Created to BE God’s Image Bearers

As I’ve pondered the American reaction to the death of Osama Bin Laden, I’ve been trying to decide what word would characterize my reaction. Rejoicing isn’t right. Happy isn’t right. Celebrating isn’t right. Glad. Gratified. Grateful…none of these are exactly what pinpoints what the reaction ought to be because of this:

Like it or not, Bin Laden was made in the image of God.

That’s what the Bible says.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

 Isn’t it interesting that before God ever made you, He had in mind that you would bear His image?

  • Before His hands picked up the dust and formed you?
  • Before He breathed life into you?

 Before you were born, He created you—and all the rest of mankind—to bear His image.

For us to rejoice in the death of Bin Laden is for us—in a strange way—to rejoice over the destruction of the image of God in another person. Make no mistake: Bin Laden was destructive, dangerous, and had nothing but contempt for his fellow human beings. His actions were wicked, evil, horrific, reprehensible, and brought deep sorrow to thousands of innocent people. Yet, under all Bin Laden’s sin, the image of God was there because he was human and God had created him.

For that reason, we cannot trivialize death of any human being, even in light of Jesus’ mission of destroying the devil’s work.   Jesus destroyed the devil’s work by the power of His love and grace.

Issues like how a Christian should respond to the death of Bin Laden should not divide Christians from one another. We can be satisfied that God used human agency to accomplish His justice. We can honor the bravery of the Navy SEALs and the careful planning. We can be grateful that peace among men has one less enemy today. We can praise God that God alone is righteous and that His grace saves sinners—just like us—who repent. We can ask for hearts that can somehow love our enemies.

We can do these things by remembering that we were CREATED TO BE…God’s Image Bearers.

1 John 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. 11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Chapel Worship/News, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on May 5, 2011

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