“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: …”
“This is the written account of Adam's family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.”
The other day as I was shaving, I was gazing in the mirror at the reflection of my face: I was staring intently trying to determine if what all of my family says about me is true. Do I look just like my father? Honestly, I can’t see it. But every time I visit my family, it’s the same thing – from aunts and uncles, cousins, and even my brothers and sisters, “you look just like your daddy.”
My father passed away about 25 years ago, but I even have one brother that told me that being around me makes him uncomfortable sometimes, because of how much I look like my father.
I started thinking about that commercial on the radio about a website that was created for people to research their family history. Now they have a service where you can send them a DNA sample and they can tell you the origins of your DNA. For the low price of $79.99, you can discover your family’s ethnic make-up.
In that moment of contemplating how awesome it would be to know what that test would reveal about my biological make-up, the Lord spoke to me: “You’re going through a test right now, aren’t you? What is this test going to reveal about your spiritual make-up? How much of my character is going to be found in you? What is your spiritual DNA? How much do you look like Jesus?”
As Believers we have been born again by the spirit of God into the family of God, we have a new blood line, we are the children of God, we are joint heirs with Jesus, and we have been called out of the ways of men, into the ways of God, and as we progress spiritually, we are supposed to look like Jesus.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
I’m talking about a family resemblance! We are the sons of God!
1 John 3:2
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
By virtue of the new birth, you and I are sons!
When you see a branch of an apple tree, loaded down with apples, you have no difficulty distinguishing its identity. No one wonders if perhaps that branch is connected to a peach tree, or fig tree, because the branch takes on the same character as the tree: it has a family resemblance. Jesus said, “I am the vine ye are the branches.”
In the times we are living in, it is getting harder and harder to distinguish what family many so called “Believers,” belong to. Many Churches are becoming more worldly, and more comfortable with sin. And we laugh at the things that used to make us cry. What used to break our hearts now gets passed off by saying, “it’s just the times we’re in.”
Friends, the truth is: you can dress it up anyway you want to and call it good, but Jesus said the tree is known by its fruit. If the fruit is rotten the tree is rotten. You can’t have a rotten tree and good fruit. The tree may have beautiful branches and leaves, it may look good, and it may sound good, but if it is not being taken care of, being fed the right nutrients, being pruned occasionally, then take look at the fruit – and be careful, because there’s probably a worm inside.
In order to withstand the storm, the tree must be strong. It must have good roots, to bear good fruit, and stand the test of time. If we want to bear good fruit, and stand the tests of life we must be fed in our spirit, so that we can put down good roots.
Ephesian 4:14-19 (NKJV)
“14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Let me take it a step farther, there are only two families in the spiritual sense, that you can belong to: The family of God, or the family of the devil.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
1 John 3:10
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
In the natural many times people will attribute a certain characteristic or personality trait to their bloodline: A bad temper, self-pity, critical, prejudice, untrustworthy – it’s in the blood. That’s the way his Grandpa was and his daddy – the poor kid didn’t have a chance. It’s a family resemblance.
But as a new creature in Christ Jesus we have a new bloodline, the bloodline of Jesus! And this bloodline doesn’t have any alcoholics, liars, womanizers, or gossips in it! It doesn’t have any prejudice, self-pity, or anger in it! It doesn’t have any diabetes, heart disease, or cancer in it!
Friends, do you follow what I’m trying to say today? I’m talking about a family resemblance! You won’t find adultery, fornication, drug addiction, wife abuse, or child abuse in this bloodline. Too many times Christians want to excuse wrong behavior by saying: "I can’t help it it’s just my nature" – no sir! No ma’am! A true child of God cannot use that excuse because they have a new nature, and a new bloodline! Our Spiritual DNA has been transformed by the renewing of our minds!
We cannot say: “I really am a good tree; you just have to overlook my bad fruit.”
Friend that’s a lie out of hell itself to keep you bound by your past! If the tree is “rooted and established in Christ,” there will be a family resemblance! And it will bring forth the fruits of righteousness, and the fruit of the spirit! If we are being transformed, and not conformed, we’re going to look like our daddy, we’re going to think like our daddy, and act like our daddy.
Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”