In the Image of God

Audio: The Image of God

Jesus taught that relationships are the greater weight of Christian progress. The Pharisees tithed with mint, anise and cumin but forgot the weightier matters of the law. Jesus says in a parable that a brother who judges another brother has a beam in his own eye. The mote that was being judged was a small problem in comparison to the relationship issues of judging one another. It is very important for Christians to relate well to one another and the world around them. This is what Jesus emphasised in His prayer.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. 

Jesus is reflecting upon the love the Father had for Him before the foundation of the world. He’s casting our minds back to before creation, to the love that was between the Godhead. He wants the love that was there before the creation of the world, here for us at the end of the world. He wants that love in them and Christ in them.

John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: 

The world does not know the love of God. It can observe the love of Jesus dying for them but within themselves and in their relation to others they do not know that love. The bible says that love seeks not her own. How many of us seek our own and do things that benefit ourselves and do what’s comfortable for ourselves? The love of God doesn’t think like that. God thinks the opposite and what is the best way for someone else. The world doesn’t know that kind of love. God’s attributes are clearly distinguished from the worlds.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  

God is love and whosoever is a friend of the world is an enemy against that. The love we’re talking about is not feeling, passion, lust, infatuation or the emotions towards someone who can benefit you. That still has a lot of self in it. The love we’re dealing with the world doesn’t know.  Enmity is a noun. It’s not at enmity with God it is enmity. Friendship with the world cannot be improved to become united with God. Friendship with the world is enmity. The world is enmity with God.

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 

If the world and the carnal mind are enmity then aren’t they the same thing? The carnal mind is the world itself. The lust of the eyes, the pride of life and the lusts of the flesh – all that is the world. All that lies in our mind and is contrary to the love of God. This is the root problem of every single relationship issue in the world – the way you think.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

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

Man was created so that whoever looked at man would think of God. Not just the frame of man, but the mentality as well. We were created in the image of God’s love. Why did God create two in order to make His own image? God is three yet one – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Those three have a love that Jesus prayed for us to have. God is three dimensional and the image is two dimensional. Husband and wife were made to reflect the love of God. It couldn’t work with one person. At the creation, God made two people and made them love one another with the love of God. But social problems started.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 

Satan put his mind into the mind of man. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God they viewed God as their enemy.  We run away from our enemy. Now the love of God is an enemy.

Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 

Here is miscommunication. God asks a question and Adam doesn’t answer properly. Once they had the mind of the world, there was miscommunication.

Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 

God asked the question, did you eat of the tree? Adam blamed his wife and God. He said the woman you gave me, this is your problem, not mine. Weren’t they to be the perfect marriage couple that should reflect the image and love of God? They started blaming each other. Eve was no different.

Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 

Humanity at this point was absolutely trapped into worldly thinking – blaming other people for your mistakes.  Putting contempt upon your loved one because you are in trouble. God doesn’t want it to be this way so what does he do? 

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 

Here, God puts a hatred between man and the devil. Now man hates God and the devil and now man has a choice. If God didn’t put that enmity between God and the devil it would be impossible to make that choice to serve God because at that point Satan and man were one. They hated both of them but they have to serve one of them.

Jos 24:15 … choose you this day whom ye will serve;

Who are you going to serve? This is where to two great mysteries come in – how you can spurn great love and become one with the devil? What is the other great mystery?

Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 

Jesus prayed – ‘The glory that you have given me I have given them’. What glory is it? The glory that man can become one with God again. The mystery of godliness – that Christ and man could be united. This mystery, this oneness is further expressed in Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Here is this mystery, that He can take sinful man and make him perfectly united with himself and one another. When we consider coming to church and pursuing Christian progress, we are to come together in perfect unity. It is impossible for man with worldly thinking and selfishness to come together and be genuinely happy. There is a problem.

Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

We may think we have love because of a feeling we have towards our husband. Is it just the lusts of the flesh? God has instilled appropriate means for husbands and wives but is it in your mind? Is the love of God in your mind? Here is the problem.

Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 

There are two groups of people; Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles were called the uncircumcision and the Jews were the circumcision according to the flesh. They were both in the flesh. One just thought they weren’t and the others knew they were. Here are people in the flesh calling other people in the flesh that they’re in the flesh. This is social problems. Worldly thinking is selfishness. It is like a selfish person calling another person selfish. Have you ever done that? Our selfishness gets offended, I feel hurt. But the hurt is because we were selfish. That’s where we blame other people for our own actions. It’s our fault that we were hurt because we were selfish. That was the problem with the Jews and the Gentiles. They all say each other is wrong, when they themselves are wrong. This is what happens in marriages, in churches and in the Garden of Eden. No diplomatic effort can ever solve a selfish problem. It always pops up again. We see this in nations. The problem is the way you think. Jesus didn’t spend any time trying to reconcile the Jews and the Gentiles. He didn’t try to mend social problems the way the world does it. How did He do it?

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 

Jesus made both one. Who is the ‘both’ this text is referring to? It’s referring to God and man. What made Adam and Eve have a marital problem? When they ran away from God. When we’re disconnected from God, we’re disconnected with one another. If we want to be connected to one another we must connect ourselves with God. This is what Jesus did. He came to connect man with God.

Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 

Jesus killed the worldly thinking in Himself. Jesus took God and man and put them in Himself, one man. There is your answer for every social problem in the world: in Jesus Christ. If you want social problems to be healed you must be in Jesus Christ yourself. We must be in Him all day long.

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness,… 

Jesus in the Garden of Eden said, where are you? Are you in the flesh or are you in Him? If you have social problems within your mind then you’re not in Him. Not every problem will be mended between two people but within yourself it will be mended. It takes two to argue but it only takes one to stop arguing. When one person takes hold of Jesus Christ, social problems are gone.

Ephesians 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 

When God and man are united, man and man are united. The Christ in me can never fight with the Christ in you. When people come to church it’s not just a social club or for tradition. It’s a time to exercise Christ in you and me. That way, we can be one. He took both Jews and Gentiles in one body, which is the church of Christ. If you want good relationships with your wife and husband, both be in Christ. Then when someone looks at your relationship, they will see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. This mystery that people with carnal natures can be transformed by the gospel and become one with each other and one with God in a united body has to happen in more than one. We have to be a group, not just one person. The world cannot do it.

Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. 

When the seventh trumpet of prophecy begins to sound this mystery of a united church that shows the love of God in all its perfection should be finished. We are living in the seventh trumpet. We have been living in the seventh trumpet for over 160 years. Its time for people of different natures and calibers to come together in Christ and become perfect in one. Prophecy says it needs to happen. We need to have this mystery completed. Jesus has done it in Him, we just have to utilise it. This is the burden of Jesus Christ – the reason why He came to this earth.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 

Have you got that Glory? The Glory of Christ in you, that love.

John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 

How can you know the true love of God unless you be in Him?

John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. 

The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to “the principalities and powers in heavenly places,” the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10. {AA 9.1}

That is what the loud cry is. That the world can see a group of people that genuinely love each other as God loves. That means if someone hurts you say, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. To have a genuine love for those close to me. You can’t have a church with just your best friends; God will save whom He will, His people in one body. I pray that we can be part of it and that we can stand with Jesus on the sea of glass.

Amen.

Posted on September 29, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons, Forgiveness, Sermons For Sabbath and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Wonderful sermon, thanks. Always wonder what Eph 2:14-16 really mean.

  2. great , thanks

  1. Pingback: Weekly Sabbath Sermons on Video/Audio | INQUISITION NEWS

  2. Pingback: Weekly Sabbath Sermons on Video/Audio « Sabbath Sermons

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