Summary: You and I are the masterpieces which God has re-created in the image of His Son.
Michelangelo Wasn’t This Good
To many, Michelangelo was the greatest artist of all time, but there’s a greater masterpiece that has been created which Michelangelo, even with all of his talent, could never accomplish—YOU. You are a masterpiece of God, created in Christ Jesus. WOW!
For us to understand this new creation of God in Christ Jesus, we have to go back to the original creation of God. Adam and Eve were not totally perfect or complete. That may surprise some of you, but Adam and Eve lacked two things—eternal life and the knowledge of good and evil—Genesis 3:22. Being created in God’s image, mankind had intelligence and a will. They were capable of making a rational, reasonable decision and when presented with an option, Adam made the wrong choice. With this choice came the knowledge of good and evil—v.22—and death—v.19. They were driven out of the Garden of Eden, lest they take from the tree of life—which was not a forbidden fruit--and live forever. Now, because God did not just wipe Adam and Eve from the face of the earth and start over again, He had a plan to re-create mankind and create His masterpiece in Christ Jesus. In other words, God would re-create man into the image of His Son who is the model of perfection for us.
Listen, Jesus, in the form of a man—knowing good and evil—has shown us how we can make the right choices and not sin plus have eternal life—He is perfect and God desires for us to be perfect also—Matthew 5:48.
Therefore, what does it mean to be created “in Christ Jesus,” how did God do it, and why did He do it are the questions we’ll attempt to answer this morning.
What does it mean to be created “in Christ Jesus?” To be spiritually alive.
A. Because of Adam’s sin, sin came into the world, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—Romans 5:12.
B. Therefore Paul argued in verses 1-2 that you were dead in your transgressions—spiritually dead and you needed to be made alive again—we learned this last week.
C. So God has created us in Christ, made us alive, given us new life—made us new creatures. We are no longer “in the world” but are in the spiritual realm of Christ.
How has God done this? Through His grace
A. Salvation is a theological term that means we have been created in Christ—made spiritually alive.
B. Salvation means that we are free from the bondage of sin that has kept us spiritually dead.
C. Salvation means that we are forgiven.
D. Salvation means that we have a hope.
E. Salvation means that we have joy.
F. Salvation means that we have purpose in life.
G. Salvation means that we have a Savior.
Salvation comes to us as a gift of God.
A. By God’s sovereign grace, he offers to make us His masterpiece in Christ.
B. Grace, freely offered, without strings, when we don’t deserve it, God still offers it.
C. Grace offered to all mankind through Christ—the only way—creates God’s masterpiece when you believe God’s promises and act on them.
D. That’s called faith. God offers, you believe and accept His offer—that’s salvation.
E. Philip and money exchange—God gives us value.
Why did God do this? Because it was His plan
A. Why did God create man in the first place?
B. God has had a plan and purpose for us since the foundation of the world.
C. What’s that plan? To worship, fellowship with, and serve Him.
D. God has created us, so He alone is worthy of our worship and praise.
E. God has made us alive in Christ so that we can fellowship with Him. Our sin is no longer a hindrance to our relationship—unless we are in sin and have not repented of that sin and sought forgiveness.
F. God has saved us so that we should serve Him by doing good works.
H. I don’t have to stand here a give you a list of things you know are God’s commandments—if you aren’t sure what they are, pick up His Word and find them for yourselves.
Because of our disobedience and lack of faith the masterpiece of our lives can be marred. God is not finished with us yet, but with each brush stroke of his Wonderful Hand, we are being transformed and conformed into the image of His Son—the perfect Masterpiece. My prayer is that we will be a receptive canvas for His Masterpiece.