Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sin & Divine Image

So, what is sin?
In 3 words: Sin is unbecoming.

Less than 5 words: Sin is unbecoming human.

In 10 words (or so): Sin is unbecoming who we, humans, are intended to be.

The ideal human is Christ. Jesus being the very image of God is also the very image of the real human. Jesus' mission as the Christ is right the distorted image of God that humans bear by reconstituting humanity (Col 1.15-16).
"Jesus is man as God willed and created him....The nature of the man Jesus is the key to the problem of the human. This man is man." - Karl Barth (Quoted in A.Thiselton's Hermeneutics of Doctrines, p.392)

Jesus being very God and very Human marks the perfect image that every other humans are being measured, loved, criticized and judged. And hence our conforming to be like Jesus is our sacrifice to be Christ-like, the image of the very God and hence the very Human.

In other words, to be a real human is by bearing the real image of God, Jesus.

When sin entered the world, it is the defacing not of humans and creation but also of the very divine image that we reflect. Hence when a human sins, he/she is disfiguring the inherent sacredness, hence entering into the process of unbecoming himself/herself.

Guilty, troubled, and scary... yet hopeful.


Steven Sim said...

I prefer it this way:
In other words, to bear the image of Christ is to be a real human.

Steven Sim

Kok Seng said...

You are so very right. No one can become the perfect image of God like Jesus, and we can never achieve the perfect Christ-likeness that is demanded of us all. Most of us will die a sinner; as Jesus said that if we sin in thought we have committed sin and disfigure the very image of God. Heaven can have no sin. Most of us will perish in hell, unless we can be fortunate enough to repent and confess ALL our sin just before we die. We should all repent daily and continuosly or even hourly whenever the opportunity arises.

xer2003 said...

Kok Seng, got a question for you. What happen if one morning after your quiet time, you scolded your mother in the morning for a really small matter, you saw the morning paper with an advertisement with a scantily dressed woman and your thoughts went wild, next when you were about to cross the other side road, a huge SBS bus with a driver who weren't paying attention on your squinky little body crossing the road and he hits you on target. It happened so quickly within a wink of an eye and you hadn't time at all to offer a prayer of confession of your sins you did this morning. According to your understanding, you are going straight to hell, correct? I would assume you will say a definite YES!

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Steven,

Good suggestion. Nicely phrased.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Kok Seng,

Good point you'd raised there.

Hence I think the Reformed tradition of God preserving the elect has a role to play here.

If someone is truly convert, he/she has join in the community of sanctification. This community is like being a citizen of a country. You are entitled for all the citizen rights.

So even you break some of the law of the country (exceeds speed limit on highway), you will be punished (fine) but still your citizenship remains.

But of course there are occasion when your citizenship will be stripped away when certain crimes are committed.

This is an imperfect illustration. I'm trying to convey the idea of salvation as becoming a citizen of God's kingdom.