5. bold and brave image-bearers

Men are designed to be IMAGE-BEARERS.

The final aspect of masculinity is seen in the fact that men are the glory of God.  “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26)  Here we come full circle.  To be made in God’s image is to be a dominioneer or lord like him over the earth.

As an image-bearer we are representative of God, responsible to God, and reflect God to the world around us, namely our closes relationships.  “For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.” (1 Cor. 11:7; cf. v.3; Eph. 5:23-24)

What is the significance of a man leaving his head uncovered before God represent?  Just as the woman covers her head to respect man, the man uncovers his head to show there is nothing between him and God.  Man uncovered respects God position and authority.  An uncovered head is a symbolic gesture that takes the hat or crown from man’s head and honoring the hat or crown upon the King of kings.

It is the image of God that man bears and no other.

Us men are prone to bear many images.  We sport jersey with our favorite team, we wear polo’s with our company name, we represent our roles as parents or grandparents with special t-shirts.  Yet the most important image we bear is God’s.  It’s an image you can’t wear.  It’s what you are.  You are a walking, talking billboard of God’s glory.

Putting this all together, we should have a good idea of where we are going or where we are to go.  Throughout the remainder of Genesis we see Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph struggling to adhere and apply these aspects.  Men are lords—lovingly conquering and subduing, husbandmen—patient and hardworking, saviors—hating and fighting evil, sages—learning from the wise, and image-bearers—worship with our heads uncovered.  Together those aspects show us what biblical masculinity looks like.  I want to look like that.  You too must want to look like that.  With God’s power we can.

DISCUSS:

  • How does man reflect the image of God and woman the image of man? 
  • What does it mean for a man to worship God with his head uncovered, but for a woman to worship God with her head covered? 

REVIEW: 5 Aspects of Biblical Masculinity

  1. lords of the earth
  2. tillers tending the earth
  3. saviors delivering from evil
  4. sages seeking wisdom
  5. bold and brave image-bearers
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image is everything

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In our world today, image is everything. What seems to matter is what you represent and what image you portray. People spend lots of money on creating an image for themselves. A picture of a mountain doesnt compare to the beauty of beholding in reality. Images or representations cannot be compared to the real thing.

We often do this with God. We try to make Him into something we can see, touch, feel or experience, and it never compares to who He really is.

The 2nd commandment seems harmless at first, but God views them differently: “You shall have no other image of God.” (Exodus 20:3-6)

The Second Commandment seems like a repeat of the First. This commandment addresses something that hits the core of humans: our concept of God. We all have different concepts of God, and our concept of God shapes who we are. Anything we use to mirror the majesty of our Maker will fall miserably short of Him and will minimize Him. Man’s finiteness cannot create something infinite.

Now is it wrong to have a cross or a masterpiece of art that portrays God? Of course not, but when that image replaces God or becomes your sole representation of God that is when it bucks the 2nd commandment. In your mental picture album, what is your image of God?

How people often imagine God:

picture-11. Grandpa God: this God is popular, forgiving, and giving. Whenever we do something wrong they smile and say, “It’s okay, I understand, don’t worry, I love you.” No offense, I love my grandparents!

picture-32. Santa Claus God: this God is like a Cosmic Easter Bunny or Mr. Rogers. He is deeply involved in our daily lives and world events. He is positive and reluctant to punish. He likes to give lots of gifts; blessings. All we have to do is ask, and He will give us whatever we desire, like a genie in a bottle. The old we get the more faint He becomes.

picture-43. Buddy God: this God is distant, but our buddy. He does not interact with the us. We can call on Him when we need Him. He will look out for us, but doesn’t interfere with our lives.

picture-24. Texas Justice God: this God is like an evil mother-in-law, deeply involved in our daily lives and world events. He is angry at sin and punishes the unfaithful. He wears a long flowing robe and carries a gavel waiting to inflict punishment on sinners. Feeling guilty?

picture-55. Emo God: this God loves to be emotional. We haven’t met God until we have tears on our faces, lumps in our throats, a chill down our spine, and butterflies in our stomachs. Probably, just ate too many Mexican beans. We think we have to be in touch with our emotions before we can be with God.

Is God some of these? Yes, in fact He is all and more, but if we characterize Him only these ways we are missing out on who He really is. God is loving, forgiving, giving, blessing, a friend when we need one, He is just and angry at sin, and God desires us to come before Him with truthful emotions. God is very different, different compared to you and different than our concept of Him.

Why shouldn’t we have any other image of God? He is jealous (Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 32:16; Psalm 78:58; 1 Corinthians 10:22). He doesn’t want to share the top spot with anyone or anything. For God to step down and acknowledge something greater than Him, would be to step down as God. The fact is, we do not need to create images of God because He has create us in His image (Genesis 1:26-28 ) and we are to represent Jesus Christ who is the exact representation and perfect image of God (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15ff).

mirror mirror on the wall

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Mirrors reflect an image. Sometimes not always the image you want to see.

I suppose for centuries people have looked at themselves in reflective surfaces from the pond to a windowpane. Also, I suppose those same people have been disappointed with what they saw. Almost every time I look into the mirror I see something I do not like—physical flaws, mental abnormalities, and spiritual deficiency—all tainted by sin.

I am what I reflect. If I look at the mirror thinking, “Who is the fairest of them all” and all I see is myself…my existence is full of pride.

Not everyone sees himself or herself. Many see another person in that mirror. Maybe the dad whom they adore or hate, a celebrity they admire or seen in the last issue of Cosmo, or an imagined person one substitute the real thing. The image in the mirror is tainted by what they want to be and by what they are not. Their image is full of envy, jealousy.

Both of these mirrored images still leave a man empty and unsatisfied. Each time they rush back to the mirrored glass hoping for something more beautiful, but leave more depressed.

In Genesis 1:26-27 God declares that He made man in His own image. No wonder man is so empty and unsatisfied with his or her reflection because they are not reflecting the very image they were created to be and created to see.

When I stand in front of the mirror I shouldn’t see me, you or anybody else, but the very Creator of the universe.

I am the image of God in flesh and bones. I can manifest His dominion as I live in the freeing reality that I am His image. I do not have to cosmetically beautify myself or try to be someone I am not, but I must seek to shine the image of my God.

James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.