The Image of the Devil in the Soul of Man
God made man in God’s own image, male and female, He created them this way (Gen 1:26–27). God gave man a mind, a will, a heart, and emotions. Each of these was fully inclined to God.
Every thought of man was given over to thoughts of God. Every intention of man was to serve God. Man’s love was for God…whom he knew. Adam, that is, man, was righteous in God’s presence. He was pure and holy, reflecting God who made him. The garden paradise, God gave man to call his home, was perfectly suited for man. Man was free to obey God’s Law (Gen 1–2).
Man, as an image bearer, resembled the image of God, but man was subject to change. The change of image, in man, is attributed to man’s fall. The fall is attributed to man’s revolt against God, at the instigation of the serpent, the devil, in disguise (Gen 3).
In the fall, man forfeited all the benefits of being an image bearer resembling God. Paradise was lost, but the whole world was gained. Man now resembled the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), his father from the fall, the devil, called, “Satan.”
After the fall, man no longer resembled God, but now, man bore the image of the devil, in every aspect of his life. The light, illumining the knowledge of God, was now darkness. The darkened mind of man was now the opposite of the mind of God (Jer 14:14; Eph 4:17).
The fallen nature of man was now dominated by sin (Gen 6:5). Man thought sinful thoughts, which inclined man’s will toward sinning. Man was now a slave to sin (Rom 6:6), whose wages brought death to man (Rom 6:23). The soul of man was already dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), but the body of man would also experience the extinguishing of life (2 Cor 4:16–5:5). The second death, an eternity in the prison of hell and the lake of fire, is man’s just punishment for his rebellion against the infinite majesty of God (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
The futility of man’s mind (Eph 4:17), conjoined with his depraved will, are fueled by the lustful passions as the image bearer of the devil. Man’s whole being, that is, the heart of man, is filled with incessant lust for sin (Jer 17:9). Sin is every thought in opposition to God (1 Jn 3:4). It is every affection in opposition to God. Man’s will is to do the will of Satan, who ingeniously insists that man take the glory, for all of his devil-inspired works of rebellion against God.
The glory-stealing pride of man is highly motivated, by Satan’s suggestion that man shall be like God (Gen 3:5) if man stands in defiant opposition to God. Man is compliant to his dark lord because his heart is wicked and filled with covetousness. Man wants God’s throne because man’s father, the devil, wants God’s throne.
God owns everything (Ps 24:1), but man hoards as much of the world (Lk 12:13–34), as he can accumulate and manage. There is no end to man’s greed, his lust for more of this world. Man steals glory from God, even as he steals his neighbor’s wife and goods. His quest is to gain the whole world, oblivious, to the threat to his own soul, which will be required of him, on the day appointed by God (Jn 5:28–29; 2 Cor 5:10; Heb 9:27).
The inversion of images to which man has subjected himself is extreme. Man has opted out of light, in favor of a darkened mind. He has forsaken right standing with God, in favor of enmity. He has positioned his will in direct opposition to the will of God. His heart of love has been polluted with adulteries. The lust of his eyes is never satisfied. Man is forever restless, in his estrangement from God. He toils, but his labor is in vain.
Man is blind to these conditions (2 Cor 4:4), and so he remains deluded in his occupations, in and for the world. Man loves the world, and he does not wish to leave the world (1 Jn 2:15–17). The children of the devil bear the image of their father (1 Jn 3:10), as children of wrath, by their sin nature (Eph 2:3). The eternal home of Satan’s image bearers is outer darkness, a place inspiring the hell man brought to earth during his brief stay.
The Bible calls all men, everywhere, to repent of their revolt against God (Acts 17:30). Without God’s powerful intervention, by His grace, to reconcile a man to God, man’s cruel and vicious nature will only add more hell to hell. The day of judgment is nearing, a relief for the redeemed of the Lord, who wait for their Savior from this wretched world (1 Thess 1:10; Titus 2:13; 3:4–6). He is our only hope for the restoration of ruined-image bearing man (Rom 8:30; Col 1:27).
The reconciled elect now increasingly resemble Christ (Rom 8:29), by His gracious choice — a renovation project, for His chosen image bearers. Here is the new life of God, in the soul of man (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20). This is the life of the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11). It is life abundant, and it is life eternal (Jn 3:15–16, 36; 10:10).
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 20, 2021