Sermon Notes

SBS    Sermon Notes     Note 12/02

In God's Image

Reading:   Genesis 1 & 2,   John 3

According to the dictionary one meaning of the word 'image' is 'something very like another in appearance or behaviour.' The Bible tells us that the Creator of the mighty universe made man in His own image: that is, to be 'like Him in appearance and behaviour.' Here is the sacred record of man's creation:
Genesis 1: 26: And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The only prohibition the Most High placed on Adam and Eve in Eden was that they were not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was a test of faith and obedience. Faith, to see if Adam and Eve believed their Creator; and obedience, to see if they would demonstrate their faith in not eating the forbidden fruit. We all know that in itself knowledge is not a bad thing: but to be of any use it must be totally under the control of the Holy Spirit; else, like a sharp knife, it could become a murder weapon. And what did Satan do? He cast doubt on the Word of God. He lied to Eve, insinuating that Yahweh was not telling the whole truth. Yea, hath God said?

Genesis 3: 1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Alas! our first parents doubted God's Word and finally disobeyed the Almighty. They didn't believe their Maker; instead they believed Satan's insinuation that Yahweh's Word was not true. The same sad situation exists today. The Creator does not want His followers to doubt His Word and disobey Him. Nor does He want mankind to investigate evil to the 'nth degree; because knowledge without His Holy Spirit is the most dangerous thing on earth. It is deadly. The Tree of Knowledge represents Satan. He knows both good and evil: and he wants the whole universe to doubt God's Word and investigate evil to its 'nth degree. But Satan, is void of the Holy Spirit, and he wants mankind to disbelieve God. All Satan's moves end in destruction. His insinuating challenge: Hath God said? is the same today as it was in Eden. We can still hear Satan tempting people to doubt God's Word, the HOLY BIBLE.

And so the temptation to doubt God's Word invaded Eve's mind. She ate: and she gave here husband Adam to eat. And then the devastation began. The deadly virus of sin entered their minds and at that very moment they spiritually died. The death of their bodies would, as with all humanity, follow in due course; but to all intents and purposes Adam and Eve spiritually died the very day they sinned: and sin, like a deadly virus, took hold of their minds and bodies. The first shock came when they realised that they were naked and lost. In terror they hid themselves from God. And that is how sin came to be handed down through the generations to everyone of us.

Romans 5: 12: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

The Almighty, however, was not caught off-guard by Adam's sin. He had already devised a plan for just such an event. That plan introduces the Second Adam; the one who would overcome the Devil and lay bear all his falsehood. The Second Adam is none other than Yeshua the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. At this juncture I would like to list a few facts about Yeshua which are either missing or considerably weakened in some modern translations of the Bible.

These are mysteries our feeble minds cannot fully appreciate. I mention them simply because these truths are not being taught in many Christian churches. False ideas about Jesus are being pedalled: that he was just a very good person, born of a 'young unmarried woman,' a 'unique' son of God: but not the only begotten Son of God. If you stop to think about it, every son born to a woman is 'unique.'   Indeed, every fingerprint on every hand is 'unique.' Whereas the phrase 'only begotten son' means something infinitely more that 'a unique son.'

Another false teaching is that the God of the Old Testament was a cruel, unmerciful dictator: whereas His Son Jesus is loving, kind and forgiving. On top of all these heresies, we find that the very Word of God (the HOLY BIBLE) is also being doubted. See our article Bible Versions which explains how Satan is causing millions to set aside the Holy Bible in favour of many modern counterfeits. The old accusation 'Hath God said?' is still being used today and millions, like Eve, have begun to doubt the very Word of God!

Doubt is a very serious sin. It is rampant in the world and even in the churches. In fact the worst sin one can commit is to disbelieve God. When a person disbelieves God, he/she is in effect calling God a liar! That is why when listing the sins of humanity, unbelief is up there at the top of the list.
Revelation 21: 8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Because doubting God's Word is so serious a sin, in that it caused the fall of man; believing God's Word is greatly appreciated by Him, so much so that He grants eternal life to all who believe in His Son.

John 3: 16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 11:

25: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Believest thou this?
27: She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

On a personal level, all true believers are destined to be like God and His Son.

Romans 8: 29: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son, that he might be the firstborn of many brethren.
John 1: 12: But as many as received him, to them he gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
1 John 3: 1: Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The Saviour, the only begotten Son of God, the express image of God, extends an open invitation to you - to follow him. Here it is.

Matthew 16: 24: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mark 8: 34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

It would be the greatest mistake of your life to reject this invitation. Do not do so. Instead I will advise you to accept the Almighty's offer of salvation through His only begotten Son Yeshua. If you have not already accepted, do not delay; because time is running out.

SBS    Sermon Notes

Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
February 1998 ... Reformatted: March 2000