Faithlife Sermons

God's Good People

The Gospel Project  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Recap:

Last week, we walked through the first 5 1/2 days of creations, seeing that God created everything good for His glory.....
And this week, we’re going to pick up where we left off, moving toward the ultimate scene where God creates something in a new and unique way — humanity.
And we’re going to see this week that God created mankind in His image…imago deo…and because He did that, we’re going to look at how that makes us unique from all the rest of creation.

Intro:

A few years ago there was a story in the newspaper about a man who might have had the worst day ever. While his wife was delivering their fth child, the man sold an old ring box. e problem was that his wife’s ngers had swollen during her pregnancy so she had placed her wedding ring inside the box. Without knowing it, the man sold the box—and the $22,000 ring tucked away in it—for what he thought was a fair price: $10.
While not many of us have given away a $22,000 ring, at one time or another we have made the same type of mistake: We have greatly misunderstood and undervalued something. Maybe it was a family heirloom that you just thought was just an old trinket. Maybe it was a piece of jewelry you didn’t know was made out of gold. Or maybe it was an old gaming system that you didn’t realize was vintage and worth some money.
While not many of us have given away a $22,000 ring, at one time or another we have made the same type of mistake: We have greatly misunderstood and undervalued something. Maybe it was a family heirloom that you just thought was just an old trinket. Maybe it was a piece of jewelry you didn’t know was made out of gold. Or maybe it was an old gaming system that you didn’t realize was vintage and worth some money. Whatever it was, we assessed its value only to nd out later that we really underestimated it.
For instance, I was helping my grandfather get ready for a yard sale this week....and he’s selling this old table that has a broken leg.
See to me, this table looked like junk, and I’m standing there assuming that he’s just going to toss it out because it’s not valuable
But he then proceeds to tell me that this table was made in 1867, it is solid walnut, and was cut down and handmade by his great great grandfather from a tree out in Flintstone....and that his great grandfather learned to walk by walking around this table
What I want you guys to remember, is that as you understand the story of something, and you realize the truth behind something…it adds value.
What we tend to do....is assess somethings value only to find out later that we really underestimated it.
And we do this with ourselves, with humans as well....so tonight we’re going to look at the story of humans, of mankind, all the way back to the beginning, and I want you to see and understand the value God places in us.

God Created People Uniquely In His Image

Our Role In Creation

Read Genesis 1:26-31

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “created in God’s image”?
One of the greatest obstacles to understanding our humanity, understanding who we really are, comes from the fact that we assume we already know what it means to be human.
Just because we are human does not mean we are put in a place to determine what gives us value, purpose and meaning.
Like we talked last week, only God can determine that because He is the creator who brings order and structure to the world
What society is doing is trying to determine humans value, purpose and meaning independent of God…and it is leading to utter chaos and immorality.
Just look at abortion
If you look at the verses we just read, you’ll notice that the language changed a bit as the text introduces mankind
Not only do we see what God created, but we see why
Re-read verse 26 - “ 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
God created mankind to join Him as co-stewards of creation.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Meaning He created us to help rule creation
Not because He needed help or anything like that
But because He values human life above the rest of creation, and chose to place us over it.
When was the last time you thought of fish, birds, or even worms as living creatures that God has entrusted to you to care for?
But also, because God values human life above the rest of His creation…and if God places such value on humanity…so should we right?
One of the greatest ways we bear the image of God is by valuing humanity as well
We are over creation, and we are to place extreme value on what God places extreme value on....humanity.
And so when we see we were created in God’s image…it doesn’t mean we “look” like God…but it means that our nature, actions, and relational capacities are mirroring those of God himself.
And as we subdue the earth, as we rule creation....we should do so in a way that glorifies God, that points people to Him.
That’s how we are his image bearers
What’s that look like? Well, great question!
Timothy Keller says this, “When we take a piece of land and garden/farm it, or preserve it so it can produce its peculiar life-splendors, when we take fabric and make a piece of clothing, when we push a broom to clean up a place, when we use technology to harness the forces of electricity, when we take an unformed, naïve human mind and teach it a subject, when we take unprocessed material and turn it into a poignant work of art, when we take undifferentiated tones and pitches (noise) and separate them out and arrange them to create music, (even when we pass a comb through our hair)—whenever we bring order out of chaos, whenever we draw out creative potential, whenever we elaborate and ‘unfold’ creation further than where it was when we found it—we are continuing God’s work of creative, cultural development.”

So we see that we were created with extreme value, in the image of God, possessing the ability through our nature, actions, and relationships to care for creation in a way that brings glory to God.

Our Relationship With God

Read ,,

then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.... 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”... 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
What stands out to you in these verses? Are there any patterns?
However, there is another way that we are set apart from the rest of creation!
Only humanity has the ability to be in a personal relationship with God!
Only people—not dogs, eagles, or whales—were created with the ability to have a relationship with God. What does this show us about the value God gives us?
God breathed the breath of life into mankind…something He didn’t do with any other creature.
He created us to be in a relationship with God
Not because He was living in eternity past and got lonely
Not because He was bored
He was perfectly content in His triune nature (God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit)
Nope, we were created not to provide relationship for God, but for Him to provide relationship for us
And so, our lives should demonstrate and display that relationship with God
In what ways should your life demonstrate the priority of your relationship with God?
In His goodness, He didn’t just create Adam though did He?
We just read about how He created Eve to be in relationship with Adam, right?
told us he created male and female
And what that points out to us is that God not only created us primarily to be in relationship with Him, but also secondarily, to be in relationship with each other.
In what ways should your life demonstrate the priority of your relationship with God?
Humans were made to live in community with other humans, and thus reflect God’s glory to creation by living in relationship with each other.
That was God’s design
In fact, the first time the phrase “it was good” wasn’t used in the creation account was when God created man in isolation.
So what we see is that to be created in the image of God, is also displayed in our relationship with God and in our relationship with others!
And so as you think about that, and how you relate to humanity, to your family, to your friends.....
How should the doctrine of humans being created in God’s image influence the way we think about others?
We were made to be over creation and in perfect relationship with God and with others, thus putting on full display the glory of God throughout it all!
Which is why Adam and Eve’s failure to obey His command concerning the tree of knowledge was so disastrous....because it broke God’s perfect plan
They were to trust the One who was completely trustworthy. Love the One who is love. Obey the One who gave them breath in their lungs. But they failed and sin entered the world.
And so, while we still possess the image of God, we are incapable of carrying out what we were designed to carry out.
We no longer rule creation selflessly with the intent of glorifying God, but we rule it for our own selfish gain
We no longer live to be in relationship with God, but we live to glorify ourselves
We no longer live in perfect harmony with each other, but we live in hatred of each other
But, as we talked, if God is creator, if God is sovereign over all, then God had to have known that this was going to happen…and therefore, we can take great hope in the fact that God had and has a plan in place to restore everything to how it should be!

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
See, God’s plan involved Jesus, the second part of the trinity, making a way for us to be restored to Him, for us to have relationship again with our God
We can now be proper image bearers of Him because Jesus has given His life, the perfect image of the invisible God, sacrificing Himself on the cross…to make a way for us to be redeemed.
But also so we can live in harmony once again with each other, to the glory of God
In what ways can you more clearly bear the image of God in your relationships with others?
And if you are a believer..you no longer have to live in discord, as many of us still like to do.
We are called to reflect the image of God to creation, and because of Christ’s work on the cross, we can now properly do that via the Holy Spirit
How can you make Him known in your relationships with others?

Closing

So we’ve seen tonight that:
God created humanity with value and purpose
And that we were designed to glorify Him through our work and through our relationships
We’ve seen that sin broke that, and muddied up our ability to properly glorify Him
But that Christ made a way for us to be brought back into a right relationship with God, so that we can glorify Him through our relationship with others
So as you think about humans, as you think about yourself, remember…you were made with a purpose, and that was to glorify God by being made in his image…and you have the ability to glorify Him by living in right relationship with Him, by maintaining creation to His Glory, and by living in right relationship with others.
We opened up with talking about how knowing the backstory provides value....now you know and hopefully understand more clearly why you were created and for what purpose.

Questions, Comments, Arguments?

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