How we should think about human beings?

1. A glory we had as made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
2. A glory we fell from in our rebellion against God (Romans 3:23; 5:12; James 3:9)

3. A glory being restored in us through God’s gift of salvation and His indwelling Spirit, (Romans 6:23: II Corinthians 3:18)

4. A glory fully restored despite our present suffering, (Romans 8:18; Philippians 3:20-21).

  • The image of God is the starting point for relating to humanity. It is the shared reality of all people. God singled out humans from the rest of His creation when He said,  “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” ”So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

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  • At the beginning, God “saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). Humans beings (by God’s intent) had a very good and noble beginning (and we know it – intuitively). 
  • But as those intended for greatness, we have fallen. Sin is a tragic and culpable falling short of the glory God intended for us – the glory of His image — “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
  • This truth tells us (among other things) that we were meant for so much more (and we know it — intuitively). It should not be surprising or unexpected that most people feel like something significant is missing from their lives.
  • We have moments when life feels whole, full and satisfying but at a deeper level, we know that we’re not what we’re supposed to be.
  • Something great has fallen from its greatness.
  • Something amazing has lost its amazement.
  • Something beautiful has lost its beauty.
  • Something whole is broken.
  • Something healthy is sick and in need of healing.
  • Something peaceful has been disturbed.

▪  As a result of this fall of humanity, those who were whole are broken, partial and fractured.

▪ Human beings are a combination of dignity and depravity. We find in each person a mix of good and bad but even the good is tainted with the bad.

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A sad (yet realistic) set of terms are fitting to us: lost, wayward, drifting, restless, fallen, broken, fractured, alienated, separated, partial, incomplete, sinful and dying.

A vocabulary of salvation is what we need. We need intervention, rescue, redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration.

  Steve Cornell


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