War over indicatives…
Christian, Yahweh has spoken onto your life, and continues to do so. When Jesus Christ dug you out of the pit He found you in (Isaiah 51:1) he said “MINE!” Thanks be to God for that, dontcha know. And that was just the start. Because you belong to Jesus, God the Father calls you “adopted CHILD,” another indicative. And it doesn’t even stop there.
You were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Isn’t everybody?). But the image you bear is a pale reflection of what was in our first father Adam before the Fall. Adam and Eve were created in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, to take dominion over the other creatures (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 10), but when they sinned in disobedience, the image was marred.
As an adopted child, you are going to take on the ‘family resemblance’ of the family of God. You are going to ‘look like’ God, your Father. But since God is a spirit, and has no ‘body’ as such, taking on that resemblance will instead be a return to that knowledge, righteousness and holiness that Adam and Eve once had. That is what it means in Romans 8 when Paul says that God predestined you to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29); as much as a creature can, you are going to ‘look like’ your Father the Creator. This is a process called “sanctification;” you are ‘sanctified,’ or ‘set apart’ to God, as you are being made like Jesus.
Of course, “like Jesus” is an indicative, too. It says something about you. When Jesus dug you out of that pit, you got a new heart to replace that old hard one you used to have. But he didn’t clean out all of that old stuff. You’re still a sinner, which means that you don’t always do what God says you are supposed to; until the day you die you still won’t. Thankfully, as you become more like Jesus, you will sin less and less. But there is still a part of you that wants to sin and just hates that ‘like Jesus’ stuff. Just hates it.
So there it is. There’s a war going on inside of you. As I read Romans 7, it appears to me that it’s a war that is going to go on for the rest of your life, Christian (Romans 7:21-24). But this war over indicatives is one that Christ is going to win (Philippians 1:6).