The Great Invention

Posted: March 21, 2018 by keystoneyouth in God's Greatest Invention
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God's Greates Invention Graphic

Attention Funnel: Backyard Inventions

Introduction:

  • Every great invention starts as an idea in someone’s mind that eventually gets worked out into a specific design.
  • The creation of this world and humanity is no different.
    • It has not come about by random chance and accident.
    • It has not come about simply as a result of blind forces that moved matter over time.
    • It has come about because it was God’s idea.
  • This is what we see in Genesis 1:1… “In the beginning, God…
    • God was there in the beginning and it was entirely his idea to create the world along with humans.
  • We have become very confused on what it means to be a man and a woman.
    • Part of our culture says essentially, “Gender doesn’t define you, rather you define your gender… effectively erasing the differences of men and women.”
    • While other parts of our culture are full of unhelpful stereotypes… “Men are tough, love football, don’t cry, have lots of sex, pee standing up, and can spit further than anyone else.”
    • “Women are weak, overly dramatic, do what men want them to do, and are valued by their appearance.”
  • If we want any sort of clarity on what it truly means to be a man or a woman, we need to go back to the beginning. We need to see that the creator gets to define what it means to be a man and a woman.

 Big Idea: God gets to define what it means to be man and woman.

Passage: Genesis 1:1; 26-31

Main Points: 

  • Every human has equal value and dignity.
  • We have a specific role to play.
  • Our gender is key part of that role.
  • God’s design is what’s best for us.
  • Jesus came to restore broken people.

Every human has equal value and dignity.

  • The creation account slows down when it gets to the 6th day, first of all describing the creation of animals, and then focusing in on the creation of humans.
  • Picture the story of creation as a movie… the plot is rolling along scene by scene, when all of the sudden something shifts. A scene is slowed down, the cameras move in to focus on the main actress and actor, an Ed Sheeran slow song comes on in the background, he moves in for the first kiss, it’s perfect!
    • What is the director doing? Without verbally telling us, he is specifically drawing our attention to the importance of the moment. This is what God is doing when he creates humans.
  • The account repeats the same thing several times… man and woman are made in the image of God. They are different then all of the creation.
  • Humans have the ability to reason, they have consciences, they are made to rule over the world, and they are made for relationship with God and one another.
  • It’s helpful to see these differences by comparing humans and animals.
    • This is my dog Mazzi (show picture). Mazzi cares about 4 things in this life… eating, running, car rides, and sleeping.
    • Mazzi does not wonder about what her purpose is in life or what she should do when she grows up.
    • Mazzi does not wrestle through with whether it is right or wrong to lie after she pees on the carpet.
    • Mazzi does not wonder if there is a God or what he is like. She’s a Dog!
  • What sets us apart from animals and all of creation is that we are made in the image of God.
    • This is why people who don’t believe in God have a hard time defining any clear difference in value between humans and animals.
    • “There is no standpoint from which we can compare ourselves with other species and declare ourselves to be a ‘higher’ species, the pinnacle of creation. The only possible such standpoint would be a god’s-eye view, and Christianity has claimed to have access to it and to know that human beings were created ‘in the image of God.” –Richard Norman (Secular Humanist).
  • But we all instinctively know that humans are more valuable then animals!
    • If someone comes into my house with a gun and says, “I’m taking either your wife or your dog.” I will not respond by saying, “Can I have like 10 minutes to think it over?” Or, “Hold on, let me go get a quarter and flip it. Heads it’s Mazzi, tails it’s Bri.” No, I will respond without pause, “Take the dog.”
  • Human beings have a value that is not given to anything else in creation. We are made in God’s image.
  • Not only does this mean that we are different from all creation, but it means that EVERY human is equally valuable.
  • Apply: The image of God is our basis for making judgments on all sorts of issues.
    • It’s why we say racism is evil. It’s why we say abortion is evil. It’s why we say sex-trafficking is evil. It’s why we say the wealthy using and abusing the poor is evil. It’s why we say sexism of any form is evil.
    • Because all of these views say some human beings are less valuable than others. This is not true according to God’s invention.
    • This is where we must start in order to talk about gender. Any form of speaking on gender that says men are better than women or vice versa, is utterly false.
    • And lets’ take this one step farther… any form of thinking that says, “A conservative, straight, Republican is more valuable in God’s eyes then a liberal, transgender, Democrat” is utterly false. We’re going to talk more about the transgender issue later in this series, but let’s just put that on the table to start.
    • When we go back to the beginning we see every single human being, regardless of race, gender, likes and dislikes, personality, wealth, and age has equal value before God.
    • That is a radically Christian belief, that cannot be found in any other worldview.

When we go back to the beginning we also see that we have a specific purpose in this world…

We have a specific role to play.

  • Being created in the image of God means that we are his representatives here on this earth.
  • As God’s representatives, we are meant to reflect his glory.
    • As soon as the Eagles won the Superbowl, there was talk of putting up a statue of Nick Foles somewhere in Philly. I don’t know whether this will happen or not. But if it does that statue will be there to remind people of what Nick Foles did – of his greatness – that he played a large role in helping the Eagles win their first superbowl.
  • We are in some ways little statues of God placed throughout this world.
    • That is not to say that we are exactly like God, just a statue of Nick Foles is in no way exactly like the real person Nick Foles.
  • As humans, we reflect God’s glory in this world unlike anything else.
    • Stop and think about that for a second. As great as the Grand Canyon is, as awesome as Mount Everest is, as amazing as Niagra Falls is…Humans are an even greater reflection of God’s glory then these.
  • When we ask why are we here? The Christian answers, “We are here to glorify God.”

Our gender is a key part of that role.

  • What it means to be a man or a woman is key part of glorifying God.
  • Notice that when Genesis says God creates us in his image, it says that he created us male and female (vs. 27)
  • In other words, our gender is an important part for what it means to reflect God.
  • So if we fail to understand what it means to be a man or a woman, then we will fail in a major way in our purpose to glorify God.
    • Imagine that your school is putting on the fall play King John. And you are given the lead role of playing King John. However, you don’t the first thing about King John and you are given no advice or lines in order to better understand the role. The play is going to be a mess because you have not been trained in what it means to play the part.
  • I’m afraid that far too many of us are like the lead actor in that play: We don’t have a clear idea of what it means to be a man or a woman, apart from biological differences.
  • We are walking around confused because we lack clarity on what our role is.
  • I’m not saying that all men will be exactly the same, or that all women will be exactly the same. It’s part of God’s incredible design that there are all sorts of differences among humans.
  • But I am saying that men and women have specific differences in roles that they have been given by God.
  • In the same way that an invention may have many differences and yet still bear a specific role.
    • Think of the invention of the airplane. Airplanes look very different today than they did when the Wright brothers first flew their plane in 1903. And airplanes today may look very different from one another. However, the fact remains that if something does not fly… then it cannot rightly be said to be an airplane.
    • If you saw me at a Smoketown Airport driving my Honda Civic up and down the runway, you would rightfully ask, “Kyle, what are you doing??” And when I respond, “I’m just trying to get this thing into the air.” You would say, “I can’t believe I listened to this guy’s lessons for three years.” We know the difference between an airplane and a car because we have been taught the difference.
  • Sadly, I’m not sure we always know the differences between a man and woman because we have not been correctly taught what they are.
  • And as a result, we are floundering around, confused and broken.

God’s design is what’s best for us.

  • When we think of an invention, we know that it tends to function best when it works according to the inventor’s design.
  • Take a chainsaw for example. A chainsaw is a wonderful tool useful for cutting down trees or chopping through other wood.
    • But let’s picture for a second that Bri and I are having Filet Mignon steaks. And I need something to cut my steak in half. So I walk out to shed and get my chainsaw and come back in to cut up my steak.
    • Or let’s say I get sick up paying $25 to have my hair cut at the Black Comb. So I ask Bri to cut my hair, and so she goes out and gets the chainsaw and comes back in the house.
    • Both of those pictures are ridiculous right. As ridiculous as if I tried to use a steak knife or hair trimmer to cut down a tree.
  • See we instinctively know that things work best when we use them how they were designed to be used.
  • Sadly, one of the lies of our time is that there is no specific design for us and our gender, except for the one that we create.
    • “You do whatever feels right to you.” “You do you.”
    • And God is simply a cheerleader in the sky who is cheering on every decision that we make.
    • This leads to all sorts of distortions of what it means to be a man or woman in this world. Gender becomes something we define, rather than what God has defined.
  • And just as when we misuse a chainsaw it leads to brokenness, so also when we misuse our gender, it leads to brokenness.
  • Whereas when we live according to God’s design, it leads to wholeness.
    • That doesn’t mean it will always be the easiest or most pain free way of living…
    • In fact, in our culture to speak and to live according to God’s design for gender may be one of the hardest and most painful things we have to do. This series might end up being one of the most controversial ones I have done.
  • But if there is a creator and he has designed us, then to live according to his design is the best thing that we can do… even when it is difficult and painful.

 So what??

  • As we approach the issue of gender, we need to understand these things.
    • Every human is equally valuable.
    • Our gender is an important part of the role God has given us to play.
    • God’s design for us is always best.
  • These things will help to ground the rest of our series.
  • But we also need to understand one more thing…

Jesus came to restore broken people.

  • When Jesus came, he said specifically why he came, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
  • He did not come for people who have it all together in any area… including gender. He came for people who were broken and messed up, in order to restore them to what God meant them to be.
    • If Jesus were buying a car… he didn’t look for a nice new Mercedes Benz… he looked for a junky, old, broken down car, so that he could fix it up and restore it to what it was meant to be.
  • We need to remember this throughout this series.
  • Because some of us may feel beat down… we may feel beat down by what the culture has said we need to be as a man or woman.
  • We may feel beat down by how far we have fallen from God’s design for man or woman.
  • Or we may feel beat down because we are personally struggling with feelings that seem to contradict our biological gender.
  • And we need to remember again, and again, if that’s us… Jesus came to restore us, to heal us, to fix us. Not to condemn us.

 

 

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