Being conformed to the image of the Son.  Paul tells us that for those whom love God, God works all things for good.  As with Joseph who told his brothers, “You meant the things you did for evil, but God meant it for good.  To bring about that many people would be saved.”  Being conformed to the image of the Son is the desire of faith not of the flesh.  It is the desire of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Humans cannot obtain faith in any way other than the Grace of God.

Saints are conformed to the image of Christ with the result that they, like Christ, will be raised from the dead making Christ the Firstborn among many brothers.  Because for those whom are elected by God are justified and glorified by God.  St. James the Elder was such an elect man.

The older of the Sons of Thunder James did not always know just what the image of the Son held for him.  Jesus knew though.  In Mark 10 James and John approach Jesus and ask to be at his right and left hand when He enters into Glory.  Jesus asks them if they will be able to drink the cup He will drink and be baptized in the baptism He will be baptized into?  They declared that they are able to do so.  He tells them they will drink the cup and be baptized as He is.  They will be conformed to His image because of their faith.

Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection.  The image of Christ and the image of God.  We were made in the image of God.  We fell.  Now we  are baptized and born again.  The sinful image we adorn is washed away.  We are baptized into Christ.  We put Him on.  We take on His image because it is spoken onto us, and in us, by the Word of God.  That image is not only a spiritual image but also a physical one.

Spiritually the image of The Son is one of humility, servitude, submission, prayer, dependence, and joy.  Physically the image of The Son is one of thinness, hunger, emptiness, brokenness, ugliness, and roughness.  James held such an image in time.  Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection by faith.  Through time and trial faith is grown.   Through the cross faith is given.

All of Christ’s life was lived under the Cross.  His Birth and Life all lead him into death.  He suffered much at the hands of sinful men.  Then meant everything for evil.  God meant it all for good, with the result that many people may be saved.  The Cross is death.  For Christ it is the end of his life and breath.  For us it is the end of our sin.  Now we too share in the Cross of Christ.  In the Cross of Christ we glory.  We share in the Birth and Life of Christ through His death.  His death is our death because we are baptized into Him.  Our lives are lived under the Cross.

The Cross is the end of our sinful lives.  The Cross of Christ is the death of sin.  Forgiven, forgotten, washed away, white as snow.  We are white as fresh spun wool.  We are spoken this way by the Word of God.  We are justified by Grace through Faith in Christ.  We now, by faith, drink the cup Christ drank because we are Baptized into the Baptism He was Baptized into, a Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit leads us, as it led Christ, to the Cross.  To death. To Resurrection.

The Father raise the Son.  The Father rewarded the Faith of the Son with Life Everlasting.  The Son is vindicated by Resurrection.  His Faith was foolishness to the World but not to God.  His death was empty to the World, but not to God.  Therefore, God raised Him from the dead because of His Faith.  We are conformed to the image of the Son.  Suffering may be present.  Men may do evil to us.  Even our own church.  But, do not be afraid.  Men mean it for evil, God means it for Good, for the sake of faith, for the sake of the Son and His Faith.  We learn we are no better than our Lord Jesus Christ.  No pupil is above the Master.  Our Faith is given through the Cross.  Our Faith is refined through the Cross.  Our Faith, James’ faith, and the Faith of all the Saints is one that conforms to the image of  the Son by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

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