The Dignity of God 15th June
The Dignity of God 15th June
Ge 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Let Us make – When God created mankind He created us in the image of the Godhead – Father, Son and Spirit – in Adam there was something of the Trinity. In the Garden the relationship Adam had with God included the Holy Spirit and Jesus. It is a mystery yet true. So Adam without sin walked in the garden with all that God is – and God was pleased. Adam lived in Paradise because God was there! Wherever God dwells all perfection is there, all glory.
Ge 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Once God had given Adam dominion over His creation Adam was free to live in the fullness of the Presence of God and it seems God came and went in Personal manifestation of His Presence and Adam approached Him as someone in the same image – without sin Adam and Eve walked with God and God spoke to them. Only sinlessness can stand in the Presence of God. The moment sin entered into the human race Adam hid from the face of God!
Now we know the consequences and the judgment of God upon the devil and upon man – sin had separated because no sin can enter into the Presence of God –
Is 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
But right from that moment God also promised mankind that there would be, in time to come, a Saviour, a Redeemer --- who would overcome this sin brought by the devil and restore mankind back into relationship with God as if he hadn’t sinned at all – to approach God as Adam had in the garden.
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
1 Jn 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
But the reality is that sin marred and scared the image in which we were created – from Adam we have inherited the sinful nature – no man born of woman can escape this we are born in sin! And sin hides God’s face from us. From that moment in the Garden Of Eden as God in His Sovereign Majesty has chosen to reveal Himself to mankind in whatever way He has chosen, it is only His Own Grace that has stopped us from being consumed.
Sin separates us from God and there is no one living, or who has ever lived who has not sinned! Maybe Enoch and that’s why his story is there – if it were possible to live without sin God would take us in His glorious pleasure – God would take us as a friend! – But the reality is all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death! Let me show you something this morning – remembering God is 3 persons, when we talk of the Father it is Son and Spirit. (always)
Ex 3:4-6 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
Ge 17:1-3 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
Nu 20:6 So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them.
Lk 2:9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Ac 9:3-4 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
1 Ki 8:10-11 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
Whenever God manifested His Presence man could not stand! Mankind’s sinful nature inherited from Adam cannot be in the Presence of God and remain unaffected – he must fall on his face or be consumed – except for God’s grace we are all dead in our sins! God is Holy and God never changes – I am the Lord I change not! Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever! The Lord Our God is One! Father Son and Holy Spirit are Holy! Holy, Holy!
Job 37:22 Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.
With God is terrible Majesty. When God manifests Himself to mankind apart from His own indescribable Glory and Presence we are still in our sin – and sin separates us from His face! There is always Awe and Majesty and Glory and Fear and not a little trembling – with God is Terrible Majesty! Even Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Daniel and Paul fell on their faces before Him – Oh church God is awesomely, gloriously Holy!! – And the Holy Spirit we seek is this God!! (Bear with me)
Now an amazing thing is, that from before Adam and creation God chose a people in Christ, – before sin came God knew and prepared a way for mankind to be reconciled to Himself – there has always been this Divine plan, if you like, for the restoration of the image stolen and tainted by sin. Church there are such wonderful and mysterious glories that will only be revealed in heaven! But we know that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Promise made in the Garden to Adam – Gethsemane :--
Lk 22:41-44 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Silent retreat – saw this – only scripture going in – it became the full background – this agony wasn’t about physical pain, it was not about torture or even death – Jesus prayed this too --
Jn 12:27-28 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
This is the whole reason and the only reason Jesus was incarnated – He became flesh to provide the perfect, acceptable sacrifice for us – Blood had to be shed and that sinless, perfect so Christ – but you see this anguish in the Garden – was about the separation, the sin He was about to become for us – was going to demand. Jesus said over and over again I and My Father are One, Jesus was always part of the image of our creation – One with God from everlasting eternity.
From all of eternity the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit had been God – the anguish, the agony in this garden was not about His humanity it was about His Divinity – His Deity –
Sin separates from the face of God and Christ was about to become sin for us! This anguish of blood sweating intensity was about the breaking, the breach in eternity, the separation of everlasting with everlasting – sin cannot enter eternity! This was the dying of God! For the glory of God and for the reconciliation of mankind’s broken image. This was the most powerful and glorious and terribly majestic event of all time and eternity! This was the dignity of God.
The Dignity of God restoring man through Christ Himself – this is our Dignity that because of Love and only by grace and for our sakes God gave Himself for us – that we man, might enter again into His presence as if we had never sinned at all! – And look it was God Himself who put Himself to death – man cannot kill God!! How arrogant and proud and self absorbed we are that we think we could kill God!
Heb 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Ro 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Can you see this was a HOLY thing – the Cross was a Holy thing – The Holy Spirit took Jesus to the Cross and it was the Holy Spirit that raised Him from the dead – At the Cross the veil of the temple was torn asunder – the earth quaked the rocks were split – graves were opened and people were raised up – at the Cross there was 3 hours of darkness as the sun was darkened – eternity was broken open for us on that Cross and it was HOLY – with God is Terrible Majesty!!
This was God the Father and Christ our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit suffering for us! There is nothing more dignified or glorious or self less than this one act of God Himself by Grace for the sake of LOVE – not for any need God had for mankind – God is God complete – this is God so loving the world and showing us all the desire He has for relationship – like the garden. Oh Church with God is terrible Majesty – God is Holy as Father, dying Son, Risen Son and Holy Spirit!
Now if this was the only way God could choose to reach us, if this was the cost and the price and the sacrifice – then would the Holy Spirit ever diminish this glory, this terrible Majesty by behaving in any manner or way or manifestation that would make this Cross less than what it was and what it is and what it will be for all eternity to come???? What a blasphemy, a tragedy and a deception it is if we think the Holy Spirit would demean this Holy Glory with inglorious behaviors.
Jesus came that we might be reconciled to His Father – that they might be one as We are One – the Cross was for everyone of us as individuals – it was wonderfully corporate embracing as many as will call on His Name – it was for the Church – but it was for each of us as individuals – it was an intimate act of reconciliation between man and His God – it was that each of us through Christ might have a relationship with God Almighty Himself – like Adam before sin. He became sin for us!
That intimate relationship is developed by our receiving and being baptized into the Holy Spirit – the same Spirit that took Jesus to the Cross and raised Him from the Dead! It is personal to each of us, to all of us, but to each of us – it is intimate in that it is solely between YOU and God – you cannot have this relationship in any other way. I cannot develop intimacy with Robyn by talking to you about it, I cannot catch intimacy with her by you laying hands on me –
I cannot grow and develop in relationship with Robyn unless I relate to her for myself – I can learn about relationship, I can even be prayed for to grow in sensitivity, I can study and attend seminars or events – but unless I spend time and get to know her personally and develop intimacy it is all shallow and empty and unfulfilling. – We have done this in our current Christianity in many areas – we have tried to import and impart and develop a program for something that can only be received
Personally and intimately and in HOLINESS. We have become preoccupied with church growth, with finding ways to see people saved, with programs and events and all manner of things that may be very good within themselves – but you cannot receive intimacy and relationship with the Holy Spirit through someone else. Even though our hearts may be sincere and our desire is for God and Him alone – we have been seduced by the world and its methods.
Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Heb 6:1-2 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Can you see we should have left these things behind in the foundation of our Christian lives – but we are being seduced by the whole thing of laying on of hands – of impartation – it is how we begin! It is how we might receive the Holy Spirit but you know you can go to meetings and events and great revivals and receive something of God by the laying on of hands – but you cannot sustain it and keep it and develop it without learning to KNOW Him for yourself!
I wonder if that is not why the last move of God slowly ebbed away – it was not sustained personally and individually – not sought after in relationship with God and an ever increasing revelation of the Cross. The Dignity and terrible Holiness of the Cross and the Spirit that wrought all victory and life there!
We can learn to copy anybody and it will be effective but you cannot copy devotion it must come from your own heart and the heart of God the deep things of God by the Spirit of God, with God is terrible Majesty.
Our Greatest problem is that you cannot import repentance and you cannot import reverence they are things of the heart, of conviction of honour. They are the things that give dignity to the cross, honour to His Holy Name.
God is faithful He cannot deny himself, the Holy Spirit will not do anything that is not Holy.
We have created consumer Christianity we shop around to find the thing that might suit us the most we have got to go to the Cross there is dignity there.
Jesus addressed the sin issue go and sin no more that in sinlessness there is healing, are miracles there is godliness but in sinlessness those things are not needed. That is, without sin there is no sickness there is no death.
Jesus demonstrated the holiness of God it was relationship, I and My Father are one. Surely the cross is that we might say I and My Father are one.
There is one mediator between God and man and that is Christ He is our Great High Priest and the Holy Spirit is the means by which we approach him.