Throughout all of the Old Testament there is a clear prohibition that God is never to be depicted in an image or sculpture (Exodus 20:4). There are several reasons for this, beginning with it being such a common practice in the other folk religions of ancient days, but also because with Icons – the concept is that the original is present within the image. However, in the New Testament, the word takes on an entirely new metaphorical use for both Christ as an equal image of God, and humanity in Christ as having returned to our original state (before the Fall). This is why we took our name directly from Romans 8:29, where Paul the apostle says that, “For those whom he (God) foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.” The word image, is literally translated Icon, from the Greek word eikon. Gerhard Kittel, considered by many scholars to be the foremost Greek scholar of the past century, had this to say about the word and the passage:
In Romans 8:29, where our being conformed to Christ is given its distinctive emphasis by the fact that this means participation in his divine likeness. Those who are in Christ’s image are in God’s image in the true and original sense of Genesis 1:27. The likeness is the goal. 2 Corinthians 3:18 carries the same message. Seeing the Lord’s glory means sharing it and thus being changed into his likeness. The concern of the Christian life is already the putting on of the new being that is renewed after the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:10).
That is why for our community, we chose a name that reflects not only the immediate work of Christ in His people, but also the future destiny for those who will be His disciples.