Genesis 1. L. J. Murray. Text notes (no audio).

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.

8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

9 And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.

10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so.

12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,

15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so.

16 And God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night--and the stars.

17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,

18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens."

21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."

23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds--livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so.

25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and 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."

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed 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."

29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.

31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

This account in Genesis 1 is one of the bloodiest battlegrounds in the fight for the truth and veracity of God's Word.

As time has passed I have become convinced that this attack on Genesis is not by accident but is rather a very well thought out plan and attack of Satan against God's Word and God's people.

I think it goes something like this in the mind of Satan. “If I can get the people of God to question and doubt the very first thing that God says then I can get them to doubt everything else He says”

You want to bring down a building?- ATTACK the foundation

I am so sad to see so many Christians doubt and question what Genesis 1 clearly says- that God created the universe and everything in it in 6 literal days and rested on the 7th. It makes me really sad it truly does. It makes me slightly angry but the more I have thought about it, it really just makes me sad more than anything at this point.

I recently saw a little comic put out by A.I.G. It started with 2 adults arguing about why Genesis couldn't be taken literally and that it wasn't actually 6 days but it was millions of years and Genesis is more written as poetry than actual history.... then on the next page of the comic there is 2 young children sitting down reading together reading a bible and one of the children says “God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th” and the other child says “Why did God take so long?”

I will quote a friend of mine who said “If God has the power to forgive my massive amount of sins, believing that He has the power to create the universe in 6 days is easy”

Mat 9:5 For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?

Which is easier to say 'Let there be light' or 'your sins are forgiven'

However this is not a sermon on 6-day creation I think that there is one detail in-particular that has greater ramifications than probably any other part of Genesis 1.

The result of the world rejecting this one single bible verse has resulted in more human death and destruction than can even be measured.

Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and 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."

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Not only did God create the universe in 6 literal days and rest on the 7th but more importantly than even that-- He created man in His image.

I say more importantly because (Rev. 21) This earth is passing away and is gonna be replaced with a new one—you however-- your soul is eternal. Your made in The Image of God

What does that mean? I mean if I asked you to stand up right now and explain it to me what would you say?

I have to confess to you that I have had to think about this more than I anticipated I would.

What does it mean to be “made in the image of God” I know it is true, I know I believe it but what does it actually mean?

We are going to dive into that this morning. What it means to be “ made in the image of God” to be the “Imago Dei” -Latin term and what the ramifications are of that being true.

This truth has puzzled and divided theologians for centuries. We can not truly comprehend what it fully means to be made in the “image of God” but we are going to scratch the surface as best we can and I hope that as a result you leave here this morning with a more thankful and awesome view of who God is.

I did a ton of reading and listening in preparation for this sermon let me tell you that there is so much material and so many different things to understand as it relates to this truth that we just cant cover it all in this short time so here is what I did I took the things that I found most helpful and relevant and we will cover those starting with the least important and ending with the most important ok?

Let me pose a question to you and I want you to answer it to yourself. Is there something unique about the physical human body that defines it as made in “the image of God”

Its interesting isn't it? I mean what is it about our bodies that makes us the “imago dei” if anything at all?

Does being made in the “image of God” have something to do with the fact that we have skin instead of fur or feathers or scales? Does it have something to do with the fact that we have hands and feet instead of wings or fins or hooves? Does it have something to do with the fact that we walk erect instead of on all fours?

Joh 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

God does not exist in a human body like we do. He is a Spirit.

However I do believe that there is something unique about the Human Body that images God and teaches us about who God is. For example we read things in scripture like

1 Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

The Lord 'sees' and beholds the evil and the good- Hey I have eyes that see and behold evil and good.

The Lord hears the prayers of the righteous- Hey I have ears that hear

The Lord's face is against those who do evil- Hey I have a face

Exodus 33 “God said to Moses nobody can see my face and live”

Josh 4:23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over,

Josh 4:24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of The Lord is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever."

Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father--I have hands

Stephen-Acts 7:56 And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

There is something unique about the human anatomy that represents the Image of God.

When Jesus came to this earth He came in the form of a human body.

1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Joh 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Joh 14:8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."

Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

God has designed something unique into the Human body that gives it the exclusive ability to bear His image. No animals or reptiles or birds or fish have the ability to bear the “image of God” only 'humans'

1 Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

1 Co 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

So praise God for that. Male, female, old, young, short, tall, healthy or sick, born or unborn, believer or unbeliever, your body bears the Image of God. You are an image bearer.

When I was in 7th Grade I had a math teacher named Mr. Kalstead.-He was old -Veteran

So being made in God's image doesn't have everything to do with the uniqueness of your body does it.

People who have lost parts of their body in an accident or people who were born missing parts of their body or what about people/human beings in the womb who have not fully developed yet. Are they still image bearers? Of Course.

You know why I thought it was important to touch on this aspect of the physical human body? Because we are living in a culture that has total disregard for the value of the human body.

Pie Chart-

What about the uniqueness of Man's intelligence, does that have something to do with us being made in God's image? I think we are getting warmer......

We have a unique intelligence don't we. Our ability to comprehend and think. Our ability to solve problems and be creative. Our unique ability to feel emotion and communicate with language.

Our ability to understand justice- Those abilities separate us from God's other creatures.

Do you remember what God's judgment was on Nebuchadnezzar?

-Dan 4:16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven years of time pass over him.

God has blessed man with a unique mind. We have a mind that is made in the image of God's mind. Though it be marred and perverted by sin-- its raw ability to think and comprehend “reflects” the “image of God”

It is a shameful thing for a man to act like an animal. Because we are above the animals we are “made in God's image” Usually when the bible compares men to animals it is not very flattering.

2Pe 2:9 The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,

2Pe 2:10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,

2Pe 2:11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord.

2Pe 2:12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction,

2Pe 2:13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing.

Almost 1 year ago my family and I took a vacation to Mexico....Playa Norta Beach

There were also dogs on the beach that night they weren't cheering. The seagulls in the sky weren't cheering. The Sea turtles weren't making any noise. But you know who was cheering- The Image Bearer's. God has given man a unique ability to comprehend beauty.

When we see a beautiful painting we can adore it.

When we see beautiful architecture we can appreciate it.

When we hear skilled musicians play beautiful music we can recognize it.

One common experience we can all relate to is that feeling we get as humans when we look up at the stars on a clear night and just the overwhelming sense of “aw” that it brings to us.

That feeling, that recognition is unique to “image bearers” of God.

Just a few other quick things that are unique to “image bearer's”

ability to learn reading, writing, arithmetic- unique to man

ability to communicate and comprehend- language, music and emotion

ability to solve problems

adaptability- consider that mankind can go from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the moon and everywhere in between.... its awesome what God has bestowed upon us.

Fascinating to me.

--Psa 139:13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are like counting the grains of sand on the earth.

How about that- Your mind is a reflection of, an image of God's mind.

But here we are again much like we were in examining the uniqueness of our physical human body. What do we say about the unborn who cant comprehend and understand these things or even the newly born? Newborns and young children cant comprehend all the things we just spoke about. What about people who are for one reason or another mentally incapable due to birth defect or disease or an accident. Are they made in the image of God?-Of course they are.

So being made in God's image can't only be tied to the uniqueness of our intelligence. - Because intelligence is not something that every “image bearer' possesses

Pie chart-

What is the very core, unchangeable, unalterable thing that makes us the “Imago Dei”

What is the characteristic of being an 'image bearer' that is beyond the reach of anything physical or changeable?

St. Augustine- Believed that being made in the 'image of God' meant that we are “Trinitarian” in nature. That God is Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Likewise we are Body, Soul and Spirit.

Getting warmer? I think so. I think there is something to that. However I can't really grasp the Trinity to begin with so I have trouble understanding what that really means.

Calvin believed that part of man being the “imago dei” was tied to fact that man has been given a unique position of authority.

Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and 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."

That's true isn't it. God has given us “dominion”

Websters---Dominion- sovereignty or control

Synonyms- supremacy, dominance, superiority, preeminence, mastery, control, command, power, sway, jurisdiction, lordship.

We know who the true and ultimate Lord is don't we. God on His throne who is sovereign over ALL the affairs of men. BUT---- LIKE God we have dominion over the creatures and over the earth.

Our job as image bearer's is to rule over the earth, SUBDUE it and its creatures in a way that reflects God's image.

Our job as image bearers is to behave and act in such a way that reflects the “image of God”

Hows that going?

Not so good.......Our job is to reflect God's image BUT we are full of sin aren't we.

Do you know what we are doing (as image bearer's) every time we sin? We are saying to the world and everyone around us “this is what God is like”

God has given us dominion and we have used that dominion to sin.

Every time we mistreat our spouse, or kids or parents.

Every time we lie, cheat or steal.

Every time we turn a blind eye to justice.

Every time we use our 'God given' power and authority as image bearers to do something evil, we are saying to the world 'This is what God is like'

Consider this: We are the 'crowning jewel' of creation. The ONLY created thing made in God's Image AND YET we are the only created thing that willfully disobeys God.

When God said 'let there be light' the light obeyed

The Sun to stop or go dark-it obeys

The great fish to swallow Jonah- it obeys

When God directs the animals 2 of each kind to board the ark- they obeyed

Acts 17:30 God commands all 'image bearers' everywhere to repent- they laugh and mock and refuse and disobey God's command.

I confess to you that there have been times of weakness in my Christian walk where I have thought that perhaps the judgment of eternal, conscious, torment in Hell was maybe a little too harsh of judgment from God on poor unrepentant sinners.

When I consider that God has stamped His image upon me and how badly I have marred and perverted that image and drug it through the mud until it was barely recognizable. And when I consider how much I have disobeyed my Creator-- I think on the contrary......Not only is Hell justified.....but

I am astonished at how patient and long-suffering our God is -

2Pe 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

2Pe 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

And AMAZINGLY by the Grace of God there is still time for you to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and be saved from the wrath to come.

As I preach to you this Sunday, January 27th 2019 it is STILL the day of salvation.

Rom 1:28 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.

Rom 1:29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,

Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

Rom 1:31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

Rom 1:32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

Rom 2:2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.

Rom 2:3 Do you suppose, O man--you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself--that you will escape the judgment of God?

Rom 2:4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Rom 2:5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

I am amazed at the patients of God toward us ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that we have so perverted His Image on us in how we exercise “DOMINION”

PIE CHART

You know what else I think makes us “image bearers” the fact that we are eternal. Not that we have always existed in the past but that we will always exist in the future.

God is eternal and we are made in 'His Image' and as a result we are eternal. You will exist forever.

Mat 25:46 And some will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

You WILL spend an eternity either:

Either in the Joy of your master (Mat. 25) in the paradise that Jesus has prepared for His own. (John 14-Luke 23)

Or in weeping and nashing of teeth where the fire is never quenched and the worm never dies (Luke 13, Mark 9)

This is not so with anything else God created.

When a fish dies- that's it, its over

When an animal dies- that's it. No more consciousness no more existence.

When a tree dies-

Among ALL things in Creation the soul of man is the only thing that is eternal because it is the only thing has been made in 'God's Image'

And here we see perhaps the biggest separation and evidence that ONLY 'man' is made in the 'Image of God' –That man is eternal.

You know why Jesus died for sinners? -Because of His great love?

-To Display His great mercy and grace?

Jesus died for sinners because those sinners 'BEAR HIS IMAGE'

Jesus died for His eternal 'image bearers.'

Talk about a gift. Talk about having dignity and value. No other creatures on the planet have that kind of value OR access to eternal life. BUT the 'image bearers' do.

No other creature has been offered pardon for sin. BUT the 'image bearers' have

What a gift. What a gift that we don't deserve in the slightest.

You wanna talk about 'self esteem' ? The world would have us believe that having a high self esteem is the answer to all our problems. I don't believe that but if it is true- what better reason for self esteem can you think of than “I am made in the Image of God”-----And the God of Heaven and Earth places such high value on that image He stamped on me that He died in my place and will take away all my sins and make me clean.

Cling tightly to this truth. ALL men EVERYWHERE at ALL TIMES are made in the image of God.

I cant abort that baby- that baby is an eternal image bearer.

I cant enslave or harm those people-those people are image bearers.

I cant lie, cheat or steal against that person- WHY? Because God commands it; BECAUSE that's an image bearer.

So as we close lets remember

1. Our physical bodies bear God's Image

2. Our unique intelligence reflects God's Image

3. We are made in the image of God The Father, Son and Holy Spirit

4. Our unique position of 'Dominion' represents the image of God

5. The truth that we are eternal souls is reflective of God's image

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