“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He made them” (Genesis 1:27).
Man is not a creature having a spirit, he is a spirit having a body. God is spirit; and man, being made in His image, is spirit also, but a spirit having a body. The spirit of man is the essence of his being, the “I am”, the deep, mysterious seat of who he is, which no other can know, except the Spirit of God. This “I am” of man is a gift of the “I AM” who created him.
The “I AM” who is God is underived and uncreated and self-existent; the “I am” who is me is derived from God and dependent every moment upon His creative authority for my continued existence. One is the Creator, dwelling in light unapproachable; the other is a creature and, though privileged above other creatures, still but a creature, a pensioner on God’s providence and mercy for continued existence.
The tragedy of man is that, although he was made more like God than any other creature, he has become less like God than all His other creatures that live in harmony with His creation about them.
“Yea, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the seasons of their migration; but my people know not the judgments of the LORD” (Jeremiah 8:7).
Created to reflect the glory of God, man has retreated into his cave to disguise his sinfulness, blindly stumbling through this dark world to find only a grave at the end.
“For many are walking who, as I was often saying to you, but now weeping I also tell you, are enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18).
Paul apparently has told the Philippians of this before and it begs the question; “who are the enemies of the cross of Christ?” He answers the question in the next verse; those who set their minds upon, or who ponder or think about, “earthly things”.
This describes much of modern Christianity. The cross of modern Christianity is a cross quite different to the cross of Christ; there are similarities, but the differences are fundamental.
The cross of Christ is a symbol of death; it is the cross upon which the old man is to be slain; when Christ took up the cross and started down the road, He knew He wasn’t coming back. The cross of modern Christianity doesn’t offer an end to life, but an opportunity to improve oneself; it makes no unpleasant demands but offers much the same as the world, with the bonus of a ticket to heaven at the end of this life.
This is a complete nonsense of course; in coming to Christ we don’t bring our old life onto a higher plane; we must crucify it! God can only salvage the individual by liquidating him and then raising him up to a new life in Christ. We are to be baptized into His death and resurrected into His life!