by Rick Warren — June 7, 2020
“Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.”
Ephesians 4:23-24 (GNT)
In all of creation, only human beings are made “in God’s image.” But the image is incomplete and has been damaged and distorted by sin. So God sent Jesus on a mission to restore the full image that we have lost.
What does the full “image and likeness” of God look like? It looks like Jesus Christ! The Bible says Jesus is “the exact likeness of God,” “the visible image of the invisible God,” and “the exact representation of his being” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT, Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3 NIV).
People often use the phrase “like father, like son” to refer to family resemblance. When people see my likeness in my kids, it pleases me. God wants his children to bear his image and likeness, too. The Bible says, “You were . . . created to be like God, with a life that truly has God’s approval and is holy” (Ephesians 4:24 GW).
Let me be absolutely clear: You will never become God, or even a god. That prideful lie is Satan’s oldest temptation. Satan promised Adam and Eve that if they followed his advice, “you shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5 KJV).
Many religions and New Age philosophies still promote this old lie that we are divine or can become gods. This desire to be a god shows up every time we try to control our circumstances, our future, and the people around us.
But as creatures, we will never be the Creator. God doesn’t want you to become a god. He wants you to become godly—taking on his values, attitudes, and character.
As you work to fulfill your calling, remember that God’s ultimate goal for your life on Earth is not comfort but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ.
You are meant to “take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you” (Ephesians 4:22 The Message).