To preach the Gospel we must get the who right. Who are you? Where do you come from? At your core are you good or evil?
The creation story in Genesis is very remarkable when compared to the ones of other cultures. Right there in the beginning God creates man in His own likeness and image. Do you realize how amazing that is? Other creation stories have people come out of holes, or by spontaneous creation, or even by violence. In our story God forms us by hand in His own image and says that we are good.
We have heard this so much that it has lost its shock value, so let me repeat it, we are created in the image and likeness of God, who is love, and He calls us good. Now if we could just believe it! So many theologies out there seem to miss this point. You hear phrases like “total depravity,” or “humans are manure piles covered with Christ.” What a horrible starting point. How do you ever undo such foundational damnation? God made us good. That is our origin, and it’s a good solid foundation that we need to recognize.
Our family origin is divine. Our core is original blessing, not original sin. In the garden God walked and talked with us. Our beginning was in unity with God, and this unity is still possible. In fact it is promised. The Bible ends with the revelation of our marriage to God. So our beginning and our end is unity. We just have to try and not get lost somewhere in the middle. Our true identity is that we are children of God, but we must beware the multitude of devils out there who will distract us with the same temptation offered to Jesus, “if you are a child of God…”
This is why it is so important to have a contemplative mind. We must have knowledge of the soul’s unity with God. If we have a negative starting point such as “total depravity,” then it is very difficult creating responsive, much less loving people.
Just remember that you were created by Love, in the image and likeness of Love. Sin cannot change that, no matter how original. Love dwells in your heart, the very core of your personality and being, and He is waiting for you to return to Him.