He is not a Visual Image for Us

Al Mohler‘s sermon on the Second Commandment (Sermons and Speeches – AlbertMohler.com). Here is [Matthew Willard Lankford’s] transcription of a selection from the sermon:

“We must be very careful that the visual never eclipse the verbal. We must be very careful not to allow things of visual beauty to become the objects of our worship, because they lie. They lie, because they cannot represent the infinite beauty of God. We are to make no image of Him. We should paint no pictures of Him. If we were to know the visual image of Christ, He would have left us His visual image. He did not. And every picture or portrait of Him is a lie and, as a lie, it robs Him of His Glory. The worship of icons—just wrapped up in the foolishness of the same lie. It is not true that the means of connecting with God is through the mediation on the visual. It simply is not true. But it is true that even as we are to avoid icons, we do have an icon. It is true that there is one icon that is the object and focus of our worship—the means of our worship, indeed, and that is the icon that is Jesus Christ. “He[…]”, as we read from Colossians Chapter one, is “[…]is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” And thus Christ is in the Second Commandment; and thus Christ fulfills the Second Commandment, because He, the image of the invisible God, is the icon whom we ponder. But even as that icon, He is not a visual image for us. He is so much more than that. And thus this commandment is also for us; lest we turn our worship of Christ into another form of idolatry, we preach Christ crucified, we point to Christ in His glory, we preach the cross, we teach and preach all the things concerning the Christ, and we use words. Paul says that these things, including all the Law, the Torah, all the writings of the Old Testament are given to us for our good, so that by reading them we may be instructed and encouraged.”

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/81581-Reformed-Baptists-Against-Making-Images-of-the-Lord, Comment #3

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