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Summary: The first in a series I call "People".

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Genesis 1:1, 26-28 - People matter to God

By James Galbraith

First Baptist Church, Port Alberni

October 18, 2009

Text

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Anthropic Principle - that the world around us was somehow designed to support and nourish human life

- raise or lower the universe’s rate of expansion by even one part in a million, and life would be impossible

- if the average distance between stars were any greater, planets like earth would not have been formed;

any smaller, and the planetary orbits necessary for life would not have occurred

- if the ratio of carbon to oxygen had been slightly different than it is, none of us would have been here to breathe the air

- Change the tilt of the earth’s axis slightly in one direction, and we would freeze - change it the other direction and we would burn up

- if the earth were any closer to the sun, or any farther away, if it were any bigger or smaller, if it rotated faster or slower - any of the above would render the earth uninhabitable.

POINT - SOMEONE must have gone to a lot of effort to make things just right so that we could enjoy life.

People matter to God.

Now, add to the general sense of creation the marvelous details that went into making us - when we read Gen. 1:26-28 we see that God made us in his own image

That means we reflect God somehow - when you look at someone, anyone, you see an idea of who and what God is.

A desire to love and be loved, an ability to create, the gifts of imagination and so much more.

We reflect that image poorly - it’s been tarnished and battered by sin, but that does not alter the fact that each and every person you and I come into contact with bears the image of God upon them.

People matter to God.

Psalm 139: 13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

Now only did people matter to God in the beginning - they still do!

These words come from King David of Israel, and they were written long after the words we looked at from Genesis.

David is worshipping God, thankful for God’s attention to David’s life - he’s acknowledging that God was there right from his conception,

and will remain with him until death and beyond.

David mattered to God - and he knew it.

And these words are inclusive - meaning that they apply to us all -

God is with us, all of us,

from conception to cremation, and we matter to him.

People matter to God.

John 3:16 -“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It is the first Bible verse many people learn, and God help us if we become calloused to the immensity of the message it contains.

It speaks God caring for the world - the people – so much that he gave up the only thing he couldn’t recreate - his own Son,

for the sake of a race that couldn’t face up to the consequences

of it’s collective and individual evil.

Martin Luther called John 3:16 “the heart of the Bible—the Gospel in miniature.”

It’s so simple a child can understand it; yet it condenses the deep and marvelous truths of redemption into these few poignant words:

“God”...The greatest Lover

“So loved”...The greatest degree

“The world”...The greatest number

“That He gave” …The greatest act

“His only Son” …The greatest gift

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