Were Humans Created INCOMPLETE?
God created man as a clay image of himself, from the dust of the ground (Gen. 1:27). Adam was made physically complete. But God did not create man spiritually complete. Something was missing. He told Abraham, "be thou PERFECT" (Gen. 17:1). Christ also said to his disciples, "Be ye, therefore, PERFECT, even as your Father, who is in heaven, is perfect" (Matth. 5:48). But how can men be PERFECT when "the heart (or mind -- Ps. 10:6-13) is DECEITFUL above all things, and desperately WICKED" (Jer. 17:9)? How can men be PERFECT when "the carnal mind is ENMITY against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7)?
Instead of perfection,
“the WHOLE WORLD lieth IN WICKEDNESS" (1 John 5:19) and is called “this present EVIL WORLD” (Gal. 1:4). It is because man is INCOMPLETE. Man is not in the spiritual image of God. “There is a WAY WHICH SEEMETH RIGHT unto a man [to the carnal unconverted man], but the end thereof are the WAYS OF DEATH”-- ETERNAL DEATH (Pr. 14:12). God says, “O that there were such a heart [MIND] in them that they would fear Me, and keep My commandments always that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” (Deut. 5:29). You ask, “Why didn't God create us PERFECTLY OBEDIENT to Him TO START WITH? If he had done that, we would be mere automatons -- like the MOON -- which moves BUT has no mind of its own. WE would not be CREATURES OF CHOICE. We would not be able to make right decisions “on our own.”
Spiritual Weights Require Spiritual Muscle
GOD says “I create EVIL" (Isaiah 45:7). God created mankind IMPERFECT on purpose. Psalm 58: 3 says, "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." Romans 3:10-16 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.... Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways." Romans 1:29-31 says, "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." Mark 7:21-23 says, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." We are not responsible for these evil thoughts tempting us, but we must OVERCOME any temptation or it will defile us. "Enter ye in at the NARROW gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat" (Matt. 7:13).
More evil tendencies of the human mind are found listed in Gal. 5:19-21, which says, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (sexy), idolatry, witchcraft (using evil spirits), hatred, variance (disagreeing), emulations (jealous rivalry), wrath, strife, seditions (rebellions), heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like (etcetera): of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." The majority of mankind VOLUNTARILY DESIRES to participate in ungodly activities. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). Paul recognized this carnal tendency in his own mind when he exclaimed, “I find then a law [of disobedience], that, when I would do good, evil is present with me” (Rom. 7:21). And Paul went on to lament, “I see . . . [this same] law [of disobedience] in my members [in my body], WARRING AGAINST the LAW OF my MIND [GOD’S LAW, WHICH PAUL HAD ACCEPTED IN HIS HEART AND MIND (verse 22)] and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin [disobedience] which is in my members” (verse 23). THUS, there is a WAR CONSTANTLY GOING ON within MAN’S MIND as to whether to be obedient or disobedient to God. EVEN THE RIGHTEOUS PAUL was having DIFFICULTY in keeping temptations from getting the better of him! Just as getting in shape physically, requires physical exercise, so also getting in shape spiritually requires spiritual exercise. To BUILD SPIRITUAL MUSCLE, we must have SPIRITUAL WEIGHTS.
We Complete the Creation Of Our Own Spiritual Image
God commands us: “MAKE YOU a NEW HEART and a new spirit: for why will ye die?” (Ezek. 18:31). "MAKE YOU!” Notice that it is “YOU” whom God holds RESPONSIBLE! God created us. He knows that He has given to each of us the power of decision. The power to CHOOSE whether or not we will DEVELOP CHARACTER and EXERCISE WILL POWER in making RIGHT DECISIONS. God Himself is fashioning us unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the CLAY, and thou our POTTER; and we all are the WORK of thy hand" (Isa. 64:8). Most men are going the opposite direction from the Bible! Humans must SURRENDER their WAYS and WILL to His WAYS and His WILL as revealed in the Bible. Only then is HE ABLE TO COMPLETE HIS SPIRITUAL IMAGE WITHIN US. The creation is not yet complete. We WERE CREATED in his PHYSICAL IMAGE. We are BEING CREATED in his SPIRITUAL IMAGE. Repentance and baptism must take place first. Then he gives his Holy Spirit "to those who OBEY him" (Acts 5:32). "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22-23). We are "to be conformed to the IMAGE of his Son" (Rom. 8:29) "until Christ be FORMED in you" (Gal. 4:19).
The process works like this: "If ye continue in my WORD, then are ye my disciples INDEED; And ye shall KNOW THE TRUTH, and the truth shall make you FREE" (John 8:31-32). By studying the Bible, we LEARN what to OBEY. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in RIGHTEOUSNESS" (2 Tim. 3:16). We are given a choice. "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deut. 30:19). He gives us a new mind -- His Holy Spiritual mind, by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. It must be AIDED as much as is humanly possible BY OUR WILLING, human EFFORTS. This is what produces CHARACTER in man -- God‘s objective! "And he that OVERCOMETH, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations" (Rev. 2:26). We are actually to be "PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE” (2 Peter 1:4).
We may now be begotten of the Spirit of the Father and when we are later “born again”-- then we will be completely composed of spirit -- the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. We will then be fully in God's SPIRITUAL IMAGE as members of the God Family -- composed of God’s spiritual substance by a new birth. We will then be the very personification of LOVE since “God is Love’’ (1 John 4:8.). David sang, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy LIKENESS " (Ps. 17:15). Job waited for his "CHANGE" to "come" (Job 14:14). "When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as GOLD" (Job 23:10).
Pearls of Wisdom
There once was an oyster whose story I'd tell
Who found that some sand had got under his shell!
Just one little grain, but it gave him a pain
For oysters have feelings, professors maintain.
Now did he berate the unfortunate fate,
That led him to such a deplorable state?
"No!" he said to himself as he lay on the shelf,
"If I cannot remove it, I'll try to improve it."
So the years rolled along as years always do,
And he came to his ultimate destiny -- stew!
But the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl, all richly aglow!
Now this tale has a moral, for isn't it grand
What an oyster can do with a small grain of sand?
What couldn't we do, if we'd only begin
With all of the things that get under our skin?