Tuesday, April 20, 2010
2 Cor. 4:4 "Christ, who is the image of God"
First, an image, likeness, reflection (no matter how perfect) is still only an image - - it's not the real thing. It's not even equal to the real thing.
2 Cor. 4:4 - "Christ, who is the image [eikon] of God".
Notice, this is no longer the fleshly Jesus on earth. This is the resurrected, glorious, heavenly Christ. But he still is not God. He is the image of God. He is seated (or standing) beside God (Acts 2:33-36; Ro. 8:34; Heb. 10:12, 13; 1 Pet. 3:22). He is not God. The Father alone, beside whom Jesus is seated, is Jehovah God (Eph. 1:17, 20; Rev. 3:21; Ps. 110:1). In fact God (the Father alone) is the God of Jesus (Eph. 1:3, 17; Rev. 3:12; Micah 5:4, ASV).
Yes, Jesus is the image of God. And how should we consider the worship of an image of God as being God? (Ex. 20:4, 5; Lev. 26:1)
In spite of a man (and the heavenly Christ) being in the image of God, we don't know exactly what God looks like. ("No man has seen God at any time" [but many men have seen Christ, even after his resurrection] - Jn 1:18; 1 John 4:20). We know, however, that the man created by God to be in God's image and likeness (Adam), the son of God (Luke 3:38), was a single person. He could have easily been created as three separate persons. He could have been created with three faces. But God expressly made him (in his image) with one body, one head, one face, one mind, one personality: one person.
"...it is the whole of man, rather than some part or aspect of him, that is the image of God. The whole man, body and soul, is the image of God." - p. 508, New Bible Dictionary, Dr. J. D. Douglas, Ed., (Editor-at-large, Christianity Today), Tyndale House Publ., 1984.
Jesus, too, being an image of God, had those very same qualities. Surely God, the one in whose image we are, is one person. Surely the God who Jesus perfectly reflects, then, is one person. (In spite of numerous rationalizations designed to show the "plurality" of God. Using such "evidence" we could even find many trinitarian-like generalizations and allegorical "proofs" to show that Christ himself is actually composed of many persons: a 'three-in-one' Christ, for example - See the TRIN-TYPE study.)
The fact that a man is in God's image tells us (1) that a man cannot possibly be that God, and (2) that God is a single person also (to correspond with a man being in His image). In the same manner, but more perfectly, we see (1) that Jesus, the image of God, cannot be God, and (2) that, again, as represented by the single-person Christ himself (God's perfect image), God must also be one, single person (the Father alone, Jehovah).
It is highly significant that we never see Jehovah (or the Father, who alone is Jehovah) described as being in the image of God. He is God (alone).
Would the inspired Bible writers (who knew the scriptures and knew that an image of God was not to be worshiped as God) really call Jesus an "image of God" if they believed he actually was God? Would those same inspired writers who tell us to worship the Father in truth really believe we should worship Jesus as God and then call him the image of God?
- You must not worship an image of God. - Lev. 26:1, NIV.
- Jesus is the image of God. - 2 Cor. 4:4
- The Father is the only true God. - Jn 17:3
- We must worship the Father in truth. - Jn 4:24