Beckett: 1st Article of the Creed – A Body in God’s Image

In the 1st Article of the Creed, we “believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them…” (SC, The First Article: Creation). Contrary to what our culture says, the body you were born with is the body God gave you. “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works, my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14). It is extremely sad that a person hates themselves so much that they imagine themselves to be another gender—something God did not create them to be. And it is evil to support such self-hatred, a hundred times as evil to support their self-mutilation as they seek to become what they are not, and ineffably evil as some force such mutilation on children who don’t know any better.

You Are Fearfully Made

Why does the psalmist say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”? Every human being is created in the image of God, even if they are born with a defect. I received a question once that asked, “If God is the omnipotent Creator, why does He allow there to be birth defects?” I don’t have a satisfying answer to this because I don’t know, since I’m not God. However, Jesus’ words from John 9 come to mind concerning the man He healed who was blind from birth, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (v. 3). The defect likely reflects the corruption of sin in the person and in the world (and in each of us who have our own defects, seen or unseen), but to Jesus that is not the point. The point is that the power of God is to be displayed in this person. What is that power?

I can think of two displays of this power: (1) Being created in the image of God—that just as with Adam, God breathed into your nostrils not just physical breath into your lungs and blood circulation, but also His very spirit into you. He does this with love, for God creates not just ex nihilo (out of nothing) but also ex amore (out of love), which means He loves to create, and He loves what and whom He creates. And (2) the power of God displayed in Christ on the cross that is for you. As Christ said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The power of Christ is the power of the Gospel, which “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16), even for such a person with a palpable defect.

You Are Wonderfully Made

God has given you a body, and He has given you the body He intended to give you. You might feel it was a mistake for whatever reason, but God makes no mistakes. He intricately formed you in your mother’s womb to display the power of His glorious image in you and the power of Christ’s redemption in you (hence why we baptise infants). And He “still takes care of them.” Contrary to our founding fathers’ Enlightenment thinking, God is not a watchmaker who set the course of earth’s time and is sitting back and watching human history take its course without any direct involvement.

Rather, He is a personal God, for He has given you His personal name in Baptism, He Himself forms you in your mother’s womb, He promises to give you your daily bread, and He entered human time and history in Jesus Christ to die and to rise for you, who is now ascended at the right hand of the Father with all authority over heaven and earth to reign for you. Today, then, He rules for you that He may give you His true body and blood in the Supper, which you receive into the body God made you for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, your humanity thus restored in the perfect humanity of Christ.


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