Summary: Most people accept God as Creator without much hesitation, but we find it harder to accept Him as the Owner of our lives. Why? This sermon explores God’s relationship with us as a Creator and how that affects His ownership and it’s role in our lives.
I. Intro Series:
B. Title/Subtitle of Series Explanation
i. If you grew up in church ... (There are certain things …)
ii. If not you’ve probably heard or read … 4 sp. Laws (campus mins)
iii. These often become catch phrases … said but not understood.
C. I don’t consider this an intro to faith study
i. I was active in my faith for at least 4 years before …
ii. It’s hard to set one thing as the intro to faith in Christ
II. Intro topic (God as Creator/Owner)
A. Everyone has heard that God created us
B. Have you heard that He also is our owner? (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
For a lot of us there comes along a very negative feeling with the idea of being owned. When a team or an individual gets beat really badly by an opponent we often use the expression “they got owned,” meaning that the other team was in complete control the whole game or whatever (for instance, the US soccer team got owned by Ghana); and if you are on the team that was being controlled … that’s not good for you. You were owned by someone who wanted you to lose; they wanted the worst for you, and you got it. We also tend to connect people being owned with slavery and oppression, which is even worse.
So when we hear this idea that God owns us, it might not sit well at first because of the way we understand the word. But scripture implies that God is indeed our owner (Psalm 24:1 & 1 Corin. 6:19-20). And I think that many of us as Christians perceive God’s ownership of our lives in this negative way. We feel restrained and hindered by the laws of scripture and many people resort to a “nobody’s gonna tell me what to do” attitude with God as an attempt to escape the bad end of ownership. Freedom in Christ becomes the opposite of being owned by God, even though scripture endorses both ideas.
But what if we looked at a different kind of ownership? What if we looked at God’s ownership of us in the same way we look at an inventor’s ownership of his or her invention, or similarly, as a creator’s ownership of his creation? How would this change our attitudes? How might it change our lives?
If we believe that God is our creator as scripture says that He is, then it is only natural to also believe that His ownership of our lives works in this way. So let’s look at these characteristics of ownership. A creator first and foremost loves his creation. Think of an artist’s masterpiece; the painter loves his painting more than anyone who will ever look at it does because the painting bears the mark of the artist. It is his work and feeling and emotion that went onto the canvas. And I bet that even if the critics told him that his art was worthless and would never be good enough to sell, the artist wouldn’t throw out his creation. We see this kind of love in God from the very beginning; upon completing creation with man, the Lord says “this is very good.” And even now, we can be assured that God’s love for us lasts through all the crap that is in the world today (Read Romans 8:38-39).
Another characteristic of the ownership of a creator is a desire for his creation to succeed … right? Most often, when making something you have a specific intention for it from the outset. A luthier’s original intention for his creation is that it would be a guitar that stays in tune, projects well, is durable, and is visually appealing, but most importantly that it would make beautiful music. Just as any creator has an original intention for his or her creation, God has an original intention for us.
Thirdly, a creator knows how his creation works best. We were created by God to work a certain way in the context of life with other people or community as well as with the rest of creation. In the gospels, Jesus makes two statements that compliment each other so well in expressing this.
I believe that in fulfilling the law, Jesus was then and is still teaching us how to live this abundant life. In other words, His law is not oppressive; it does not keep us from enjoying a good life, but rather teaches us, in the way only a creator/owner could, how to live the best life possible; to live the way that we were originally intended to live.
We’re not going to get away from it … our lives are not our own. We have an Owner who created us and knows how we should operate, and He tells us how to do it; how to live within His good and right kingdom in a way that benefits not just ourselves, but everyone we come into contact with. And I believe that we only have two choices when faced with this claim; we can either rebel and hope that we know better than God what is good for us and the world, or we can align our hearts’ desire with our Creator/Owner’s and accept Jesus, not only as a personal savior as we tend to reference Him, but as the Lord of our lives and the God who desires to save all of His good creation.