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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter LXIII. Celsus, not observing the difference between |after the image of God| and |God's imageà

Origen Against Celsus by Origen

Chapter LXIII. Celsus, not observing the difference between |after the image of God| and |God's imageà

Celsus, not observing the difference between |after the image of God| and |God's image,| next asserts that the |first-born of every creature| is the image of God, -- the very word and truth, and also the very wisdom, being the image of His goodness, while man has been created after the image of God; moreover, that every man whose head is Christ is the image and glory of God; -- and further, not observing to which of the characteristics of humanity the expression |after the image of God| belongs, and that it consists in a nature which never had nor longer has |the old man with his deeds,| being called |after the image of Him who created it,| from its not possessing these qualities, -- he maintains: |Neither did He make man His image; for God is not such an one, nor like any other species of (visible) being.| Is it possible to suppose that the element which is |after the image of God| should exist in the inferior part -- I mean the body -- of a compound being like man, because Celsus has explained that to be made after the image of God? For if that which is |after the image of God| be in the body only, the better part, the soul, has been deprived of that which is |after His image,| and this (distinction) exists in the corruptible body, -- an assertion which is made by none of us. But if that which is |after the image of God| be in both together, then God must necessarily be a compound being, and consist, as it were, of soul and body, in order that the element which is |after God's image,| the better part, may be in the soul; while the inferior part, and that which |is according to the body,| may be in the body, -- an assertion, again, which is made by none of us. It remains, therefore, that that which is |after the image of God| must be understood to be in our |inner man,| which is also renewed, and whose nature it is to be |after the image of Him who created it,| when a man becomes |perfect,| as |our Father in heaven is perfect,| and hears the command, |Be ye holy, for I the Lord your God am holy,| and learning the precept, |Be ye followers of God,| receives into his virtuous soul the traits of God's image. The body, moreover, of him who possesses such a soul is a temple of God; and in the soul God dwells, because it has been made after His image.
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