How do we Stand Approved before God?
The making of the Golden Calf by rebellious and backslidden Israel is a familiar story to Bible readers (Exodus 32 ). Grave consequences followed from the hand of the Lord when Moses returned from the Mount and witnessed their idolatry and sin.
All of this is ancient history of course, but one wonders if it isn't possible for subtle anti-types to seep into the thinking and practice of believers today without them realizing it.
It seems one of the most obvious golden calves is the fierce loyalty many believers have for their church and denomination. Loyalty to Christ and His Word is forced into a back seat, and all Scripture is made to fit into the theological framework of the denomination.
However, strange as it may sound to some, everyone worships an image of some kind. Even the Christian must form a mental image of the Lord in order for Him to be the object of worship. The acceptableness of this image to God will depend on how true it is. The truth of God's Word should be the only source of building material for this mental and spiritual image. In John 4:23 the Lord says, ...the true worshiper shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
Anything that hinders or causes us to deviate from this ideal can very well become a golden calf to us.
But forming a true and acceptable image of Christ also involves a selection of truth! In 2 Cor 5:16 we read, ...yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Pictures of Christ, which are the creation of an artist's imagination, do not glorify the Lord no matter how beautiful, strong, or manly the image may appear. First of all they use as their pattern Christ after the flesh. Secondly, they do not point us to a glorified Lord seated at God's right hand.
No image that man may devise can compare to what God wants us to see in Christ. For example we read in Col 1:15 that Christ ...is the image of the invisible God. Heb 1:3 says further He is the brightness of His (God's) glory, and the express image of His Person. Only the Holy Spirit's enablement can give us understanding from the Word in teaching us Who and what He is.
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