfectly.


VII.  Conclusion

The doctrine of the Trinity has enriched our understanding of many other doctrines, and we will continue to learn more about it as we grow in grace and knowledge.  It makes sense that God’s nature is reflected in everything that God does, and that means it affects all other doctrines, because our doctrines are based on what God is doing in the people he has created.

We see God’s love throughout the story, from before creation and in the cross of Christ, and on into eternity in the future.  We see the Father, Son and Spirit in creation, in salvation, and in eternity.  God wants to live with us, and us to live with him, in love, forever and ever.  In his love and grace, he has given this to us – and in our love for him, we enjoy learning about it.  But we know that this is only the beginning of our understanding.

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, the apostle Paul says that now, “we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”  We have knowledge, but our knowledge is partial, and we look forward to learning more.  We rejoice that God knows us fully, and we can be confident that he will continue to draw us toward himself, so that on some future day, we will see him face to face and know him fully, sharing in his life and love forever and ever.

Author: Michael Morrison


The God Revealed in Jesus Christ … Scriptures Review


John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?  He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

John 1:18  No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.   


Mark 12:29-31  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:


John 6:37   All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Matthew 11:27   All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

John 1:1-14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.   In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.   There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.   The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.   10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.   12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.   14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  

John 5:39-40    Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.   


John 17:24   Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.     

John 1:14     And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.   

Ephesians 1:9-10   Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  

Ephesians 1:20-23   Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.   

Hebrews 2:11   For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,   

Hebrews 2:14    Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;   

Romans 8:9-11   But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.   10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.   11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.   

Romans 8:15-16   For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.   16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:    

This means that Christian life and faith are primarily about four kinds of personal relationship:


Who is Jesus?

John 1:14    And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1 Timothy 2:5   For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;   

2 Corinthians 5:17-18   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.   18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;   

Colossians 1:19-20    For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;  20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  


Incarnation for salvation

2 Corinthians 5:17-19    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.   18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;   19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   

Romans 7:4    Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.   

Colossians 3:3    For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.   

Ephesians 2:5-6   Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)    And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  


Jesus, the second Adam  

Romans 5:6-10    For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.   For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.   But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.   Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.   10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.   

Romans 5:15-21    But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.   17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)   18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.   19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.   20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:   21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.     

Ephesians 2:4-6  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  

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