Pic from Flickr by samsungusa
Our text for this sermon comes from Genesis 1:26-31. The title of this sermon is Image Bearers.
One of the biggest things that we want you to get, download and think and rethink about is that God wrote a book. Yes, he used different men to write it but there is not one word, or sentence that is in here that God did not want in here. Because this is God’s book, we believe it is our highest authority. We believe that it is true and without fault or error.
Because we are in the book of Genesis, there might be things in here that seem almost Disney-esque. I assure you that they are not. To doubt what we will be talking about in Genesis, is to doubt God. However, I would encourage you that if you have doubts or questions, take them to God. He is always available and will be there with you as read, wrestle, and study the Bible.
Have you ever been at the fair or at a big event such as First Saturday in Savannah? There are all kinds of vendors and musicians and artists that are trying to get their work into the hands of people that will enjoy it. On some occasions, you might come across an artist who does caricatures. An caricature is a picture that is drawn freehand by the artist by looking at you. They will take features of your likeness and things that you like and incorporate that into the caricature. The end picture is not you but it is a resemblance or likeness of you.
Vs. 26-27 The image has been seen as the capacities that set man apart from the other animals—ways in which humans resemble God, such as in the characteristics of reason, morality, language, a capacity for relationships governed by love and commitment, and creativity in all forms of art. All these insights can be put together by observing that the resemblances (man is like God in a series of ways) allow mankind to represent God in ruling, and to establish worthy relationships with God, with one another, and with the rest of the creation. This “image” and this dignity apply to both “male and female” human beings.
Vs. 28 Even after the creation of man, everything that God had made is perfect. Notice that God blessed them or had favor on them. He gave them work to accomplish. This was their purpose to continue what God had started. The animals and the plants would be submissive to the man as long as he was submissive to God. The man had a job. He was not going to just chill in the garden eating grapes and playing Playstation. He did not get to make a sandwich and crash on the couch. He was not trying to play the system and get government assistance. God did not create the man so the man could live off welfare. He designed the man to work. The idea is this.
The garden was going to grow and the flowers, trees, rivers, everything was going to grow as the man worked on it. Now to accomplish this, he would need workers. Where would he get them? God told him to be fruitful and multiply. Go have a bunch of babies.
Raising faithful children is a part of God’s creation plan for mankind. God’s creation plan is that the whole earth should be populated by those who know him and who serve him wisely.
Vs. 30 And it was so – When God wants something to happen, it just happens. God causes things to happen in accordance to his holy and perfect will. God’s plan is perfect and cannot be messed up. What God wants to happen will happen, whether you want it to or not. God is God.
Last week, we saw that the apostle John revealed that Jesus is actually the Creator.
You are a created in the image of God and if you are a Christian, then you are conforming to the image of Jesus. When you are created, you bear resemblances to God, as you grow and mature as a disciple, you conform to the image of Jesus.
We know that conforming to the image of Jesus is a process called sanctification. Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit but you are not without responsibility.
Part of the process is:
- loving how Jesus loves
- having compassion for what Jesus has compassion for
- speaking the way Jesus speaks
- For a man – leading, and being tough and tender like Jesus
- having all of the fruit of the Spirit
- hating what Jesus hates – righteous anger/holy discontent
- dying to your “self”
- killing sin
- thinking like Jesus thinks
The Bible gives us ways to conform to the image of Jesus.
Sharing the gospel and making disciples – Matthew 28
Being transformed by the renewing of your mind – Romans 12
Loving God with all of your being and loving your neighbor as yourself – Matthew 22
Using your words to build up – Ephesians 4
Explore the spiritual disciplines – Pray, Fast, Give, Serve, Silence and Solitude
Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus give a disciple a command and they say, “Let me pray about it.”
You don’t pray about what Jesus already expects you to be doing!
God is never going to tell you not to pray, not to fast, or not to give.
You are not asking the right questions.
God created you in his image to conform to the image of Jesus to accomplish the purposes that he created you for.
When you make your dwelling place Jesus and you relinquish all control to Him, you become an unstoppable force for God’s glory. You will become a great vessel to carry the message of the gospel to all of the nations.
You are created in the image of God, conformed to the image of Jesus, to carry out the purposes of God.
The only thing that can hold you back is your heart – flesh, self.
Be aware of where you are spiritually. It is easy to grow distant from God. We have to fight to stay close to Him.
The greatest joy is when you enjoy God and serve Him with your whole being.
Can you say that you are a good image bearer of God?