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March 26, 2018 11:11 am
I think you're going with a look in our world something is like of Warwick. There's violence suffering waters, poverty, pollution, prejudice, conflict all around and people experience the effects of that tears, disappointments, pain, unrest, frustration, personal tragedies, divorce, abuse, devastating situations. I think all of us know exactly what I'm talking about and that people ask and continue to last thing through the centuries is the basic problem of environment is a basic problem of political system is the basic problem of our educational system is a basic problem, an economic one. Are we here on this planet is mankind evolving at the something better out we are improving and advancing upward. Our is there some fatal flaw within us what's right and wrong in the world refer the question another way interesting is how you would answer it. Do you believe, as human beings were basically good but are we basically evil. This evening we continue in our articles of faith that are 15 of them and had the privilege of dealing with the eighth of them and the middle region in the minutes, but we believe in the fall. So let me read article 8 of Calvary's articles of faith, listing. This we believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God and that he felt through sin, and as a consequence of the sin lost his spiritual life becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the parlor of the devil. We also believe that the spiritual death of total depravity of human nature has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the man Christ Jesus our Lord. Being accepted and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life but is essentially corrupt in body, mind and soul. We believe the fall is a very interesting and very intriguing subject is the one which is often misunderstood and even which is outright denied you know is a look around today and say this see how scattered we are no as someone who's trying to communicate. It's very difficult because we the people way over here with the people way over here. Fortunately there's no one up there at many of you are aware, the back even a couple of our pastors at the back and that really bothers me. With all these wonderful seats down at the front and a beam so much easier. Wouldn't it if we were all together okay. It's called the bully pulpit and I just use that.
So next week or so. Evening service for the week after that. Khalil is going to be speaking and will fill up the seats right from the front bank and many of you looking at me really ticked off but that's okay. We believe in the fall. If not, call the church. First of all, is her statement says we are created by God in his image returned to the first book of the Bible first chapter Genesis chapter 1, we are created originally in the image of God in fact mine and by that I mean men and women mankind was the crowning of God's creation Genesis 126 then God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea end over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Verse 27 so God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created them, and God bless them, and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
We are made. Think of this, God made us in his image.
We are not only creatures made by God but we are people made in the image of God as so we believe from Scripture that there is a radical difference between human beings and animals.
Animals are not made in the image of God. I know some of you say that your dog is your best friend. I feel sorry for you. That dog is not made in the image of God, the animal rights movement sometimes seemed to be more concerned about a beach quail rather than thousands of aborted unborn babies we are made in the image of God and because each individual is made in the image of God he or she has inherent dignity and has unique value every human life is sacred. This applies to the unborn to the poor to the elderly to the disabled to the terminally ill to those of different races etc. every human being is created in the image of God. Now you say, what does it mean to be created in the image of God. God is spirit. So in one sense I we created in the image of God was a big subject and is not really my subject denied women to mention a few things very very quickly being made in the image of God means that as human beings. God made us to reflect God's glory. We are made to reflect the very character of God were made in the image of God.
We are to mirror God.
We are to represent God. We are God's representatives here on. That means we are spiritual beings we are made to know and to commune with God we have the divine stamp is allowed on this. Each of us has a God consciousness. I realize that are atheist, but they suppress the truth of Scripture says God has given each one of us a sense of wonder who hasn't looked at her newborn baby with tremendous wonders of today's total babies in my arms this morning. We realize that God is the creator who has not been moved to the sun sent out the sound of the month and the look of the beauty of God's creation, what does that come from from God himself would made in the image of God and only God himself then can meet our deepest spiritual needs. This is why worship of God is essential to our sense of self fulfillment to understand that we are made to worship God were made in the image of God.
We are spiritual beings. We are also rational beings being made in the image of God.
We can communicate with each other. We can pursue intellectual plans we can plan we can work out relationships and interrelationship between facts, we can pursue logic and philosophy and so on with rational beings will also moral beings we have a conscience. We have an internal witness within us, which distinguishes rights from wrong with a sense of fairness with a sense of justice. Even unbelievers say that's not right that's unfair. What does that come from it comes from being made in the image of God. We are also authority beings. I read that scripture where the Lord tells us to be fruitful and multiply, and to have dominion over the fish of the birds, and over every living things that we are God's representatives over the creation sounded verse six.
He has put all things under his feet so we cultivate land. We use the part of the universe for for healing and for heating and food and comfort. We are concerned or should be concerned about the exploitation of resources and we are committed as the creations of God in his image were committed to the conservation and preservation of the resources God has given us. We are to look after the artifact is what God intended as we are made in his image. We also creative beings mentioned this morning that all of us are gifted but even apart from these grace gifts to believers. Every single person is a creative being. We have intellectual aesthetic characteristics, scientific and technological interests and pursuits.
God is the creator has given you and me. This creativity demonstrates itself in in millions of ways through millions of people. We are also very importantly, being made in the image of God. We are relational beings last two Sundays. I've been emphasizing the importance of the church that God made us to relate to one another, not to be isolationist not to be loners. We are created for community for fellowship.
Why is that because God who made us in his image is try urine. The father the son and the Holy Spirit, and they relate to one another in personal ways. They live in eternal union and communion from all of eternity. The father the son and the Spirit. Think of this are really trying to one another.
New Testament says that the father loves the son and so being made in the image of God means that God made us to relate to one another.
It was not good for man to be alone is not good to be alone or we need one another for companionship to help us were made for community for families for society for the church were not made to live isolated lives. We are created by God in his image. Much more could be said on that. But that's not really my subject, but we are created and it's important to understand this, we are created in the image of God. I secondly the image of God in us has been shattered read with me in Genesis chapter 3. Mine is going to fall at the consequences of that sin were very very serious and are far reaching. To this day. Genesis 1 and two is the creation God made this garden and he made Adam. He brings to Adam and Eve.
Everything is perfect or living in this perfect garden and everything seems wonderful doesn't it. And it is wonderful is perfect can be improved, coming from God's good hands. But notice Revelation 3 Genesis 3 verse one now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field, but the Lord God had made.
He said to the women, did God actually say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden and the woman said to the separate, we may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but Don said, you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die, but the serpent said to the woman you shall surely die contradicting God for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that was that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. And she also give some to her husband was with her and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves going close here is the biblical accounts of the fall in this perfect garden but God made here are these perfect people. This perfect couple, Adam and Eve and the fall created perfect and no they follow. So when we say we believe in the fall were talking about the spiritual fall of Adam and Eve were the little nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty together again will like Humpty Dumpty. We have had a great great fall. We have not pursued the knowledge of God rather than living a life reflecting God than mentoring God and representing God whether we Don we have asserted out independence and their self-sufficiency and in doing that we dehumanize ourselves turn with me to Romans chapter 1 we thought of this a few weeks ago, as were going through Romans development by this remind ourselves Romans chapter 1 with Paul is saying that with the fall we fallen into degrading loss and are heading for self-destruction. Romans one – 21 is the impact of the fall foot although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened claiming to be wise, they became fools in exchange the glory of the immortal God for images as resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impunity. Verse 26 for this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Verse 28, and since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done here is the effect of the fall receipt of society, but we also see one hearts somewhere. As we learned in Romans Romans chapter 3.
That sin impacts our words impacts our actions.
It impacts our attitudes every aspect of our being is affected by sin and we cannot we cannot save ourselves. We cannot rescue ourselves from the fall. We are totally depraved that you think of Adam and Eve in the fall in the garden in Genesis 3. Let me mention three consequences of their sin. First of all, alienation from God. When Adam and Eve sinned the communion with God, the perfect communion with God was broken. No longer are they in the state of innocence.
No, but that in the state of alienation from God come back to Genesis where we will see that Genesis chapter 2 Genesis 2 verse 17 it is what God said to them before the fall of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for the day that you eat of it you shall surely die in the eight and death and Satan come into the world. Chapter 3 verse 19 by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the grind for out of it you were taken for your dust and to dust you shall return items made from the dust of the earth. If you're not sending of live forever, but he sends his returning to dust the pains of childbirth thorns. The souls sweat some of the consequences of sin.
Paul says in Romans five verse 10 he describes us apart from the grace of God as enemies of God says in Ephesians 2, verse one we were dad in our trespasses and in our sins.
The wages of sin is that alienation from God was in the Paul puts it in this brilliant one verse in Romans five verse 12 therefore, just as sin came into the world is Genesis 3, just as sin came into the world through one man, Adam, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned pulses in the gray chapter of resurrection. First Corinthians 15 as in Adam all die when -1 dies. Paul describes us apart from God's grace in Ephesians 2 is without hope and without God in the world. Alienation from God. Secondly, expulsion from Paradise, Adam and Eve were literally living in paradise. A pretty good place to live in the know what is everything perfect but no there expelled from Paradise. They had enjoyed the perfect environment of the garden of Eden. But now because of their sin. They are expelled. Genesis 3 verse 24 God drove out the man and that the east of the garden of Eden he placed the chair you been, and the flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life expelled because of the sin you have heard the story of Adam driving to an end table past the garden of Eden saying that's what your mother either side of house and home, but they are expelled from Paradise and it's impossible for Adam and Eve to go back the state of innocence is reversibly lost.
The flaming sword was an insuperable barrier between them and God's will know every single one of us as we come into this world are born in sin were lost like sheep going astray that is universally true.
No exceptions other than the one exception that we sang about our Lord Jesus cry so alienation from God expulsion from the paradise. Third, guilt, shame and cover-up was result of sin, guilt, shame and cover-up. When the when they send Adam and Eve experience for the first time. Guilt and shame. They were no longer comfortable in the garden whether they do the try to cover themselves with fig leaves.
What a pathetic attempt one day to cover their shame and their sin.
They tried to hide their nakedness. They tried to hydrangea from God when the question God asks in chapter 3. What is this that you've done a question comes to us as what is this that you've done the answer is sins of come short of the glory of God.
Sin likes sequence doesn't that sin likes covers up covers up over government densities special counsel to investigate presidents and politicians, and others to see if it has been a cover up. Here is the original cover-up Adam and Eve. When God confronts Adam what does Adam do at the woman you gave me implicit. Everything was fine in the garden.
I was doing all right until you said it was good to be alone and give me this woman, Eve, on the other hand, says well, it was the sap in the he said, and we have been finger-pointing ever since.
Humbly, it's not really me. It's you it's my environment it's my parents it's my wife fits my son that's my colleagues at someone else because of that, Paul says there is no one that seeks God. Alienation from God expulsion from Paradise, guilt, shame and cover-up. What was true of Adam and Eve is true of you and me with the image of God. Does that mean that the image of God and man is totally gone. No, the image of God in us is Mark but it's not obliterated. Using what you say that John well with me to Genesis 9 Genesis 9 verse six as we come into the story of Noah and the ark.
Genesis 9 verse six whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed. Why is that why is it that God would say that for God made man in his own image. This is after the fall and again a James has a similar reference when we just read it in James chapter 3 James three verse nine talking about the tongue. He says with it are tongue we bless our Lord and father, and with it we curse people were made in the likeness of God. So since the fall. The image of God as being the face but is not been erased. It's been tarnished, but is not being destroyed. It has been marred and scarred and corrupted and spa, but it is not being totally obliterated. We are still human beings after the fall in the lower sinful people choosing sin. We are still human beings made in the image of God. It's the face it's corrupted because of sin, and that's why we still believe all human life is still inherently dignified and sacred. God made us in his image. That image is marked because of sin is my third point. The image of God in us the image of God is restored in us by Jesus is the perfect image of God and God's ways. Absolutely brilliant. The wisdom of God. We created originally an image of God. That image is moderate shattered and no comes into this world and the sinful world.
A man who is totally different from everyone else. He is a God man Christ Jesus, and he comes to restore the image of God in us pulses wonderfully in Colossians 1 verse 15 that Jesus is the image of God he is the perfect image of God.
We are created in the image of God.
Jesus is the image of God the son is eternally the image of God the son is the perfect representation of the in visible God pulses in Colossians 2 verse nine he possesses all the fullness of deity in bodily form that is to see Jesus is the sea God, God the son comes to this world to do what to reveal God to tell us what God is like. He manifests perfectly the essential God and his being the writer of Hebrews says he is the radiance of the glory of God so that to see Jesus is the sea God. He was seeing me, sir. Jesus has seen the father. And so while Jesus was, is and always shall be the image of God and eternal relationship. It was when the word became flesh, that the invisible God becomes visible in his son so no one has seen God at any time, but the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the father. He has shown him force to see Jesus is the sea God wonderful God is like you want to see God's son. This is the way for this image in us to be restored. This is the answer to our sin. This is the answer to a corruption. This is the answer to our guilt and shame is the turn from our sin. That's called repentance turn from our darkness and Luke to the light. Paul describes it in second Corinthians 4 verse four. After telling us that we been blinded by the God of this age, Satan himself.
He describes the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God is what Jesus said that I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me. This is the answer to the fall of man and woman. This is why we call it the good news of the gospel so that we turn from our sin, then we embrace Christ and our sin is forgiven and then would begin this wonderful journey. Following Jesus and the more we keep our eyes on Jesus, the more we become like Jesus followers of Jesus grow into the likeness of God's son. The theological word for that is out, sang the vacation. What sanctification set apart from unholiness and set apart to God becoming holy, who is the holiest person here, the one who is most like Jesus does not come about by looking to Jesus originally made in the image of God. Sin comes and monitors and D faces that image, but now as we follow Jesus saved by his grace that marred image is now being progressively restored and renewed as we, as we become more and more like Jesus was in the fall. Romans eight when the Lord will and will get to Romans eight. In our study. Romans 829 was in this for those whom he foreknew he also predestined mind.
Don't be afraid of predestination.
He predestined mind us to be conformed to the image of his son, the incredible corrupt sinners with the covers up in her shame and guilt and know God not only saves us not only forgives our sins. He does a remarkable thing he has predestined us to be conformed to the image of his son John Nelson Darby rights and visit so I shall be like thy son, is this the grace which he for me has one father of glory thought beyond all thought and glory to his own glass likeness brought an incredible thought to be like Jesus throughout Scripture from the New Testament we are exhorted to be like Christ. John 13 verse 15 Jesus says I gave you an example that you should do just as I've done to you as he washes the disciples feet. John 13 verse 34 a new commandment I give to you that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also ought to love one another as I've loved you. You know it's a love one another. We love one another. What we do with becoming like Jesus, are you are you becoming more like Jesus is a have been a Christian for 10 years you been following Jesus for 10 years wonderful. Praise God, he is the question that you and I need to answer before God, more like Jesus. Today than there was this time last year, five years ago. Some of us have been following Jesus for many many years and are more like him is Iraqi become more like Jesus is the way Paul puts it. Second Corinthians 3 verse 18.
He says we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from 1° of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the spirit. I have been said, I don't know if it's true or not but sometimes a couple that had been mulling a long time begin to look alike, so there's hope for me as well.
I don't know if that's true or not but this is true that when you look at Christ medical takes place that you become more and more like Jesus. That is our sanctification unjustified. That happened in an instant, the moment I trusted Christ sanctification. I was a process in which we are all journeying is where following Christ. This is our sanctification. Whether sanctification is a say, becoming more like Jesus.
The image of God in me is Martin Shaw. That is like looking in a mirror and that's it shattered and you look at yourself and you don't get the true image but no progressively that murder is beginning to change.
Miraculously is a wonderful thing to see in believers is in the know is that your brothers and sisters was by this girl, this young man this young woman. This older man older woman this of following Jesus by their speech begins to be changed. They stop cursing their attitudes woman have told me coming there with her husband has become since he began to follow Jesus, of how dome changes was happening. The becoming more and more like Jesus. But that's no not all his stuff in the race got to get better. One day every authentic follower of Jesus will be perfectly and fully conformed to the image of Christ. That is the theological word is our glorification. I am justified saved. God has declared me righteous based on his grace, imputed righteousness of Christ has been credited to my account. Now I am in the process of sanctification. One day I'm going to be glorified. I'm not yet there, read with me again. Romans eight Paul says it so beautifully.
Romans eight verse 28. We know that for those who love God all things work together for good to be encouraged for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Those whom he predestined he also called those whom he called he also justified and those whom he justified he also glorified. If you have been justified.
You can absolutely be centered. That said, absolutely certain that one day you will be glorified. Meantime, I understand we stumble we make progress in and we slip we come back to Christ and asked for his forgiveness but Paul is saying something marvelous that here in the grace of God that those whom God justifies he will glorified. Paul says in first Corinthians 15 verse 49. We shall also bear the image of the man of heaven John salesforce John three that when Christ comes when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. This is what we mean by glorification perfectly like God's son, all of God's grace falling justified all of God's grace through the work of our Lord's Jesus Christ involved in this process of becoming more and more like Jesus, that we call our sanctification. I'm looking for that magnificent day when Christ shall return and we who know him will see them as he is.
We believe in the fall. We believe that God made us in his image, but sin.
Romans five verse 12 sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, not every single person, including these wonderful little babies. We dedicated this morning all of us are born sinners and Appletree is not an apple tree because it bears apples. It bears apples because it is an Appletree we are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners we are fallen people were born sinners.
Sin is not simply what we do sin is what we are not only an action is a very attitude was sinners by nature through Adam sin but would also sinners by practice.
So Paul got it right when he says in Romans 323 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God the image of God in us is like the shattered matter, but Christ hears the gospel, who is the image of God has come to us to seek and to save the lost not only to save us. He does that, but also to transform us. That's why he's the only way of salvation, the only weight way in which you can know God is through Jesus Christ is the only way of our salvation, and the only way of our sanctification. Charles Spurgeon got it right when he said he that think slightly of sin think slightly of the Savior know you need to understand the depth of your sin that enhances the beauty of Christ that enhances the grace of God. Scripture clearly teaches that because of our fall. It is impossible for us to save ourselves. All the kings horses and all the kings men can put the Humpty together again and we bind ourselves cannot put ourselves together. We cannot restore that image of God in us, or this is why Christ comes would dead spiritually dead and we need spiritual regeneration. We need to be born again, we need the washing of regeneration and renewal of the spirit is pulsates and tightens three when I was practicing law. Mother came with her daughter who was in her late teens and the and the young teenager had been in a serious car accident and done tremendous damage to her face. It was it was really good, almost even highly look at the face of so many scars in the in the girl's face and that of course. They wanted legal action against the driver that caused the accident and rightly so, because this girl had terrible terrible scars emotional trauma and all the rest of it and I remember the mother showed me a picture of the girl before the accident with a beautiful young woman and the mother explains this is my daughter. Good student friends as you play sports and she liked to dance and all the rest of it on the girl.
The teenager eating 19-year-old she could hardly look at me.
She just put up with her had done so over the course of weeks and months I met with these as we try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company during the visits. Unremarkable thing was happening that as this young woman was coming to me the scars were beginning to heal and eventually after quite some time. They mother and her daughter came and as I looked at the daughter and the mother showed me that they photograph the door there was once again looking as she had prior to the accident what happened. It was a touch of the Masters hand because as well as getting legal advice you very wisely was getting medical advice, and she was going to a master physician, a plastic surgeon who was painstakingly trying to restore the image of this beautiful girl she had once been prior to the accidents and God's grace. He was very successful. The image had original image was being restored in your scars with your sin, bruised sales I came from a terrible Jon, I have really messed up my my life is a mass of an Italian. This is why Christ came and the more you look to Christ.
The more you will become like Christ, Robert Marty McShane says reverie look itself take 10 looks at Christ know sometimes when were struggling with her sin and how these accountability groups is something happen sometimes. Which I don't think is a very wise thing that you can spend more time focused on your sin than the struggle of your sin.
And secondly, you have to understand that your sins of culture that the beat repentance that has to be acknowledgment of your sin. But looking at the sin itself in saying that is sin.
And I want to change is not sufficient and that is not the gospel. McNally got it right for every look at self take 10 weeks or Christ to guys on Christ read the Gospels and see the beauty of your Savior read the epistles and understand the marvelous redemptive work of Christ read the book of Revelation and see the glorious future that we have as followers of Christ.
Yes, look at your sin acknowledge that you got sin, but don't allow that sin to paralyze you. Don't allow the devil to keep you looking down as followers of Christ we are to look up to Christ.
The author and the perfecter of our faith, and that that greatly will come when all those saved by his grace we will be perfectly conformed to the image of his son, and we shall see him, and we shall be like him perfectly and eternally like God's beloved son, the fall, Christ comes not only restoration to the image, but more than that we are like Christ's father, we thank you for the Marvel of your grace. We think of the depths of the of the fall and the untold tears and violence and abuse that comes to this sad world, but we thank you that in spite of her sin that you love us and fight your loved us while we were yet sinners and it was then that Christ died for us and took our sins and rose from the dead, and is eternally alive and no we rejoice in our salvation and ask that each one of us here will keep our eyes on Jesus, moment by moment, and so become more and more like him.
We ask it in his name