Many people are able to recite that humans were created in God’s image, according to Genesis 1:26-27. But very few are willing to accept the assertion that humans carry Godly attributes. The inability to accept Godly attributes in humanity is sustained in the belief that humans are basically evil, unlike God.
The spirit is described in many ways, just as what is physical is described in many ways. The spirit comprises the part of a person including his mind, feelings, and character rather than his physical body. Two persons can physically look identical. But, when carrying different characteristics they would be different. One may draw respect, where the other draws disrespect.
The identical physical personalities do not designate relational identities. Jesus had features that were similar to any physical human of His time. But Jesus was different, only on the aspect of behaving like His Father in Heaven. He was the only individual having ever lived, carrying God’s image attributes.
However, it is by choice that a person decides to adopt God’s image, or being attached to the physical nature. Anything physical is comprised in the material universe, which is finite. Although created in God’s image, humans are partly physical and partly spiritual, whose derivation is from Genesis 1:26-27.
Existing in the material universe requires embodiment in physical matter, although unnecessary for humans. The physical structure is a temporary dwelling, necessary for learning and developing Godliness. When not having developed Godliness, it is hazardous to attain spiritual freedom, necessitating Jesus’s preaching in parables.
The human determination to be anything other than God’s image is due to lacking faith. The starting point is understanding the spiritual definition, whose attributes are, obviously, different from physical humans. For one to survive in the current physical nature, both the spiritual and physical components are necessary.
Anyone attempting to behave like Jesus invites persecutions, encountered by Jesus. The two factors are dichotomously against each other, as one component seeks to survive at the expense of the other. The one that prevails dominates the defeated one, as enunciated by Paul to the Galatians:
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other so that you do not do what you want.”(Galatians 5:16-17 NIV).
In diluting Christianity, the unbelievers came up with the idea of the Trinity. The intention was to remove Jesus from the realm of humanity, even though Jesus lived as ordinarily as any other human of His time. The Trinitarian idea grants adoration to God, while remaining comfortable in sinfulness.
Jesus, whose resurrection was witnessed by many, is regarded as a member of the Trinity. But the resurrection is possible for every believer, according to Biblical teachings. The only reason why the other Saints are not accordingly resurrected, like, Jesus, is for one simple reason: “Unity.”
Due to carnality, there would be confusion if the other Saints were resurrected, before the right time. Paul, actually, contended with the Corinthian believers, revealing the possibility of such confusions. Some were tinkering with the idea of making Paul the second Christ.
“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
“What I mean is this: One of you says ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?”(1 Corinthians 1:10-13 NIV).
Jesus never sought to be worshipped, as He declared: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”(John 14:6 NIV). Jesus was the way to the God of Israel, as revealed in the Old Testament.
The characteristics of Jesus included not taking instructions from anyone, except directly from God the Father. The same applies to any convert after having received the Holy Spirit. This has got nothing to do with the Trinity, but more to do with spiritually connecting with God the Father.
Contrary to the assumption that humans are basically evil, humans are basically good. When surviving as a physical person, one is, obviously, disconnected from the source. The disconnection figuratively took place at the Garden of Eden.
Humans, having originally been created in God’s image, carried Godly attributes, like Jesus. The Bible believers know that everything in the Bible is true. If the Bible states that humans were created in God’s image, it only takes a nonbeliever to dismiss that assertion.
There is nothing that causes humans’ failure to be creators, similarly to how God is a Creator if humans were created in God’s image. The purpose of Jesus was to redeem the lost humanity. The aspect of being lost is attached to physical nature, more than being attached to God’s image, which is spiritual.
During His time on earth, Jesus often derided His disciples for lacking faith. Jesus knew that their origin had capabilities that were possessed by God Himself. Before His departure, Jesus stressed the significance of faith, to His disciples.
With faith, as little as a mustard seed, they could perform greater miracles than those performed by Jesus. This does not suggest being greater than Jesus, but that they could access the same source from where Jesus got His power.
Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:18-20 NIV).
The only reason necessitating the little faith was humanity’s physical condition. Without the spirit, the physical humans are as good as dead. Those associated with achievements in this world are invigorated by their spiritual components. Without the spirit, the physical person is incapacitated as to be unable to do anything.
A spiritless person cannot even entertain starting a business project, as envisaging failure, at all times. He may have ideas and resources but is limited by the physical condition in his mental approach. This is different from those spurred by the spiritual conviction, whose attitude would be to achieve success, against all odds.
The renowned inventors carry historical stories of being unimpeded by anything in their endeavors. They encountered forces of discouragement, but without giving up. Their successes are what sustains the current civilization, now taken for granted by many, without imagining what they went through.
In limited ways, such innovations reveal that, when utilizing the spiritual component, a human being achieves greater things in this life. Goal-getters can achieve anything through spiritual conviction, while many people simply get fascinated by such methodical achievements.
Those achievements are, obviously, smaller than the mustard seed, referred to by Jesus, when projecting possibilities, achievable by ordinary humans. Interestingly, such possibilities do not even take into account the aspect of religiosity. The problems of humanity are basically in the area of ignorance.
Education appears as carrying the most glamorously important legitimacy in this life. However, there is a need to debug educational systems, as carrying some undesirable elements. The stigma of superiority, attached to education, is what has devalued education, instead of enhancing it.
The supreme datum is that this world carries no superior or inferior personalities. In different gradients and categories, there may be either the ignorant or the educated people. Knowledge is accessible from any source to those desiring it.
Sadly, we have people who assume to know what is unknown to them, due to assumptions of superiority in education. There is no disgrace in not knowing something. The disgrace exists when one pretends to know what he doesn’t know.
The fabricated education seeks to award prestigious degrees, for scholastic achievements. The uneducated would then be degraded, though also carrying God’s image. Out of not desiring to be degraded as inferior, the uneducated then pretend to be educated, when the opposite would be true.
The veneer of supremacy, coated around most renowned professors, sold a dummy to the educational system. Education is necessary to the uneducated, but education should not be viewed as a prestigious emblem. The educated person is the one carrying an unenviable responsibility to educate the uneducated.
A truly educated person knows that he cannot be superior to other human species, also created in God’s image. It takes only a fool to despise God. But this is the norm among the so-called educated people of this world, when regarding themselves as superior to the uneducated.
The educated people are habitually known to separate themselves from uneducated people. Yet logic dictates that they should associate with the uneducated. The dissemination of knowledge cannot be possible when the educated seclude themselves.
The idea of awarding prestigious degrees to graduates is, actually, worsened when the degree-holders project no quantifiable results, benefitting others. The value of education is solely in benefitting others, yet even the unproductive degree-holders receive respect from the uneducated people.
Several uneducated people also desire to be awarded valueless degrees. The purpose is not for benefiting others. But for gaining respect, even without questioning the benefits obtainable from those degree-holders.
The apparently stifled benefits derivable from such education are a result of a veneer of superiority in education. An educated person carries the responsibility of educating the uneducated, who would then be also expected to pass on the baton.
The originally uneducated person, having become enlightened, could, actually, come back to educate the one having given him basic skills. Education carries the caveat responsibility to disseminate information, for the benefit of others.
Education cannot be premised on benefits designed for one’s own privilege. The world becomes a jewel when the value obtained in education benefits everyone in the environment. As long as solely benefitting self, that education is fictitious.
Faith, when measured by the mustard seed, is of this world. The considered gigantic world achievements are a manifestation of what can be achievable by those refusing to be physically limited. The inventors of the fastest jets portray those people who took advantage of the mustard seed type of faith.
Nevertheless, there is faith, beyond that of the mustard seed, requiring surrendering physical possessions. That kind of faith is at the level of Jesus and the apostles, after having received the Holy Spirit. Blessed are those, possessing that kind of faith; as manifesting being at one with God.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”(Ephesians 2:19-21 NIV).
The world’s problems are premised on falsehood, more than mere ignorance. The awareness of being ignorant relieves, rather than pretending to know, yet without knowledge. Safety lies in avoiding pretense and being unashamed of ignorance.
The willingness to learn is the only gateway to acquiring knowledge. Jesus is the light, to those responding to His calling, and avoiding pretense. The most disgusting condition involves Christian pretenders, more than non-believers.
The purpose is for true believers to pave the way towards knowledge, dispelling ignorance, among the uneducated communities. The suppression of the clear voice, crying in the wilderness, comes from those pretending to be dedicated Christians. Such people obviously feel threatened by those displaying truthful information.
The false datum is derived from the assumption that being educated grants superiority, over those considered uneducated. This is the source of the apparently insurmountable world’s challenges. A truly spiritual person is aware of the fact that all humans were created in God’s image. When using their respective talents, the truly converted people could, actually, achieve greater things, even in this life.
“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God”(1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV).
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions ––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99