Summary: This week's sermon deals with what the image and likeness means and how we can develop more into the image and likeness of God
Developing God’s Image and Likeness
This morning I’d like to share exactly how we’ve been created, and how much God thinks of us, and why God wants and desires a relationship with us. Look at what the Lord says,
“‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
We’ve been made in the image and likeness of God. Our problem is that we don’t believe it.
We say, “If I were truly in the image and likeness of God, then God is one messed up God, because I’m one messed up person. I smoke and drink. I’m filled with lustful thoughts and desires. I lie and cheat, and I’m filled with hypocrisy and jealousy. I’m messed up, no good, and there’s nothing good inside of me.”
This is the way we think.
But please understand God is not like that. This is not God. So what happened? Where’s the disconnect? Well, sin happened. Sin came in and messed us all up.
It started with Adam and Eve. Satan came distorting God’s word making Eve question, “Did God really say I couldn’t?” “Did God really say this is what I must do?” And when Eve saw the fruit was good and pleasant she said, “Why not? What will it hurt? And by the way, I’ll be my own god.”
Today we say much the same thing but we also add this caveat, “I can always ask for forgiveness, and what do they say, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission.”
This sin, however, didn’t stop with Adam and Eve; instead it got passed down from generation to generation all the way to you and me. You might say that the sin nature is a part of our DNA.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12 NKJV)
And know this, Satan’s tactics haven’t changed. He comes at us the same way he came at Eve. First he gets us to question God’s word and intent, and then comes the temptation that makes sin sound good and look even better. But the end result is disastrous.
Because of their sin Adam and Eve was cursed with death and kicked out of the Garden, that is, outside of God’s presence because God is too pure to look upon and behold evil.
That is what sin does.
• It curses us with death – “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a NKJV) which is both physical and spiritual death, and
• It places us outside God’s presence – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2 NKJV)
But God is not like us. Just because we’ve been made in God’s image and likeness, and we’re all messed up because of sin, doesn’t mean that God is messed up as well.
The Bible says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good.” (Numbers 23:19 NKJV)
The Apostle James said, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God;’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” (James 1:13 NKJV)
God isn’t like us, He cannot sin and He cannot be tempted with evil, and at the same time neither does He tempt anyone with evil.
But more than anything else what this is saying is that we cannot put God into our mold of thinking. We cannot say, “This is what God is like,” because if we do, then we’re limiting God who is limitless.
God is beyond what we know or what we can even imagine Him to be. How in our limited minds can we describe a God who is limitless? Even God makes this point crystal clear.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)
God’s thoughts and ways are far beyond our own, and therefore we can never equate ourselves to God, nor equate our ways to God.
Yet, even though our sins separate us from God and we’re cursed with the curse of death, and even though God is too holy and pure look upon sin and that our sins have separated us from Him, God has not left us, nor does He leave us to our own devises to go this life alone, to live life the best way we know how.