Are you an animal?

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 “He is just an animal.” That is not a very nice thing to say. But sometimes it is not far from the truth. Sin is sub-human.

God created us in His image. Not in the image of a dog sniffing the air for food or…. God made us to resemble Himself, morally and spiritually. The more sin we live in the closer we are to being animals. So, the way of the fool is the way of the animal: living on instinct and unaware of higher forms of reality. Are you an animal?

That is a strange question. But the Bible talks about people behaving like “irrational animals, creatures of instinct” (1 Peter 2:12). It says that they have their belly as their god; that is, they instinctively pursue what they crave and their thoughts rise no higher than the earth (Phil. 3:19). Actually, since the fall, that is our default position (Eph. 2:1-3). I, you, John Doe and Jane Doe—everyone—is naturally desperate.

There is a lot wrong with us. But the solution is Jesus. He transforms us. He makes us into His image. He makes us the way we were intended to be. Yet how are we to be what we’re intended to be?

If we have been raised with Christ we must seek the things that are above, where Christ is. We must set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. That is, we must not act like an ignorant animal.

Instead of acting like animals, we put to death what is earthly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and materialism, which is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming. In these we once walked, when we were living in them. But now we must put them all away: anger, wrath, meanness, insults, and rude talk.

We must tell ourselves: Don’t act like an animal. Put off the old self with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

We must put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven us, so we also must forgive. And above all these, we must put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And be thankful.

We must strive to have the word of Christ dwell in us richly. We must teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness to God. And whatever we do, in word or deed, we must do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Col. 3:1-3, 5-10, 12-17).

We no longer have to live like animals. Jesus is remaking us into His image.