In the beginning.
So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. (Genesis)
At creation, the Creator God declared: It is good.
About humanity, He declared: It is very good.
Since then, we have chosen to believe the lie of our enemy. This lie – that being very good wasn’t enough – has distorted our original image in a profound way. Instead of accepting the wonderful ways in which we were created to be like God, we desired to be God. In and through Eve, we all fell for the bogus promise that Satan made. “You will not die. You will actually become divine. And God knows it.”
All of a sudden, as we stood in front of the mirror with those two original humans God created, the image that was once a glorious reflection of our Creator was hardly recognizable through the shattered glass. There were evidences of what God had made, but nothing could repair the broken pieces before us. It was going to take more than a simple correction. We needed a re-creation of all that was. And that would involve a willingness on the part of the One we had doubted and betrayed.
In the beginning. Take Two.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Father of all creation looked on our broken condition and had mercy on us. Throughout the history of mankind, our identity has been challenged, distorted, misrepresented and ultimately stolen. We have become confused and doubtful. We listen to lies coming from a world that operates under the temporary authority of the father of deception. He has never stopped whispering in the ear of humanity. “You will not die. You will actually become divine. And God knows it.”
Just like Eve, we are still believing the lie. And who we are meant to be is lost in a sea of confusing and conflicting messages that tell us we can be who we feel we are … at any given moment. When our identity is rooted in unreliable and unpredictable feelings, we don’t find the fulfillment we have all pursued. Instead we find emptiness and loneliness because, as image bearers, we have disconnected ourselves from the Master Designer.
Instead of looking for the answers in His Word (which was delivered to us by men who “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”) to discover our identity, we have restlessly and recklessly sought to become our own authority.
Paul David Tripp said “I like the metaphor in Scripture of the word of God being this perfect mirror that I look into and see myself as I actually am. What we tend to look into is carnival mirrors. They show me me, but they show me me with distortion, like the carnival mirror at the fair. I see myself, but there is distortion.”
The story in Genesis reveals a beautiful beginning for humanity. “He made them in the likeness of God; He created them male and female. When they were created, He blessed them and called them mankind.” And though we distanced ourselves from Him, in His mercy He provided a way for us to not only become very good again, but to become even better. Redeemed.
“For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.”
The only means of finding our way back to the unashamed condition in which we began in Eden is to look deep into the perfect mirror of God’s word (James 1). I can’t provide answers for all the identity issues we face as human beings in this fallen world. There are many layers. Certainly, countless numbers of people in the world are at a crisis point regarding gender and sexual identity. But I do know this: The way to fully embrace and enjoy our true identity is to find it in Jesus Christ. I sincerely believe that when we begin to function according to what our Creator says about us in His Word, we will discover the key to not only walking in the reality of being an image bearer, but also basking in the new reality of oneness with Him.
Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5
As we look expectantly into God’s word to reveal to us the identity given us through the Person of Jesus Christ, we will discover ourselves being transformed into the same glorious image we see in its pages. It is in this process of discovery that we will begin to identify in ourselves a peace and contentment we never knew possible. What the enemy came to steal and destroy, God has purchased and re-created. When we now look in the mirror, we look at the beautiful face of our Savior and we see who we really are becoming (Col 3). And, as God’s children, we will longingly wait for the day that “has not yet been revealed. And we know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.”
Listen, I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.