Just a few miles down the road from where I lived in Philadelphia was a famous, privately owned art collection. The man who owned this collection of rare paintings stipulated in his will that no one should be allowed to alter them. The problem was that he stored many of these paintings in the boiler room of his home. Over the years, the coal from the furnace left them tarnished.
After he died, his family made the executive decision to breach his will and have these paintings professionally restored. This was certainly the right decision as his home is now one of the most famous art museums in the world, hosting some of the most rare and wonderful works of art in the world.
In many respects, we, by nature, are all like those tarnished paintings. We need God to restore His image in us by the saving grace and work of Christ.
The Scriptures are clear that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There is absolutely nothing we contribute to our salvation other than the sin that makes it necessary. However, when God redeems individuals through the saving work of Christ and the regenerating work of the Spirit, He begins to restore His image in them. God doesn’t save us by our good works, but He saves us so that we would be zealous for good works. After all, we are His artwork of grace, designed to display His own glory in us (Ephesians 2:10).
In the same way as the paintings in the boiler room needed to be professionally restored, so Christ restores the image of God in His redeemed people. He alone can do this since He is Himself the very image of God. Just as Jesus went around doing good, so those who are united to Him by faith, washed in His blood, and filled with His Spirit are to seek to do good.
We need to be reminded that this is God’s purpose for us. If the paintings in the boiler room had been left alone, they would be of no good to anyone. God has appointed ministers to continually encourage His people to do good and to be ready for every good work. It is in this way that God displays the glorious artwork of His grace to a world full of those who likewise need to undergo that same restoration in Christ.
Written by Nick Batzig