Online Worship for Trinity One, Sunday June 6, 2021
Sermon for Trinity One – Sunday June 6, 2021
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria
The Grace, mercy and peace of God are yours a gift planned in eternity by the Father, purchased and won in time by God the Son, made your own possession by the work of God the Holy Spirit. To God alone the glory. Amen.
Genesis 1:26–28 (NKJV)
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.”
In the Name of Jesus, the Christ,
Son of God from eternity,
Son of Man born of the Virgin Mary,
Dear Fellow Redeemed in His Blood –
We use this word somewhat frequently, to describe things that are not technically ‘without flaw.’
Steak -- We use the word to describe a steak that has been cooked to our liking – “It was perfect.”
Flat Tire -- We use the word sarcastically to describe an event far from perfect – “A flat tire during rush hour. Perfect.”
Weather -- We use the word to describe the weather when we find it to our liking: “It was a perfect day.”
Loved One – We may use the word to describe someone we care deeply about: “She is perfect.”
The word ‘perfect’ describes something or someone that is without flaw. While we may use the word of other people, in reality, we know just one person who is actually ‘perfect.’ As much as we like to throw around the word ‘perfect’ there is nothing in our lives that is actually ‘perfect.’ Ever since the Fall into Sin, everything is imperfect…save our truly perfect and holy Savior, Jesus the Christ.
There was a time when everything and everyone was actually perfect. It’s hard for us even to imagine something that is truly and actually ‘perfect’ because we have nothing to which to compare it. For us, the perfect day still comes to a close and the perfect spouse isn’t really without flaw.
In the Word of God before us this morning we look in on the Creation of the first humans and the beginning of the humanity that we see today. In the beginning it was perfect. Humanity was created in God’s Image, the crown of the creation. Humanity was given dominion over the animal kingdom and all that dwells on earth. Humanity was created as male and female and given the ability to procreate. Humanity was perfect.
Humanity is no longer perfect. We will see how we are different today and be reminded of God’s perfect plan to make everything perfect again. We ask that God the Holy Spirit would bless our study of these words according to Jesus own promise, “Sanctify them by your truth, O Lord, Your Word is Truth.” Amen.
God’s Word begins by telling us that, “In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s after this opening statement that our Creator reveals some of the details.
In 6, 24-hour days, each consisting of a morning and an evening, God called into existence the universe and the earth and then set about decorating them. Almighty God placed the Sun, Moon and stars in the heavens (along with countless galaxies and planets). Afterward, God set about arranging the earth, creating and placing fish in the waters and plants and animals upon the land on the face of the earth.
In the course of those 6, 24-hour days, God spoke a number of times, calling into existence the things that we still see today. God simply said, “Let there be…and there was.” In a few days, earth came to be growing with plants and teaming with animals. God also gave them the ability to reproduce and populate the earth.
Then, on the sixth day, God did something that He hadn’t done. God spoke to Himself and later caused Moses to write down what He said on the sixth day of Creation. What God said and the way in which He spoke tells us something about the nature of God:
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.”
We believe and confess that there is One God who is also three persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost (or Spirit). We believe this because the Bible teaches clearly that there is One True God, while at the same time speaking of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. We use the word ‘Trinity’ and ‘Triune’ because even though these words aren’t found in the Bible, the describe the reality taught in the Bible.
When we speak to ourselves, we generally speak in the first person singular, as in: “I think I’ll go to the fridge and get myself a glass of milk.”
When God spoke to Himself, He spoke in the first-person plural: “Let Us make man in Our Image, according to Our likeness.” In so doing, God made plans to create again, this time no animal but the crown of His Creation, Humanity.
God determined to create humanity in His image and according to His likeness.
“Great! Fantastic! Perfect! So, what exactly does that mean?
Let’s start with what it doesn’t mean: “It doesn’t mean that Adam and Eve were created to look like God.” As human beings, we gain our characteristics from our parents. We very often look like them and even sound like them. We end up with similar body type and characteristics.
The Bible reveals that God is a spirit (John 4:24, Luke 24:39) a being without a body. If being created in God’s image meant that the first humans had the same physical characteristics as God…then they would be spirits, beings without bodies.
The man and the woman God made were flesh and blood. They were very good (Genesis 1:31) along with the rest of the creation, physically perfect in every respect. They were - unlike us - without defect or flaw, without germ, disease or death.
In creating humankind in His Image and Likeness, God created them to share some of the characteristics of their creator. They were superior to the animals that God had made in that they were made intelligent beings, able to reason, to grow and to learn. Scripture reveals that Adam named every living thing (Genesis 2:19).
The first human beings had a perfect knowledge of God (Colossians 3:10) and knew what was expected of them because the Law of God had been written into their hearts (Romans 2:15) as a moral compass.
What a striking difference to the theory of evolution! This human attempt to write God out of history suggests that the first human beings were dumb animals, brutish descendants of the apes. It suggests that mankind is no more than an animal; but God declares in his word that mankind was created above the animals, to be the crown of the creation, created intelligent and wise, able to choose what is right and do it.
Why did God give humankind superior mental qualities? God’s plan was that man would rule over the earth and the animal kingdom, to contain and maintain it. The first humans were not half-animals, but God created royalty who were to rule over the earth to preserve and maintain its resources as good stewards.
God also created humankind to have an intimate relationship with Him. God personally made the first models and breathed into them the breath of life, giving them souls in addition to their bodies. In creating them in His Image, God made them to be righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24). They knew God and understood His works without any instruction. They were without sin and desired to do God’s will with joy and pleasure.
The next verse stands as a 3-fold recap:
27 So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
God created humankind in his own image, physically perfect and without flaw. God created humanity with superior mental intellect and reason to rule the earth and the animal kingdom. God created humanity – on the sixth day – male and female.
While God created both Adam and Eve on the Sixth Day, the details of how and why God went about doing so are related to us in the second chapter of Genesis. After creating the man from the dust of the earth and giving him life, God also fashioned a companion for him by taking his rib and making it into a woman (which means literally ‘out of man.’ ) God gave them the ability to reproduce – having made them male and female, and having created in them the desire one for the other.
They were in every sense of the word, “Perfect.”
So…what in the world has happened?
God created humanity with intelligence and reason…but mankind has regressed into stupidity and ignorance.
God created humanity to rule over the creation, to take care of it…but mankind has elevated animals to equality with man and waste and pollute earth’s resources.
God created humanity with a perfect knowledge of himself…but now many deny that God exists while others create and worship gods of their own imagination…including the earth itself!
God created humanity righteous and holy…but now mankind daily proves himself unrighteous and wicked.
God created humanity as male and female…now mankind declares that is an outdated concept, and that there are many different genders.
God created the woman for the man…but now a man and another man; a woman and another woman.
God blessed the man and the woman with the ability to procreate within the bounds of marriage…now mankind declares that marriage is an outdated concept.
What was once perfect and pure is now…well, broken and polluted. It’s true that humanity still has greater intellect than the animal kingdom. It’s true that mankind can still reason and learn and grow. It’s true that God can still be known in truth through His Word.
We are not remotely close to perfect anymore. The story is quite different today, and our Creator God tells us the unvarnished truth about humanity. It’s not a passing grade (Romans 3:10-18):
“There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
If you were in the place of God, what would you do? I think I’d consider it a science project gone bad and throw the mass of humanity in the dumpster and start over.
But that isn’t what God did. He sent His own dear Son, a perfect jewel into the dumpster to become one of us. He was born without sin, righteous and holy, like the first man and his wife. He had perfect knowledge of God and His will. He delighted to do what is good – every time and in every circumstance.
Humanity sinned and lost God’s image. We are no longer ourselves righteous and holy, but by faith in Jesus – in His perfect life and innocent death we are accounted as righteous and holy by God. Now when God looks upon us, upon all those who trust in Christ and not in their own goodness – He doesn’t see a cesspool of wickedness -- He sees Jesus’ perfect life of love credited to us. He smiles upon us and delights to hear and answer our prayers.
Why would a perfect God deal with imperfect human beings in this way? Well, it’s not because we in any way deserve such treatment. It’s testimony to His Perfect Love and Mercy. It’s all because of His Perfect Son, who did all things perfectly so that wicked beings like us could be declared righteous and holy and reserved a place in His House for Eternity. There we will again be perfectly renewed in the image of God, knowing God and being righteous and holy in our mind and in will.
Then, once more, everything will be…Truly…Perfect.