Sermon: PastorBryon November 4, 2018
In 2006, Michael Vick became the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Though his team finished 7-9, his future looked bright. Along with his NFL salary, Vick earned money for being the face of Rawlings, Nike, and other companies. In 2006 he brought in an estimated $25.4 million.
By the end of 2007, Michael Vick was broke and in prison for his contributions to an illegal dog-fighting ring. His estimated losses totaled $142 million, with some $50 million lost in endorsements. Apparently, Rawlings and Nike did not like being represented by someone convicted of cruelty toward animals. They had no choice but to terminate their relationship. To continue using Vick as a spokesperson would have been the same as to promoting dog-fighting themselves.
When you represent someone, everything you do reflects on that person. God created humanity to represent Him and to declare His glory. The command to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:26) was a command to spread God’s glory as His image-bearers to the ends of the earth. Sadly, we gave up this high calling, bringing shame upon the image of God.
Thankfully, our failure is not the end of the story. Through the work of His Son, God is in the process of restoring what we ruined.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
What does it mean to be made in the image of God?
Does it mean that we look like God? Is it his physical likeness we possess?
Some people think that being made in the image of God deals with the physical likeness as if God has a body of flesh and blood. This is not the case. Jesus tells us that God, in reference to the Father, is spirit (John 4:24) and the spirit does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Therefore, it cannot be true that we are made in the image of God the Father in the sense that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones.
So then, what does it mean to be made in the image of God?
It means that we are made in His likeness in that we have some of the same attributes that God has.
- For example, God is rational (Isaiah 1:18) and so are we.
- God can love (John 3:16) and so can we.
- God can hate (Psalm 5:5; 11:5) and so can we.
Because we are made in God’s image, we are able to have compassion, mercy, grace, fellowship, friendship, etc. However, as God is all-knowing, we are not. God is ever present, but we are not.
So, the image of God in us means that we are like Him in some, not all, of His attributes.
There is however one characteristic we shared with God in the beginning that we lost and that was being made righteous or without sin. When we took on a sin nature it doesn’t mean we lost the image of God however it was distorted. Not only was the image of God distorted but it affected our relationship with God.
If you purchase a classic car to fix up, if you want to restore it to its full value you’ll restore it back to the way it was originally made. God has made every effort to restore His full image in us. To restore us back to the way he created us, the way he intended us to be, righteous.
Providing His son was the ultimate sacrifice to show how much He loves mankind and desires to restore that lost image and the lost relationship. Jesus didn’t just come as a sacrifice, He came as an example of what we were to become once we were restored. In discussing taxes (Matthew 22:17-21) Jesus took the opportunity to teach His disciples what God wanted from them. “The issue was whether to pay taxes to Caesar. When brought a coin, Jesus asked whose image appeared on it. The Pharisees and Herodians correctly answered, Caesar’s. Jesus responded, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” What are the things that are of God? Presumably, whatever bears the image of God. Jesus then was saying, “Give your money to Caesar; it has his image on it, and thus it belongs to him. But give yourself to God. You bear His image and you belong to Him.”
It is within this context we understand the image of God in man is about our relationship with God and others. By providing salvation through Christ God has provided the opportunity to restore this relational image in man, and humankind is able once again to enjoy a relationship with the creator.
What’s the big deal about being created in His image?
1. We have purpose
We aren’t some chance happening or created out of some big bang with no purpose of thought. God made us to be in relationship with him, to love, and be loved. Even now our purpose as Christians is to carry our restored image of God to a lost world.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
2. We are valuable
1 Peter 1:18, 19 – Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold … but with the precious blood of Christ”
God paid the highest price in the universe to redeem you—the blood of His Son.
Psalm 139:13-14 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Luke 12:6-7 – Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
3. We are loved by God
Romans 5:8 – God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. –
Ephesians 2:4-5 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.
1 John 4:9-11 – In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.