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The Goal of God (11)

by Charles H. Welch

The Teaching of the New Testament regarding the "Image".

There are many references to "image" and "likeness" in the Old Testament that await examination, but some of them will come under the head of practical application of the truth involved, and therefore we pass from the Old Testament usage to that of the New Testament, where we shall find the interpretation and fulfillment of what is intended by the Lord in these two significant words. The words employed by the Septuagint Version for "image" and "likeness" are eikon and homoiosis. Eikon is derived from an almost obsolete root eiko "to be like" which occurs in James 1:6 and 23:

"He that wavereth is l i k e a wave of the sea."

"He is , l i k e, unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass."

Homoiosis is derived from homoioo "to be, or to make like. This word occurs in James 3:9 where we read: "Men, which are made after the similitude of God."

We have already suggested, that, just as Adam was only a "shadow" of the intended image, so all the sacrifices like typical law were "shadows" and not the "very image". Both Adam and the types find their realization in Christ.

"This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man", (Gen. 2:23). In the creative purpose, Adam and a l l his posterity, whether male or female were given dominion over the works of God's hands. All were blessed, and all received the command to be fruitful and multiply. Does 1 Cor. 11:3 ignore this patent fact? No, it looks at the matter from another angle. It grants all that may be said as to the oneness of the race in Adam, irrespective of age and sex, and does not question the full application of Gen. 1:26,27 or Gen. 5:2 to woman equally with man.

But the home or the Church is a unit, and in both there must be some sort of order and rule. Now, says Paul, it is evident that, while both Adam and Eve were linked together in the purpose of creation as expressed in Gen. 1, it is equally true that "Adam was first formed, then Eve" (1Tim. 2:13), and this fact is made the basis of the Apostle's argument in 1 Cor. 11:8,9, to show that within the human circle, whether in the home (Eph. 5:23), or in the Church viewed as an assembled company on earth (1 Cor. 11), the "image" of God as expressed in headship is vested in the man, and that, just as the Head of Christ is God, and the head of man is Christ, so the head of the woman, within this circle of humanity, is man.

"For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man", (1 Cor. 11:7). It may appear at first that this passage need not have been included in the references, seeing that we are concerned with the goal of the ages, and the ultimate realization of the Divine image in man, but no examination of Gen. 1:26,27 would be complete with the light received from 1 Cor. 11 - one feature emerges which is important, namely, the fact that the Divine Image, finds one of its express- ions in headship. Now all rule, authority and power are to be subjected beneath the feet of the Lord in that day, and that leads us to see at least two things:

1. The headship of man foreshadows the universal headship of Christ, continuing in the frail successors of Adam what he himself only very dimly represented.

2. This headship of man is t e m p o r a r y. When the goal of the ages is reached ALL rule and authority will have gone; and this indicates that man's headship now does not foreshadow the END, but foreshadows the Mediatorial office of Christ that l e a d s u p t o t h e e n d when God shall be all in all.

A great deal of heartburning on the part of Christian women, and a great deal of foolish self-assertion on the part of Christian men, would never have been had BOTH men and women realized that they were but playing an appointed part. Neither men nor women in themselves are either superior or inferior to one another, and before Paul enjoins the wife to be "subject" or to "submit" to her own husband he exhorts BOTH to "submit" or be "subject" to one another. It is just as foolish for a man to assume that he is intrinsically superior to a woman because he has been cast for the role of "head", or for a woman to think that she has been degraded because she has been cast for a lower part, as it would be for an actor to assume royal airs and insignia simply because for a brief hour he played the part of a king in a Shakespearean tragedy. Neither the man nor the woman are anything else in the matter than "shadows" and it would not do any harm to us all, sometimes to remind our- selves of the fact. The "submission" en- joined in this relationship is but an anticipation of the greater "submission" of 1 Cor. 15:27,28; for the same word hupotasso is used by Paul in each epistle.

The remaining references to the "image" that we have listed must now be considered. Meanwhile, let us gladly yet humbly accept the role that Divine wisdom has appointed, remembering that it is an unspeakable honor to have ANY part in the outworking or the foreshadowing of our heavenly Father.

(Taken from The Berean Expositor - Vol. 44)

Edited on April 28, 1996 / Updated on April 28, 1996
The Alachau Freenet does not endorse or disendorse the content of this document. Everything is the author's private opinion.
Location: http://www.afn.org/~leo/tft_goal_of_god_11.html
Contact: Leo Wierzbowski / leo@afn.org

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