On A Scale of One to Ten
Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-31; 5:1-3;
Please turn with me to Genesis 1:26, 27, and 31. It reads: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping things that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them….God saw all that He had made and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:26, 27, 31)
My message this morning in titled “On a Scale of One to Ten” and the very first thing I want you to know this morning is that when God create man, he created man as a ten – perfect in every way because He made man after His own image!
We have been taught from an early age to differentiate between one thing and another; to compare and/or rank something and then choose the best. We start learning this at an early stage in life. For example, before our children ever attend elementary school where this teaching is perfected we begin to train them at home. How many times have we taken our children to the store knowing that they will ask us to buy multiple items for them? We explain to them that we cannot purchase everything they want and they must choose only one of the items. In a matter of seconds our children go through the process of comparing and ranking each item and then choosing the one that they want the most based on some reasoning that only they understand. They may not understand the scale of one to ten, but they do understand how to choose an item that they really want versus another that they would “like” to have.
As we grow from being children to adults, we continue with what we have learned and we apply it to almost everything in our lives. Let me give you an example. In 1979 a movie starring Bo Derek came to the theaters. The movie was called “Ten”. I never saw the movie and know very little about it, but what I do know I bet most males over the age of 45 knows and that is that Bo Derek in that flesh colored swimsuit running along the beach with her hair flying looked good. The reason that movie was such a hit was because she was running on the beach in a swimsuit and she looked like a ten on a scale of one to ten. I bet there are men who purchased the movie on VHS and just paused it on that frame. In that movie Bo Derek became in the eyes of many men a perfect ten - on a scale of one to ten. Although I did not see the movie, I do remember that scene of her running on the beach. For those of you who never saw the movie, just to be clear, this was in 1979 and she was wearing a one piece swimsuit. It did not show what you can easily see today on television or in the movies. Her swimsuit was actually made with some fabric versus the strings we see today that get lost as the woman moves – but that’s another story. Trust me when I tell you that there were men who got in trouble taking their wives or girlfriends to the movie with them. I mean you’re sitting there enjoying the movie quietly eating your popcorn just waiting for that scene. When the scene finally comes on you lean forward to concentrate only to be backhanded by the woman next to you who knows what you’re concentrating on and that it was not her who was sitting beside you. Again, as I did not go and see it I am just imagining what could have happen. But my point is this: there was some criteria that were established that people agreed with that stated that Bo Derek was a ten in that movie even though the movie was not about how she looked.
Comparing and ranking something is very much a part of our lives. Think about this, the scale of one to ten assumes that ten is the perfection, the best, and one is the worse. Now how many surveys have you taken that uses a scale of one to ten or maybe one to five? The thought is the same. By comparing different choices, you will choose the one that best describes or fits you. We spend a majority of our lives comparing and ranking things. We go deeper and deeper into debt to ensure we have the most recent and best appliance, television or cars. The most troubling comparisons and ranking that we do especially as Christians is when we compare and rank people in general or other Christians especially. We love to rank and compare people, especially if we are the ten and the other person is below us. Even though Jesus warned us against judging others we ignore Him and do it anyway. If feels so good to look at someone else and rank them against ourselves or someone we know. This sounds cruel and it is, but you know what, we do not care and that is why we continue to do it.
Almost every day we compare someone else’s life against our own. It may not be a large comparison, maybe just a quick thought, but we do it. Think back to when you were dating – if you are married. Did you not compare or rank the person you were dating? I mean really, why would you date someone who did not measure up? And, if we were being set up on a blind date, the scale of one to ten really comes into play. For example, a good friend of yours is trying to set you up on a blind date. As your friend begins to describe the person to you, you might ask this question: “On a scale of one to ten how pretty and/or handsome is the person?” Depending on the answer you receive you may or may not want to go on the date. If your friend responds that the person is a 4 in physical looks but a 10 in mental capacity (maybe a little nerdy with his pen holder in his pocket, you may not want to go on the date because the person was physically unattractive and people would wonder if you were settling. However, if your friend says that the person is a 10 on physical looks and a 4 on mental capacity, then you’d probably go on the date thinking that you can help them raise their mental capacity. The thinking is that the physical looks are what they are, you either have them or you don’t, but the mental capacity can change with the right help - sometimes. Young ladies – for future reference, I have been told that the nerd with the bad teeth has more possibilities than the cute guy with the bad grades. The teeth can be fixed with the money the nerd will make later in life; but for some of the other cute guys with no education all you’ll get is “do you want fries with that burger” as they relive the glory days of being in high school. But let me move on. My point with all of this is that it is acceptable and universally understood that the ten is the perfect and or best number in a comparison model. So let’s bring it closer to home for all of us sitting in this building today.
I. God Created Man As A Ten
Many of us in this room have been beat down and told negative things at some point in our lives. When that happened we had to make a choice. We could rise above the negative comments and achieve, or we could give in to them and becomes just what the person giving out the comments thought we would become. Some people judge and put others down because of how they feel about themselves. Some people can only feel good about themselves when they are talking bad or making comparisons about someone else who they deem is less than them. These people will drain the life right out of you if you let them and that is the problem with our scale of one to ten - it has a human component. That one to ten scale will always shift depending on the person who is using it. My scale will be different from your scale because my likes and dislikes are different from yours. Because of the human component that impacts the scale of one to ten, it will never truly represent the perfect scale and that brings me to the heart of my message for you this morning. I want you to know that God created humans as a ten. Let’s go back to our scriptural reference.
Genesis 1:26, 27 and 31 says: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping things that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them….God saw all that He had made and behold, it was very good.” The first thing I want you to recognize is that God made the decision to make man after His image. Man was the last to be created and represented the best of what God had created. The birds, cattle, fish and all the plants were created by God, but not in His image. When God made man He gave us a part of Himself and when that happened man was made a ten. Genesis 2:7 states that after God formed Adam He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being”. Most animals act on instinct alone, but we have been given the ability to choose in a logical manner and one of the choices that we have been given to make is whether or not we will accept Christ as our personal Savior. All of the animals are living beings but the difference between man and the other animals is that we were made in God image until……
Now we all know the story of the fall of man. How Satan in the form of a snake got Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit and subsequently Eve gave to her husband who also chose to eat (note that he could have said no.) Genesis 3:22-24 tells us that God originally made man to live forever. However, after man disobeyed God, God had to make them leave the Garden of Eden. He did this not because He was turning His back on them, but so that they would not eat of the tree of life and live forever. So man went from being a ten; being perfect; to something much less than a ten, much less than perfection. I do not know how far man fell on the scale but it was so far that he could not get himself back to perfection. He could not rise back on the scale under his own power. Now here is the most interesting thing that we often overlook. Turn over to Genesis 5 and we will read verses 1-3. “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and he blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.” (Vs. 1) Whose likeness was man created in? He was created in God’s likeness! This means that man was a ten. Man was given the authority to rule and he was the perfection of God’s creation. When God finished with Adam and Eve He stopped creating – He had created His greatest work in man. After God created man He blessed him and man became perfect; a ten on a scale of one to ten. Now look at the transition in verse three. “When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.” Did you see what happened? Adam was made in the likeness of God. When Adam began having sons (and daughters) of his own, they were made in his likeness, not God. From the time that sin entered into the world we were all born into that sin. The nature that we have before accepting Christ as our personal Savior was Adam’s nature. We were not born a ten because we were born into Adam’s nature – one where sin existed and ruled within our flesh. But I want you to know this morning, regardless of how you feel right now; regardless of what others may say about you; when you accept Christ, in God’s eyes you become a ten. Turn to John 3:16.
II. Jesus Christ Restored Us
John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus was with God when the world was created. Jesus made this claim and it is captured throughout the Scriptures. Remember the Scripture we read earlier from Genesis chapter one when God said “let Us make man in Our image?” The “Us” and “Our” in that Scripture was God the Father; His Son Jesus Christ; and the Holy Spirit – who we refer to as the Trinity. Jesus was sent here to save us; to restore us to a ten because God the Father loved us. This Scripture is about more than just being saved. It’s about a change in your being. A change in your personality. A change in your desires; A change in who you have always known yourself to be. Let me illustrate what I am saying with one final Scripture. Turn to 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 42-45.
“For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive…..So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, ‘The first man. Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
When you accept Christ, your spirit is renewed. You will have the same body that you may hate, but your spirit will be much different. Your body is the shell for your spirit. This is why we talk about being born again – not physically, but spiritually. It is about a change in your spirit. It is not about how often you go to Church, or what Church you choose to attend; it is about what you do for Christ personally and whether or not you allow Him rule in your life. There will ne many who go to Church every Sunday and will die and go to hell – please keep that in mind.
On a scale of one to ten, where are you with your relationship with Christ? Do you have one? When God looks at you, does He see your sin; your failures and your lifelong list of mistakes? Does He see a bad attitude; a complaining spirit; a disgruntled soul? When God looks you, where would He rank you on a scale of one to ten if it was based on what you were doing for Him? Man may say that you are a ten, but what matters is not what man says, but God. With God it is not anything goes, it is what He says. Many are confused about what it means to be a Christian because Christians have taken God’s standard and created their own and then began to live by them. That is why when people see a Christian they do not know how to define one because everyone is living by a standard acceptable to them and that standard on the Day of Judgment will not measure up. I thank God that His scale is accurate and it is not based on any human component.
If you have accepted Christ, and I am not talking about you getting baptized because someone made you and you’re still living in hell – I am talking about you making the choice to accept Christ as your personal Savior – having a change of heart, and choosing to follow Him. If you have done this, then in God eyes, even with all of your sin, He sees you as a ten because when He sees you He sees the blood of His Son over you which washes away your sins. Does that mean you can do what you want, absolutely not, but that is a message for another sermon. You are a ten in God’s eyes if you have accepted His Son with your hearts and not with just your mouth. When you accept Him with your heart your actions will then begin to line up with what is within you.
I mentioned earlier that many of us have been beaten down and thrown to the side. We have been talked about, ridiculed and damaged. We have looked at our faces in the mirror and saw that we were lacking. Someone always have something that we want and cannot afford. Someone always have a better physical appearance than we do. Someone else always have a better body or shape than we do. Someone else always have better hair than I do. If you are not doing it to yourself, then others are dumping on you. “Why can’t you do it this way? You’re dumber than a box of rocks! Your cooking stinks! Why can’t you be like so and so?” All of these comments tear us down and causes us to rethink about who we are, but I want to encourage you this morning.
God loves you and that is why He sent His Son Jesus Christ. He sent Him to save us all. We are not perfect, but we are perfected in Christ. We may sin, but we no longer have a sin nature because of Christ living within us. Our sin nature came from Adam, but when we accepted Christ, we got Christ’s nature. We do not have to sin, we have been given the power to stop. But if you do find yourself in that situation, there is forgiveness because Christ died for us.
I do not care how low you may be feeling this morning you’re a ten in God’s eyes if you’re walking with His Son Jesus Christ. When you are feeling anything less than that, just remember, the people telling you this are not the one who created or saved you. They can hurt you with their words, but God can heal you with His Spirit. You are a ten, do not let anyone tell you differently.
May God forever bless and keep you.