Gen. 1:27 says, “God created man in his own image.” From this verse we can say that there is something in us that is like God, and thus man has something to do with God. The obvious follow-up question is: What does God want us to do?
In the N.T. we find the requirement of God in Jesus’ teachings. For instance in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “You therefore shall be perfect as your, heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matt 5:48). What does the word perfect mean? It means the exact opposite of sin. The N.T. meaning of sin is missing the mark. To be what God means us to be we must be perfect. We must hit the mark and not miss it.
What does God’s requirement mean in our terms? It means God expects us to be what he made us to be – perfect. He does not expect us to be angels, because we were made to be men and women. And is not the passion for perfection common among us all? Isn’t perfection a divine passion in all of our hearts?
When we understand God’s requirement it brings us under the conviction of sin. And we ask, “What does God require of a man or woman under such a conviction?” The answer is: We must do the works of God. What are the works of God? Jesus said, “This is the work of God that you believe on Him whom He has sent,” (John 6:29).
Believe in Jesus,
In Matt 7:2 we read an eternal law of God, “With what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” God’s eternal law is that of retribution. By that I mean how you measure others, is how others will measure you. For instance, if you have been shrewd with others, others will be shrewd with you. If you refuse to forgive others, they will refuse to forgive you. The way you pay others, is the way others will pay you.
Romans 2:1 applies this law in a more definitive way. It says that if you criticize another of something, you will be found guilty of the very same thing. What is the reason that we are so quick to see the faults in others, and not ourselves? It is found in the quote from last week’s sermon, “The chief complaint we have about another person’s sin is actually a chief compliment to ourselves.” I think the mature Christian is always humble. The mature Christian says, “Yes, that sin can be found in me, as well as many others, if it were not for the grace of God. Therefore, what right do I have to judge.”
Jesus told us, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt 7:1). Who of us would stand before God and say, “Judge me as I have judge others?” Instead we ask God to judge us on the atonement of Jesus’ Cross.
It is hard for us to understand the strain of Paul’s ministry, for he did not have the comforts we have today. Every day Paul relied on God for his food, a place to clean up, a change of clothes, and a place to lay his head. He crossed seas during storms, walked over mountain ranges that were not yet free of snow, was jailed, beaten, left for dead, and chased from towns.
If Paul were here we would ask him, “Why the hurry, why the urgency, why the suffering?” And he would say, “I am a debtor,” (Rom 1:14 KJV).
I am a debtor are the words of every Christian Church. The Church is in debt to the world. Not that the world has given the Church anything, but Jesus has given the Church something for the world. Yes, it is true the world hates God, but it is truer that God loves the world. Yes it is true that the world will not have God, but it is truer that God wants the world. And for this reason God has given the world the Church. If the Church appropriates Christ’s Gospel, and sings her songs about it, thanks God in her worship for what He has done for her, and stops there, she is playing the harlot, she is prostituting her very nature to base uses. This is harsh language, but until the Church takes the Gospel and gives it to the world we are dishonest, for we, like Paul, are in debt.
An old German theologian once said, “There is nothing in the universe so much like God than the human soul.” Read the creation story in Genesis and you will agree, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him,” (Gen 1:27). There is something in man that response to something in God. It is a mystical link that no other animal has. In order for us to understand ourselves, others, and life we must first come to an intimate knowledge of God.
However, there is something wrong with us. We were created to have a relationship with God, but we don’t want God. How is it that the creature who was created to know God, knows so little of God? It is because of sin. Because of sin we have replaced God with our imaginations.
We have lost our sense of God and who He is. We need to get back to God. To do that we need to let God be God. By that I mean we have to accept the fact that we were created in His image, and not the other way around.
We have assembled this morning to worship God. It is our goal to rise up in a Spirit-filled worship, with feet firmly planted in the Scriptures, to see God through our faith in Jesus, and look on God in adoring wonder and amazement. Join us as we rise and place God on His throne.
Reconnecting with God,