Christian Icons

imageOne of the greatest things about being a Christian, in my opinion, is having at least a glimpse of what I’m being transformed into. Notice I said a glimpse.

What’s so great about that? Well, I consider the original man and woman, Adam and Eve, were in really great shape when they were first created. But that which God is transforming His children into is FAR GREATER than His first kids.

God is in the process of transforming me (and all believers) into the very image of His Son.

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” (Romans 8:29 NASB)

His Son, the Word made flesh, the exact representation of God’s image and nature. Incredible.

“…in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power…” (Hebrews 1:2-3 NASB)

This is far beyond my capacity to understand, but my heart cries out, “I believe”.

Name any superlative that describes Jesus, and that’s what He’s transforming us into. No, no, no, not to compete with or try to replace the Savior, but as a reflection of Him. A mirror.

Kind of like the icons on a computer desktop. The icons represent, and are, in a way, the entrance to the particular program. You know what’s inside by becoming familiar with the icon. If you want to open Facebook, you know it by the large, white “F” against a blue background.

The word “icon” comes from the greek word, “eikon” (pronounced – i-kone), which means: a likeness, statue, profile, representation, or resemblance. An image. It’s used a number of times in the New Testament, as a description of what the believers are becoming; both morally and mentally. 

For example:

“Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:49 NASB) 

Mankind has borne the image of fallen man, ever since the first Adam no longer reflected the image of his Creator. The Second Adam, however, has changed all that. Now, through faith in Christ, we are being transformed into His image, from glory to glory.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB)

From glory to glory. The more we behold Him, the more we become like Him.

“in whose case (the lost – v.3) the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NASB)

Seeing, viewing, understanding, beholding the light of the gospel is what opens up our hearts to Christ. The gospel is the light which unveils the eikon of God. Jesus.

Into Whose very image we are being changed. 

“He is the image (eikon) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Colossians 1:15 NASB)

“and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.” (Colossians 3:10 NASB)

When God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”, He was looking past the fall, and was expressing His plans for His family – the sons and daughters of God. As the fall of Adam didn’t catch God by surprise, neither did it nullify His original intent. It has just taken a while for the seed to take root.

As sons and daughters of God, let’s remember we’re the eikons seen by the world. Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14), and it’s not blasphemy for us to carry ourselves in the same manner. I understand it’s a hard concept to grasp, but it’s God’s intent.

Notice Jesus’ prayer in John 17: “that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (John 17:21-23 NASB). Jesus went as far as to say, “Ye are the light of the world.” He also was heard to say, “I am the light of the world.”

John wrote, “As He is, so are we in this world”, (1 John 4:17). Also, in chapter three of the same letter, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3 NASB).

Christian, you and I have a high calling to tend to. And as we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. This is what we’re called to do; to be.

That’s why we’re called Christian – because we’re to bear the image (eikon) of the Christ.