Thursday, May 7, 2009

In God's Image


"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26a).

For several days now, I've been feeling led by the Lord to talk a little about being made in His likeness (or image). It's certainly a topic that has been discussed in great depth, over and over, even recently, on the blogs that I keep up with. I'm not sure what else I can add to the subject, but something this week reminded me of the classic Frog Prince fairy tale (the screenshot above is from the upcoming Disney cartoon, which I cannot yet vouch for). So what does this have to do with the Bible? If you will read on, a connection will soon reveal itself....

My wife teaches a "Just For Fun" class at our homeschool co-op, and this week, she taught a lesson about paper. For kicks, I made some hopping paper frogs, for her to show in class. These things are really fun to make and stage jumping contests with. One of the kids asked for the instructions, so I recorded the video below:



Thinking about the video, I started to dwell on God making man in His image. After all, I made the paper frog after the image of a real frog, did I not? It looks somewhat like a frog and can even jump like one. But it isn't a real frog. It is not alive. It cannot see or hear, much less jump on its own. And it has no chance of ever being anything more than what it is. In fact, since it is made of paper, we know it can only diminish in form and function, until I will have no choice but to toss it into the garbage.

Now, the Frog Prince may look like a frog, but he has the potential to be so much more. Once a man, turned into a frog by a wicked witch (at least I assume so...), he is doomed to a life as a frog, a much lesser creature. But unlike other frogs (especially paper ones), he has hope. If a princess would but kiss him, he would be restored to his former glory... even better actually, since any princess that would dare kiss a warty frog is certain to be the one he is destined to marry!

Man was created in God's image, much like the paper frog was created in a frog's image. We have many things common with God: a free will (Calvinism vs. Arminianism is a topic for another post!), a conscience, the ability to love, reason, wisdom, etc.... In fact, we are the only ones in all of Creation that possess any of these qualities, but we also lack all the omnis that set God in a class all His own. But God's intent was that we would be princes in His kingdom, not mere shadows of the original, doomed to nothing more. However, in order to become princes, we must repent of the sins that have cursed us and become new creations in Jesus Christ. Only a kiss by the Holy One of Israel can transform us. And we know that last state will be far better than the first, because if God can look on our ugly, sinful nature and still love us enough to provide a way out, then He must indeed want us to be with Him forever.

So, surrender your heart to Him, confess your past sins to Him, and let Him kiss and transform you into the prince you were always meant to be! Let go of the old creature, of the sin so characteristic of the warty frog that you were once cursed to be, and live the righteous life of a prince, a true son of God and heir to His throne!

8 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

'Man was created in God's image,'

Agreed (Gen. 1:24-31).

'We have many things common with God: a free will (Calvinism vs. Arminianism is a topic for another post!),'

Yes, there is a degree/sort of human free will, and as you know I am a compatibilist (see my blog). I am not a hard determinist.

Russ:)

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Nice post, Greg.

The Frog/Prince analogy to our predicament is one that I've not thought of. As with all analogy, of course, it breaks down; but this seems to be a reasonable way to introduce the problem of humanity to those we come into contact with.

I don't know how the story goes, but if the Prince (who is now the Frog) doesn't know that he's really a Prince, then this analogy becomes even more meaningful. Those outside of Christ, who are "dead" and haven't been regenerated to life in Christ, don't know who they were created to be. Christ accomplished more than simply a penal atonement for our sake (or any other "atonement" theory, for that matter); He has restored us to our created nature as "image-sons".

Good job, Greg.

jj

Nitewrit said...

Greg,

Nice little conceptual lesson. I'll have to play your video for my daughter and let her build me a frog. She used to do all these orgami things. She has more patiences than me.

Now the trick is to build a frog that once kissed can be unfolded into a prince.

Larry E.

Greg said...

Russ, my little comment wasn't a jab at you, although I did think that you might object to my mention of free will if I didn't have something in there. I looked up compatibilism at wikipedia, and much of that resonates with me. :)

GGM, in the story, the frog does indeed know he's a prince, and I think he knows the cure, too. It's true that so many out there don't know or believe in the only One who can save them. It's hard to address both unbelievers and professing Christians, at the same time. I like (and totally agree with) what you said about God actually restoring our original (actually, better-than-original) nature. The transformation was the main point of the post. But we'll have to give Jesus the credit for inspiring me to write this post; the idea developed very quickly in my head.

Larry, that would be a cool feature! Maybe she can figure it out. Origami was never my forte, but I've found making these frogs to be very therapeutic. Making them out of paper that has designs on it would make them even more interesting.

Tamela's Place said...

A great analogy of God's love a kiss of redemption.. That is beautiful Greg... Great post!

thekingpin68 said...

Re: universalism and my blog:

Thanks Greg, well stated.

Andrew Clarke said...

Reading this post, about transformation, I recalled the days fairly soon after I became a Christian. I felt the sort of delight and exhilaration in things that I did when I was younger, as if the younger and more open-hearted self had been renewed. It was as if, being closer to God, I could see more of God in His creation, in a way that the earthly man had lost touch with.

Dusty Chris said...

Great story.

It amazes me constantly that God wants to kiss us and redeem us even though we are warty and slimy. Only true love could do that. What lucky frogs we are.