In the Image of the Son
“For whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His dear Son.”
Romans 8:29 is a gem in the Bible often overlooked due to our focus on the previous verse which emphasizes the providence of God. (8:28) A quick reflection highlights some important concepts including God’s eternal foreknowledge, His wisdom, the biblical essence of predestination and that we express the nature of Jesus in life. Paul desires that we conform to the Lord and reflect Him to the lost.
Two important terms to considers are the words “conform” and “image”. To understand Romans 8:29, Colossians 1:15 is helpful. There, Paul says “Jesus is the image of the invisible God.” This coincides with the fact that Jesus was the physical embodiment of God. (John 1:14) His incarnation is not merely the point of Colossians 1:15. Paul’s meaning centers more on how Jesus lived. Paul portrays Jesus as the essence of how God would live, love, act or speak. Jesus lived out the perfect image of God. Paul’s use of “image” is the same root as our word “icon.” When you start a computer, the initial screen contains several “icons.” Double-click that one-dimensional file and you will find so much more beneath the surface! In this same sense, Jesus was so much more than merely a man.
Back to Romans 8:29, Paul says we are to be conformed to the “image of His Son.” As Jesus perfectly embodied the nature of God, He calls us to embody the nature of Jesus. When conformed to Jesus, no one questions our allegiance.
Are you allowing Jesus to be seen living in you? Whose image is reflected in your life?
– James Farris, Herald of Truth Ministries