Summary: First in a series exploring our identity as determined through Scripture. This first message summarized the first man and woman’s identity at Creation, their change in identity with the Fall, and how it can be restored in Christ.
HOW IS OUR IDENTITY DETERMINED?
First in series: “Identity Theft?”
Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, Sunday May 4, 2008 AM
The Who, Who Are You
Still asking the same question!
THE BIG QUESTION: Is who we are determined by what we do, OR is what we do determined by who we are?
IDENTITY AT CREATION: What We Inherited From God
Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7-25
1. God’s ’Image’
Literally, we are a created representation of our Triune Creator.
We are distinctly similar, and yet fundamentally different from Him.
Because God is spirit (Jn. 4:24) and not a physical being, we reflect His image not in our physical appearance but in the nature & character of our spirit!
From the beginning, humanity was a very special and unique creation of God, formed, molded and filled to live as His image. We were created in His image, but never were or intended to be Him. Humanity was created to be God’s representative, not as a perfect, carbon copy, but simply in His likeness: as similar to Him in nature & character as any created being ever could be!!!
2. Physical Life
Our physical bodies, vitality and health are all gifts from God.
At creation, this was a strong physical body that was seemingly immune from disease, sickness, injury or even decay.
3. Spiritual Life
Notice that the first human, Adam, was not alive until God Himself breathed His Spirit into Him.
It is our spirit that is from God, the body is from the dust of the earth.
It is our spirit that gives us vitality and transforms us into an image of God.
4. Purpose & Significance
From the moment of original creation, the LORD God bestowed on humanity – both male and female – the greatest purpose & significance any created being could ever have!
In Gen. 1:28ff, we see that He gave them a tremendous blessing in declaring their purpose to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” with His image (textually implied)!!!
He didn’t declare this just for Adam & Eve, but for all who were to follow them from their union together!
5. Safety & Security
Both to bless us, and to help us fulfill His destiny and purpose for us, the LORD God Almighty took great pains as well to provide us with everything we could ever possibly need – including an environment of perfect safety and security!
Even in the one and only means of danger that could harm them or their destiny (the tree of the knowledge of good & evil – the ability to always know and choose either), God gave them sufficient warning and protection.
6. Unobstructed Intimacy
First, Adam & Eve were blessed to have unobstructed intimacy with the LORD God Almighty, personally, directly and unhesitatingly walking and communing with Him every day!
Second, God blessed them with the ability to have unobstructed intimacy with one other such that the two – a man and a woman - would become as one. They would be one without strife, without jealousy and without divided attention or loyalties.
7. Innocence & Purity
- They were naked and had no shame (2:25) because there was nothing, external or internal, physical or spiritual, that they had any need to hide, worry, or be embarrassed about.
IDENTITY BECAUSE OF SIN:
What We Inherited From Our ’First Parents’ Genesis 3:6-7, 16-24
Our ’first parents’, Adam & Eve, chose to take this image which God had given them, and to instead seek to define themselves for themselves. Through this sin, its effects upon them, and their natural transmission to us the nature and attributes of humanity were gravely and greatly changed!
1. A Mutated Image
Sin has caused a mutation in God’s original creation of humanity that has distorted and warped the image we were at creation.
Because, as Adam’s offspring, we are born ’of his kind’ and ’in his likeness’ (Gen. 5:1-3), through mutation of sin is transmitted from generation to generation.
As a result, ALL humanity since has been and is born in an image different than we were created and blessed to be! This is what is often referred to as “Original Sin.”
What was ’good’ is now ’wicked.’ What was intended to be a masterpiece likeness has become a mutated sculpture that none can truly define or seem to know what to do with! Kinda like ’modern’ art!
As the image has been distorted, so have the blessings of that image. Whereas once there was spiritual life, now there is . . .
2. Spiritual Death
Instead of physical strength & vitality, there is . . .
3. Physical Weakness
Now, also, rather than purpose and significance, there is . . .