Tuesday, January 11, 2022

One Life

 As far as I can tell, the Bible only ever mentions one source of life. Here it is.

Genesis 2:7

“ …then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”-NRSV 

(Note here we see the personal name for God. God is not merely creating. God is relating-imparting God’s very life.)

And here.

John 1:4

“…in him (the Word) was life, and the life was the light of all people.”


And again here.

John 14:6

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”


We all have one common source; our source is God’s life. (By the way, on this point I must disagree with our brothers and sisters who say life begins at conception. The life was already there, in the sperm and in the egg. What began was a new, unique expression of life.) Which is precisely what we are-unique expressions of the one life. God’s life. (Following this line, we can also make the point that every living thing is a unique expression of the one life). We are all connected in this way. Since this is true, we can ask, along with Francis Shaeffer, ‘how shall we then live?’

  The answer is our vocation-to bear God’s image and demonstrate God’s likeness. This is the common vocation for all humankind. How we do that-demonstrate God’s likeness-is our calling. Calling can be anything, from pastor to teacher to mother (or father) to factory worker. Calling can change over the years. Vocation never does. 

Vocation involves inner transformation.

2 Corinthians 3:18

“And we all, with unveiled face, reflecting (RSV mg) the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord...”-RSV

And lest you think this ‘image and likeness’ business was somehow erased (or cancelled) in the garden, consider God’s words to Noah after the flood.

Genesis 9:6

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image”.-RSV 

Before you dismiss this as merely justification for capital punishment, consider how the two parts are related, and why (for additional context see Matthew 5:17; 21-24). 


Right about now you might be looking around and asking “if we’re made in the Imago Dei, what happened?” Good question; I’m glad you asked. We will address that in the garden, but before we do let’s go back to the beginning; to the first six days and the false conflict between creation and science. (Spoiler alert-if you absolutely cannot wait, you may want to read Romans 1:21;28). 

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