Summary: Man is a special creation of God created in His image, marred by sin, but restored in Jesus.
A VISION OF MANKIND/PEOPLE/PERSONS
Genesis 1 – 5
Sermon Objective: Help the people understand God’s view of man to enable greater freedom, worship, and meaning to life. This message focuses on man as a creature of God; created in God’s image, marred image, restored image, and a calling to call people back to God.
Last week we talked about God as sovereign. He is all powerful. True life begins and is sustained only in knowing Him as He is. Nothing affects us more than a wrong God. The God of the Bible is the true God. Allah is not the true God. Buddha is not. Shinto is not. Japan’s greatest terror was not their defeat in war, it was the realization that their emperor was not God. He could be defeated after all. Our God is in control. He created the world and is in complete control of the world. Our calling is to trust him no matter what. To listen to him and to obey him.
Today, let us focus our attention upon man. Yes, that’s you and I. This week we had one birth in our church family – David John Hiroshi Fukuda. We celebrate David John’s birth? But why? What is there to celebrate about life? It is going to be tough?
What is man? What does it mean to be human?
Plato defined the human being as a “featherless biped.” He was accurate, man unlike birds has no feathers, and different from monkey and walking animals in that he walks on two feet. But something is lacking in his definition.
God defines what it means to be human. He tells us who we are. What we were meant to be. Made by and for:
Humans are creatures of God
When placed side by side with the infinite God who holds the galaxies in his hand, we discover how small we are:
God is eternal (1 Tim 1:17), I am mortal (Genesis 6:3)
So why did God create mankind? Why do we have these two lovely babies in our church family? What is the purpose of life?
Not because God needs us. God has no needs. God has no felt needs. God has no love deficits. God never has to deal with loneliness. He does not need us for “toys”, for “recreation,” for “past time”, or for “company.”
The Bible tells us we exist for a purpose beyond ourselves. We are not the center of the universe. God is. He made us for Himself.
The First Lie about Ourselves. Genesis 3 tells us the first lie. Satan, acting as a serpent, told our first parents that they could be like God (Genesis 3:5). This was the big one. Believing this lie got the first family expelled from Eden. This lie, which ruined it all for us all, is a lie about us, about our place in the universe. You could be like God.
Satan’s lie was also a lie about God. Satan was saying, “it is so wrong for God not to share his deity. He is selfish. He is self-centered. What is so wrong about wanting to be like God? Why can’t God make you do what you want? Love what you want? Do what you want?”
I will rescue you for my sake—yes, for my own sake! That way, the pagan nations will not be able to claim that their gods have conquered me. I will not let them have my glory!
5 You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.
36 For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen.
Instrument or End
About 400 AD Aurelius Augustine considered to be the best theological mind of that century clarifies this so well. “Everything, he declared, is either an instrument or an end.” Instruments have a purpose beyond themselves. A pen is used for writing. I have a friend who collects rare fountain pens. That is good if you can afford it. But I buy fountain pens because I like handling them. I enjoy writing with fountain pens. I especially like to use expensive fountain pens to write my sermons. Fountain pens and my brain connect more easily. A painting is made to express beauty. Everything exists for a purpose beyond themselves. Only God is an end. Everything else is an instrument.