In His Image
This article is about the possible future role of the Holy Spirit.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
- Ezekiel 36:26-27 (KJV)
When God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image and likeness.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
- Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV)
God is a spirit, so it's not His physical image that is meant here.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
- John 4:24 (KJV)
His image is a reference to His character, in particular to His love and righteousness (no sin).
Of course when we started sinning (by having the knowledge of evil) we were no longer in God's image and likeness.
This is a problem, because God is simply not willing to sustain a universe where people are killing, stealing, lying, etc. Sin is against everything God believes in, and the fall of mankind is therefore a complete and utter breakdown between God and man. It couldn't be any worse.
In God's eyes the creation as it is today must be restored back to how it was (no sin).
But how is that achieved?
Well, it starts with believing that Jesus died for our sins.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- John 3:16 (KJV)
And when we believe we are baptized (or sealed) with the Holy Spirit.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
- Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV)
But what does it mean to be sealed by the Holy Spirit?
Well, Ellen White puts it like this.
As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ.
- Ellen White, Signs of the Times, December 26, 1892
In other words, if you follow the lead of the Holy Spirit you will begin to reflect God's character.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
- Romans 8:14 (KJV)
God is restoring everything back to how it was in Eden.
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
- Revelation 22:4 (KJV)
In the Bible the word "name" refers to "character".
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
- Isaiah 57:15 (KJV)
God's name is not really "Holy" of course, it's just a reference to His character.
We're predestined to become like the image of His Son.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
- Romans 8:29 (KJV)
The Holy Spirit, by convicting us of sin, is essentially leading us home (through repentance).
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
- John 16:8 (KJV)
As we receive more and more of the Holy Spirit this conviction will only become stronger and stronger.
And that's why we should follow the gentle lead of the Holy Spirit, and not grieve Him.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
- Ephesians 4:30 (KJV)
Our new spiritual bodies will not be able to sin, and as a result there will be no more sin in God's kingdom.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It [the body] is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
- 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 (KJV)
Our earthly bodies (which have a carnal mind) need to go.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
- Romans 8:7 (KJV)
Clearly man is unable to keep God's law by themselves, and the last 6,000 years of sin have proven this. Today, even with the help of the Holy Spirit (deposit), we still sin. So God says let me help you with this. Let my Holy Spirit (without measure) filter out anything that would break my law. This will effectively remove the knowledge of evil altogether.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
- Hebrews 8:10-11 (KJV)
That can only happen at the spiritual level, and this is where our spirit joins God's Spirit to establish a sinless nature.
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
- 1 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV)
In this state the thought to kill, steal, or lie won't even come to mind anymore. I obviously don't know for certain how that would work, but I do believe that sin will need to be "negotiated" at the spiritual level. It has to be, so that there can be no more sin in our new spiritual bodies.
When we're like that we are restored in God's image and likeness again.
And that's why the Holy Spirit will be with us forever.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
- John 14:16-17 (KJV)
That also explains why our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit specifically.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
- 1 Corinthians 6:19 (KJV)
The Holy Spirit may be the quiet one of the Trinity, but He certainly plays a major role in all of this.
Soon, by our own free will, we will no longer be able to sin, and we will all be in God's image and likeness again.
No more knowledge of evil. No more sin.