THE IMAGE OF GOD - PART 2
"I strongly suggest that if you have not read part one of this article that you go now and do so before you read part two. We have uploaded part one to the website and you can read it by clicking here. We just won't have time in this article to review everything covered in part one."
We discovered in part one of this article that the proposal made to Eve by the serpent in Genesis Chapter Three was an individual one instead of a corporate one. He approached Eve as a separated individual, an independent entity apart from Adam. This was in direct conflict with God's purpose which was to have a corporate image. The appeal was to "be like God" which was made to Eve, not to Man (corporate). The serpent's strategy was to separate and divide the individuals who made up this corporate image, or at least the potential corporate image.
Of course, God's plan was for Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life and thus, take and receive the life of God within their spirits. Then, God's image would be complete because man would not only be a corporate entity, but he would contain divine life, and subsequently be able to express that life visibly in the physical realm.
The Result of the Fall
We could rightly say that the result of the fall was sin. But what is the essential nature of sin? Is it not separation from God? Or, we could even summarize the result of the fall in one word: Separation. Separation from God and separation from God's image; man. The individual had now been isolated and separated from the corporate. God's image had now become irreparably damaged. The separation was even more accentuated by the fact that God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and Eve. They now knew that they were naked and needed to cover up. These "coverings" served to separate them even further because now there was this "material" separating them from one another.
Now the question is did Eve get what she was promised by the serpent? I really don't want to be too hard on poor Eve here because Adam was just as much at fault for his own transgression. But the question remains, did these individuals become like God? Let's see what God said about that.
"Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us," knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever . . ."" Genesis 3:22
Notice the wording here. It's extremely important. "Behold, the man has become like one of Us." Here again, the word 'man' is corporate and means mankind or humanity. Now listen to Him. "Behold, the man (corporate) has become like one of Us." The man had not become like all of Us, but only like one of Us! Man had not become like God, he had only become like one of the individuals in the Godhead. Man had merely become an isolated, segregated, separated, insulated, and unrelated entity. Man had completely fallen short of being God's glory (image).
The Destiny of a Fallen Image
Now God completely bans man from access to the tree of life. He would not allow these fallen individuals to partake of His divine life. Man had become a perverted mutation of God's intention. He never intended man to be separated individuals apart from the corporate whole. He never intended for these segregated entities to partake of His life. Divine life was to be imparted to His image; a corporate body of people who were made one by their sharing of that one Life.
Now man was destined to roam the earth isolated and alone. Even his feeble attempts at community and oneness were frustrated at every turn by God Himself as we see in the Tower of Babel incident. God would not permit man to achieve any degree of oneness apart from Him because that would just be another variation of the perverted image. Man could never fulfill the image within himself. Even though he was driven to fulfill the image because God had placed that instinctive drive within him, he could never do it outside of God's life.
So man would live out his life frustrated and unfulfilled. You don't need to look far throughout the history of man to view this sad scenario. Man is constantly searching for something to fill the void, something to make him complete. The problem is that this "searching" is always based upon a selfish foundation. Individuals are looking for individual peace and fulfillment. The irony is that it will never be found in the separation, but only in the oneness (corporate). Not only that, but the perverted race of Adam has now been banned from access to God's life. Man can never go back to the garden. His race is a lost cause.
God's Solution to Restore His Image
God could never technically "restore" the broken, marred image of mankind. He could not "pick up the pieces" and somehow "fix" this mess. The only answer would be to have a completely new image. This image would not be based upon Adam's race because that race had become "individualized" and separated by the devious conspiracy of the serpent. No, there would need to be a brand new race in order for there to be a brand new image.
Please join us in part three of this article when we will discover God's solution for the problem of His broken image; a brand new image made up of a brand new race!