Pictures of Christian Dignity

Christian faithfulness includes learning to talk the way Scripture talks. This is not easy because sin complicates the simplest things, bogs down the most effortless tasks, and pulls the soul of track. God does call believers slaves and sheep. But those pictures are not the whole story. We need a frame large enough to take in everything God says, and the salvation planned in the Covenant of Redemption reaches down very low to sinners in their mire only to lift them very high. Here are some of the key metaphors used to describe men.

All men

  1. Image of God                        Gen. 1:26
  2. Children of God                     Acts 17:29

All believers

  1. Salt of the earth                    Matt. 5:13
  2. Light of the world                  Matt. 5:14
  3. Friends                                  John 15:15
  4. Servants of the Most High God   Acts 16:17
  5. Conquerors                           Rom. 8:37
  6. Holy ones                              1 Cor. 1:2
  7. Ambassadors for Christ       2 Cor. 5:20
  8. Body of Christ                       Eph. 1:23
  9. Dwelling of God                     Eph. 2:22
  10. Chosen race                          1 Pet. 2:9
  11. Holy nation                            1 Pet. 2:9
  12. God’s own people                  1 Pet. 2:9
  13. Partakers of the divine nature     2 Pet. 1:4
  14. Priests                                   Rev. 20:6
  15. Kings                                     Rev. 20:6

True pastors

  1. Shepherds                             Acts 20:28
  2. Overseers                             1 Tim. 3:1
  3. Leaders                                 Heb. 13:17

This category may be in danger of being abused to serve the sinful ends of the world’s lies about self esteem under the Christianese phrase of “who we are in Christ”. I have personally heard unbelieving false pastors use that phrase to entirely skip the Biblical pictures of humility and jump to wealth and prosperity with some of the metaphors listed above.

Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit speaks of men and believers with these words, so we must pray that these too would blend together with the pictures of humility and guide our relationships, responses, and ambitions.

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