Quiet Time Coaching Episode 514 | New Creation Series — Part 6 | “New Creation – New Picture of Self” | Malcolm Cox

A new creation! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to this series on ‘A new creation’. 

Introduction: Reflecting on Our Inner Image

Have you ever seen yourself on video? I first saw myself on film during a preaching training session. Questions flooded my mind: Did I really stand like that? Was my face contorting in such a way? Why was I staring at the floor while speaking? It was an eye-opening experience.

However, our internal view of ourselves is more significant than physical behaviour.

  1. The Critical Importance of Self-Perception
    Often, we carry unhealthy scripts in our minds, oscillating between “I’m not good enough” and “I’m the centre of the universe.” As Christians, it’s vital to develop a healthy view of ourselves because our growth into a new creation hinges on cooperating with God’s transformative process (2 Corinthians 3:18):

“And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Our image of ourselves is both a symptom and cause of ongoing spiritual formation.

  1. Understanding Our Identity

What can we say about who we are?

Firstly, we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27):

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

There’s a notable distinction between humanity and other creatures—we were directly created by God, imbued with immeasurable value.

Secondly, we are already accepted as God’s beloved. John 3:16 illustrates God’s profound love for humanity, demonstrated through Jesus:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Even Jesus needed reminders of His belovedness (Mark 1:11; Matthew 17:5), emphasising our need for reassurance. We receive this by trusting what Jesus said to his followers in John 15.9

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

We are as beloved of Jesus as he is beloved by Father God. To be spiritually healthy means working from a place of acceptance, not for acceptance. Do we genuinely believe that nothing we do can make God love us more or less?

Lastly, our spiritual condition is marred by inherent flaws. As Martin Luther put it:

“Scripture describes man as curved in upon himself to such an extent that he bends not only physical, but also spiritual goods towards himself, seeking himself in all things.”

Therefore we require God’s transformative work (James 1:2-4):

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

This work of God needs to be done not so we become loveable but because he loves us so we can better represent him in this world.

Conclusion: Cultivating a Healthy Self-Image

Let me offer you some practices to help you create a more healthy picture of yourself—in other words, to see yourself as God sees you. 

  • Every morning, when you wake up, ask God to give you an awareness of his personal love for you.
  • Try repeating this phrase at various points throughout the day: “I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights—and I live in the strong and unshakeable kingdom of God.”
  • Meditate on a Scripture reassuring you of God’s love, such as Romans 8.38-39
  • Study Psalm 23 and the attitude of the shepherd (God) to his sheep (you).
  • Pray through Psalm 103, a Psalm that praises God for His compassion and forgiveness. It emphasises God’s love and mercy towards those who fear Him.

God bless, Malcolm

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Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, or practical? Could you send me your questions or suggestions? Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License