Image and Fall Sermon Redux

Why Do People Suck? and What is God Doing About It?

It is important to remember that God did not need to make us (Acts 17:24-25 cf. Job 41:11; Ps. 50:10-12).  He has perfect love and fellowship among members of the Trinity for all eternity (John 17:5, 24).

”God created us for His own glory” (Isa. 43:7; cf. Eph. 1:11-12).  Therefore, we are to do all for God’s glory.  (1 Cor. 10:31).   This is our purpose.  This is the meaning of life.

That may sound boring to some because they confuse glorifying God with church, which may bore you to death.  Yet, Jesus states that he came that we might have life and have it abundantly.  (John 10:10). If we align our lives with our created purpose then we discover true happiness (Ps. 16:11; 84:1-2, 10).  This doesn’t mean sitting in a pew, singing old hymns or K-love pop songs and listening to someone go on and on about how you should “stop doing this or stop doing that”, or worse, preach topical sermons that are essentially “How To Succeed In Life Without Really Trying!”  This means being on mission and following Jesus to the storm the very gates of Hell if necessary.

Some of our Emergent church brothers object that life all being about glorifying God  makes God selfish but really this is a selfish objection because WE want to be worshipped, honored and glorified. 

The cool thing is this is a two way street.  We glorify God and find happiness there and, in turn, God rejoices in us. (Isa. 62:5; Zeph. 3:17-18).  This led John Piper to make his classic statement that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” See his book Desiring God…in fact see all of his books!

By grace, we are all made in the image and likeness of God which means that we are like God and represent God (See how Adam speaks of his son Seth in Gen. 5:3).

But what does this mean? Theologians have identified the following possibilities: (1) moral aspects (i.e., accountability, an inner sense of right and wrong, etc.); (2) Spiritual aspects; (3) mental aspects; and (4) relational aspects.  We derive our true dignity and worth from this fact not from our bodies or bank accounts but from how we were created.

Sin entered the world and distorted the image but did not destroy it (see Gen. 9:6 or James 3:9 and note that these are post-fall assertions).

It is important to remember that sin is not just “breaking rules” but a direct offense against God Himself (note King David’s words to the prophet Nathan (2 Sam. 12:13)).  Thus, because God is the greatest good (i.e., pure, good, right, just, etc.) and sin is an offense against this good God then any sin is the greatest evil imaginable and justice demands the most severe punishment imaginable, which is death.

The bad news is that all of us have both an inherited guilt and an inherited sinful nature from Adam and Eve (Rom. 1:18-3:23; 5:12-21).  All of us have sinned (Rom. 3:11-18) and all sin demands death as punishment (Rom. 6:23).  Thus, all of us stands condemned before God

What are we to do? By ourselves we can do nothing. Because of the sinful nature we inherited, we do not have the power to earn God’s favor and save ourselves.

But the good news is that Jesus, our God, priest, prophet, judge and King, lived the life we could not live and died the death we deserved to die.  When we place our faith in Jesus, He grant us His very own standing before God (2 Cor. 5:21). And when we place our faith in Jesus, He in turn grants us a progressive restoration of the original image (2 Cor. 3:18) and will completely restore God image upon His return (1 John 3:2).   This is truly good news…this is the Gospel.

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