In His Image

“Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living” Genesis 3:20

In the first chapter of Genesis we learn that God created man in His image, “Let Us make man in Our image” (v 26). Since God is a plurality of Persons yet one God He created mankind in that image, a plurality of persons yet one flesh (Genesis 2:23-24). Lest we fail to grasp this it is repeated in 1:27, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” To be in the “image” of God means to be a physical expression of God. We read this of Jesus in Hebrews 1:3, “who being in the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person …”

As the Persons of the Godhead are equal in every respect except role, so are the man and the woman equal in every respect except role. As the Persons of the Godhead are complementary, so are the man and the woman (Genesis 2:18). Marriage and parenthood are God’s means of revealing this and other aspects of His glory in the world. It should not surprise us that Satan is doing his utmost to mar or destroy this revelation of God.

How sad it is that people who are the objects of God’s love serve Satan’s interests and hatred of God. No matter what people may try to do, they cannot change that part of the role that God has given them by His determining their sex. Eve had the unique position of being the first mother; she is the only mother without any precedent to follow. She had no mentor or role model, no mother or mother-in-law to comfort and help her – or to tell her she was doing it wrong!

Adam honoured her position and role by the name he gave her. She is the mother of all persons who live or have ever lived on earth (except for Adam and herself, of course). She is the ultimate mother of the second Adam, Jesus Christ. On Mothers’ Day we reflect on the special place and role that mothers have within the family and society. Mothers are God’s gift, and they share with fathers the joy and privilege of revealing the glory of God into the world. Since we are corrupted by sin that revelation is marred; but as we allow Christ to live in us God’s glory is revealed, even if a little dimly. Many men and women, who have achieved much, credit their mothers as being the primary earthly reason for their achievements.

Let us give glory to God for this wonderful expression of Himself in His creation revealed in our mothers.

Raised to New Life

“Women received their dead raised to life again.” Hebrews 11:35

Hebrews 12:1 says that the readers “are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” We are obviously readers as well and so we have many who witness to us. Of whom was the writer referring?

He is referring to all the men and women of faith mentioned in chapter 11. The word for “testimony” in 11:2 and “witness” in 12:1 are the same and 11:4 specifically says that Abel “still speaks” even though he has died. He is still witnessing through the record of his life in the Bible and through those who follow his example of faith. The same is true of all the people mentioned by name or collectively in that chapter.

There have been a lot of false concepts of what faith is passed around and they give rise to wrong teaching and a false idea of what faith is.

Christian faith is taking God at His word even without any evidence to support it. If we seek evidence beyond His word it means we don’t trust Him. Noah had not seen rain or even a minor flood yet he believed what God said. Christian faith always is expressed in actions that demonstrate that God’s word has been accepted as faithful. Noah built an ark, filled it with living creatures and his family and climbed aboard in spite of the mocking and ridicule of his peers and contemporaries. Without this kind of expression it is doubtful that there is Christian faith at all.

Only a few men and only one woman are mentioned by name in Hebrews 11 although many are referred to collectively. The one woman mentioned is Rahab. Rahab (a gentile) expressed her faith in the God of Israel by risking her life. She hid Israel’s spies; she lied about their whereabouts and saw them safely out of Jericho. That would have made her a traitor punishable by death.

Not only did she risk her life to save them she also risked her life to save her family. In order to save her family she had to reveal her treacherous act to them. If they didn’t believe her and the word of the spies they could have handed her over to the authorities to be put to death.

The writer also says that there were other women who had loved ones raised to life after they had died.

While physical life is very important to us concerning our loved ones, their spiritual life is even more important. If God can raise the physically dead, and He can, then the application is that He can breathe new life into a loved one in our time. Those women of faith that we read about in the Bible are living witnesses still speaking to us today that God can raise the dead.

Such women are with us even to this day. They faithfully pray for their unsaved spouse, child or grandchild until they come to faith and maturity in Jesus Christ.