Friday, October 31, 2008

Formed by Scripture--Part 3

GENESIS 1:26-31

God didn't to work very hard when he created. It was as hard as God saying, "Light," and then light appeared. After six days of creating, God wasn't in need of a massage therapist. He didn't have blisters on his hands or a sore back. He wasn't in need of Gatorade to replenish his body. He simply spoke and it happened.
It was almost as if the first five days were only a warm-up for the sixth day. On the sixth day, God pulled out a mirror and next to the mirror was a drawing board. As he created human beings in his very own image, it was as if he was glancing in a mirror to see his reflection, and then forming human beings from what he saw.
Genesis 1:26-31 is a launching pad for so much that takes place throughout all of Scripture:
Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness...So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them...God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good."
THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN! To be human is to live as people who have been created in the image of God.
We are quick to use the phrase, "Well, I'm only human." Or, "Johnny made a mistake, but he is only human."
I want to say, "No. That isn't right. To be human is to embrace the reality that you have been created in the image of God. What happens in Genesis 3 & 4 is what it means to not be human. All of Scripture, God is working in the lives of people to restore them to the kind of people he created them to be--people fashioned and formed in the image of God. The beauty of Jesus is that he restores people to the essence of what it means to be human."

We know what it means to be dehumanized. We live in a country that has dehumanized people because of skin color, nationality, and/or social status.
Genesis 1:26-31 reorients us into the life of God. It gives us fresh eyes to see the world.
Genesis 1 is not about knowing it in order to combat evolutionists. Instead, Genesis 1 teaches us how to live.
I need Genesis 1 to form me in my life and ministry.


yankeestom said...

Josh, we also live in a country that shed a lot of blood fighting itself in order to free people from the travesty of slavery.

We live in a country that is the first to respond when tragedy strikes around the world, whether that is tsunamis abroad or hurricanes at home.

We live in a country that is by far the largest source of aid and assistance to those in poverty around the world.

Can we be better? Of course, and I think that stronger churches and church members who do a better job of emulating Jesus are the best way to make things better. But I think that this country is a much better place than the one you reference at the end of your post.

Maybe I'm worn down by the discourse we've been subjected to during this political season, but it irritates me greatly when I continually see the USA talked about in only a negative light. This is all we hear from the major media outlets; please don't add your voice to that cacophony.

Josh Ross said...

I understand that there is much sensitivity when it comes to talking about country. It would have been more appropriate for me to have said "our world."
We know what it means to be "dehumanized." That is all I was trying to get across. From Genesis 3 up to today, we know what it means.
My post wasn't about our country but about being created in the image of God.
However, again, I know that there is much sensitivity right now, and that even little phrases in blogs can stir deep emotions within people.

phil said...

I can understand your “worn down” feeling right now; Not only is our country in a turmoil financially (which makes it easy to criticize) but we are in a heated political race where each side is dehumanizing the other. And sometimes while you’re watching your T.V. you want to say enough already! However, I don’t think this post was adding to the fire as much as it was making an honest reflection on our world and yes on this country as well (but singled-out).
But with that said, we should never hesitate to make honest comparisons between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of this country (two very different things) whether we are in a financial crisis, a conflicting war, or a heated election. Our first and perhaps only allegiance is to the kingdom that is not of this world, and living in that kingdom forces us to consider all the ways we have lost that “image of God” and confess them, even if it hits close to home.

Mick Wright said...

We shouldn't mistreat our fellow man because they were made in the image of God -- that's an excellent lesson from Genesis, Josh.

It's the same one Abraham Lincoln seized upon in 1858 when he spoke to the crowd gathered in Lewistown, IL:

"In their [our nation's Founders'] enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows."

I think we've come a long way since that time, and that's just one of the reasons why I'm proud of my country.

Vicky said...

I still remember clearly the first time I read the first chapter of Genesis. I was 24 years old and it was the first time I had a Bible in my hands. Of course I started at the beginning because that's how you read a book.

I was AMAZED at the story of creation- a story I had never heard up to that point.

My response - simple - "so that's how we got here"

Matthew said...

Amen, I think we miss the point when all we do is debate evolution from this text.