Transcending Eden | Part 5
Blessed by Being Made in the Imago Dei
Welcome our series: TRANSCENDING EDEN
- Transcend = to go beyond the historical space and time in which an event occurs
What we learn from the first three chapters of Genesis – the Epic of Eden – is FOUNDATIONAL TO THE WAY WE APPROACH THE WORLD.
Foundational to the way we understand
- who God is,
- our beginning,
- why we are here,
- what’s wrong,
- and what’s the cure.
Let’s Summarize Where We Have Been
1.) God is the eternal – perfect — all powerful – glorious Creator of all things.
2.) All of life, all things that exist, find their beginning in God. And all things that exist find their purpose in God.
3.) Our beginning and our purpose comes from OUR Creator – God Himself
4.) Gen 1:26 – Day 6 of Creation – God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
5.) God contemplated our beginning in verse 26, then He completes it in verse 27: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
6.) Last week we introduced this truth: YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD – “Imago Dei”
- Have you ever looked at a t-shirt or article of clothing to see where it’s been made.. Well if you had a tag, no matter who you are, it would read “Made in the Image of God”
- 5x over in verse 26-27 God makes the point that: You are made in the image of God
7.) And then in broad sweeping terms we laid out 3 Implications of Being Made in the Image of God:
- Your life has a BEGINNING because of God (26), and therefore you are not our own.
- You are the result of God’s miraculous, wonderful work weaving you together in your mother’s womb. (Ps 139:13-16)
- And so your life – your very existence – isn’t to be wasted.
- DON’T WASTE THE LIFE GOD HAS GIVEN YOU!
- Your life has BEAUTY because of God (26,27)
- Every life has beauty because every life is endowed with the likeness of God
- You are beautiful because God is beautiful
- You are endowed with the Beauty of Divine Consequence and Divine Significance
- God contemplated your existence and created you one of a kind as the steward of the life God has granted you
- Your life has BLESSING because of God (28)
- God speaks to His creation
- And as His image-bearers we can hear and receive God’s word
- No other creature can do that
- And with this blessing comes responsibility
- Because we can hear and receive God’s word we are responsible, moral, spiritual beings.
(Rom 1:20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
- In other words, what we do with our life has eternal consequences
- Do you honor God with your life and give thanks for His mercy?
- OR dishonor Him as God with a foolish heart? (Rom 1:21-22)
- Do you make the damnable exchange of the glory of the incorruptible God for the image of corruptible man?
- OR by God’s grace do you make the life giving exchange of your life for Christ’s life in you? (Rom 1:23)
AIM Today: Elevate the Imago Dei in your consciousness by showing you:
- 3 specific blessings of being made in the Image of God,
- 7 deadly sins that stem from a degradation of the Imago Dei,
- The one way to restore the Image of God
Now remember where we are in creation
Day 1: God said let there be light, and there was day and night
Day 2: God spoke and the firmament and the heaven were made distinct
Day 3: God spoke and the dry land was separated from the seas and vegetation covered the dry land
Day 4: God spoke and filled the cosmos with stars and set the sun and the moon
Day 5: God spoke and the waters were filled with living creatures and the skies were filled with winged creatures
In the beginning of Day 6: God spoke and the animals of the earth were created
And all of these were good
But now God steps back, contemplates the crown jewel of His creation and says:
(v26) “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
And so the Imago Dei is not something we earn but rather the Imago Dei is something conferred to us by God, and with it comes 3 specific blessings
Three Specific Blessings of Being In the Image of God
1.) We PERSONALLY relate to God (v27-31)
Only humanity can relate on a personal level with God, because only humanity has soul competency to do so
When God created everything else he simply spoke it into existence, but when he made man, He breathed His Own life into Him therefore giving Him a Spirit
(Gen 2:7) Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [lit. soul].
“The verb “formed” suggests the potter making a work of art in his skilled hands. The human body is indeed a work of art, an amazingly complex organism that only the wisdom of God could design and the power of God create… He not only gave us personality—minds to think with, emotions to feel with, and wills for making decisions—but He also gave us an inner spiritual nature that enables us to know Him and worship Him.” – Warren Weirsbe[i]
2.) We have representative DOMINION (v26, 28)
As a statue figures a sports hero or Mt. Rushmore figures a former president, it is not the figure but calls our mind to it
“…in the account of the creation of man it is specified that the man and the woman were made “in our [God’s] image” (beṣalmēnû), not merely “according to his own kind.” Man’s image is not simply of himself; he also shares a likeness to his Creator.”[ii]
We are not God, we do not own the earth but we are representative stewards of it
Sometimes we get turned around and think we own something we don’t
Illustration: I read a story of a woman who had finished her shopping and returned to her car to find four men inside it. She dropped her shopping bags, drew a handgun from her purse, and with a forceful voice said, “I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!” Those men did not wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like crazy!
The woman, understandably shaken, quickly loaded her shopping bags and got into the car. She just wanted to get out of there as fast as she could. But no matter how she tried, she could not get her key into the ignition.
Then it hit her: This isn’t my car! She looked, and indeed her car was parked four or five spaces away. She got out, looked around to see if the men were near, loaded the bags into her own car, and drove to the police station to turn herself in.
The desk sergeant, after hearing her story, nearly fell out of his chair laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four men were reporting a carjacking by a woman with glasses and curly white hair, less than five feet tall, and carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed (Greg Laurie, A Time to Worship, Decision, Nov. 2001.)[iii]
As stewards we manage the resources according to the Owner’s purposes
3.) We are all endowed with the same Divine DIGNITY (v28)
…across age, ethnicity, and gender
There are 5 commands in verse 28, and all are plural indicating that God is speaking to both genders, so we have a shared responsibility
All humanity has intrinsic value because of the Imago Dei
When Christ came down from preaching and saw the people without a shepherd, His compassion was evoked because He recognized the value of their souls
We devalue and degrade people when we fail to marinate in the magnitude of what it means to be made in the Image of God
7 Deadly Sins that Stem from Degradation of the Image of God
A Degradation OR an Assault on the Image of God
- Everything that makes a human, human is present at conception (science)
- Part of being human is the soul (bible)
- 8-10 weeks gestation every major organ is in place
- Mollie heartbeat at 5.5 weeks
- With the advent of imaging, the abortion argument has migrated from “That’s not a human; it’s a fetus.” To it’s a matter of choice for the mother: not necessarily a life or death issue but an issue of desire, comfort, responsibility.[iv]
- We have grown so cold to the image of God:
- We are all in need of grace. Everyone.
- Grace and mercy of forgiveness
- Grace to recognize what God recognizes as the Imago Dei
- Not talking about putting a dog down, but putting grandma down
- On the rise, particularly in Europe, and Europe precedes US by about a generation
- Not even for physical reasons – 24 year old who was depressed
- Belgium legalized it for children in 2014, so now if you don’t abort but can show cause a child can be killed
- Increasingly a culture of death pervades and a cost benefit analysis ensues[vii]
- Every human life has infinite worth because each is created in the image of an infinite Creator
(Gen 9:6) Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God, He made man.
- There is only one race of people
- Adam and Eve were our original parents, made in the image of God. All humans can be traced back to these two people. This is made abundantly clear in Genesis 3:20, where Adam said that Eve “was the mother of all living.”
- Genesis 11 describes a time when humans rebelled against God by settling at Babel and refusing to spread out in the world. Because of this, God confused their language, and groups of people separated and moved away from one another.
- As a consequence of Babel, the people groups could not easily mix. They became genetically isolated, meaning that they married and had offspring primarily within their particular group. As the years passed, each group developed its own culture and ways of doing things. Genetically isolated, certain physical traits became more prominent in each group.[viii]
- “God made but one male and one female, that all the nations of men might know themselves to be made of one blood, descendants from one common stock, and might thereby be induced to love one another.” – Matthew Henry[ix]
(Acts 17:24-27) 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
- Darwin’s contribution to racism
- There is no master race! (Hitler, Aryan)
- A result of racism
- Holocaust (6 million Jews in WW2)[x]
- Native American Trail of Tears
- Australia’s Stolen Generation 1910-1970s of aboriginal children
- Wars in Sudan
- Syria (present day)[xi]
- SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Illustration: Dred Scott versus Sandford (1857, Supreme Court)
- Dred Scott sued for the right to be a free man
- The Supreme Court of the United States, on a 17 to 2 vote, said African-Americans were not American citizens and, therefore, were not able to tap into the justice system.
- There were two dissenting votes.
- One of those dissenting votes was Supreme Court justice John McLean, “A slave is not mere chattel (property). He bears the impress of his Maker, and he is destined to an endless existence.”[xii]
Not a problem of the Past
- New International Labour Organization Global Estimate of Forced Labour: 20.9 million victims
- 7 million (90%) people are in forced labour in the private economy, exploited by individuals or enterprises.
- Out of these, 4.5 million (22%) are in forced sexual exploitation, and
- 2 million (68%) in forced labour exploitation in activities such as agriculture, construction, domestic work and manufacturing.
- Women and girls represent the greater share of forced labour victims – 11.4 million (55%), as compared to 9.5 million (45%) men and boys.
- Adults are more affected than children – 74% (15.4 million) of victims fall in the age group of 18 years and above, whereas children are 26% of the total (or 5.5 million child victims). [xiii]
- 7 million (90%) people are in forced labour in the private economy, exploited by individuals or enterprises.
- The National Human Trafficking Hotline found that 7,500 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2016 — up from 5,526 in the previous year nation wide[xiv]
- You may think that Human Trafficking only occurs in big cities and abroad. Think again. North Carolina is a hub for human trafficking due to its large highways, big sporting events, and large population.[xv]
- PERVERSION OF SEX
- Prostitution, strip clubs, pornography – deplorable assaults on ID and perversions of God’s plan for sex
- The weak, vulnerable are abused and consumed
- DEVALUATION OF GENDER
- Not machinery or scenery but Image Bearers of God
- Think biblically and push against stereotypes
- Have high expectations for e/o
- You are representatives of God, gifted to fulfill His purposes
The One Way to Restore the Image of God
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
JESUS BORE THE CROSS SO YOU CAN BEAR HIS IMAGE
..so the Image of God in which you were made but has been rent by sin can once again be restored
[i] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Basic, “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub., 1998), 29-30.
[ii] John H. Sailhamer, “Genesis,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), 37.
[iii] Greg Laurie as quoted by Lloyd Stilley, “It’s All His Anyway.” Accessed from http://www.lifeway.com/Article/sermon-stewardship-giving-money-psalm-89-11-12
[iv] Matt Chandler, “In his Image.” Accessed from http://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/sermons/in-his-image
[v] Figure verified at http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf
[vi] Accessed from Bernie Sanders’ Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/sensanders/status/858323933959008256?lang=en on May 21, 2017.
[vii] Allbert Mohler, transcript from “The Briefing 09-19-16.” Accessed from http://www.albertmohler.com/2016/09/19/briefing-09-19-16/
[viii] Dr. Tommy Mitchell, “How Many Races Did God Create?” (April 2014) Accessed from https://answersingenesis.org/tower-of-babel/how-many-races-did-god-create/
[ix] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 6.
[x] Holocaust Encyclopedia, “Documenting Numbers of Victims of the Holocaust and Nazi Persecution” Accessed from https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10008193
[xi] Inter-Parlimentary Alliance for Human Rights and Global Peace, “Acts Of Genocide Committed Since The Adoption Of The Convention On The Prevention And Punishment Of The Crime Of Genocide In 1951.” Accessed from http://www.ipahp.org/index.php?en_acts-of-genocide
[xii] As quoted by Matt Chandler, “In his Image.” Accessed from http://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/sermons/in-his-image
[xiii] “New ILO Global Estimate of Forced Labour: 20.9 million victims” (International Labour Organization, June 2012). Accessed from http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/news/WCMS_182109/lang–en/index.htm
[xiv] Safia Samee Ali, “Human Trafficking Increased in 2016, Organization Reports.” Accessed from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/human-trafficking-increased-2016-organization-reports-n717026
[xv] Data from Project No Rest, North Carolina’s Response to Human Trafficking, Accessed from http://www.projectnorest.org/what-is-human-trafficking/