Imago Dei-Order and Reflection
Casey Russell / Youth Group
Imago Dei / Image of God / Genesis 1–2
Let’s get back to our series, Imago Dei. We are working through the idea that Genesis has everything to do with your life right now. Whether you go to City, South, North, Tupelo, or home school. It doesn’t matter. God has some very specific things to show you in His word. It’s very applicable to what you are facing today because it explains everything you are facing today. That’s my prayer for this series.
Last week we discussed the sovereignty of God. We answered the question, why listen to God.
This week we are going to begin digging in to these two terms that we are going to use throughout this whole series, Order and Reflection.
Let’s get into it. Turn in your bibles to Genesis 1.
The first word to look at is:
We begin to see the beginning of the order God gives his universe:
Keep in mind that I’m not arguing that in each of these verses is when God created each of these things. I’m simple walking through the story of creation so you can see that God provides lots of details to what exactly He is doing. He’s giving order and commands to everything. He’s creating laws of nature and science that gives each item of creation a specific purpose and function.
Check this out.
1:9 Laws of chemistry -cohesion and bonds of elements
It is scientifically accurate that water bonds and moves like this. When water runs down a hill, its literally molecules of water sticking to each other and pulling each other down like a chain. Gravity is pulling it down, one molecule at a time.
1:12 Laws of reproduction of vegetation
This next picture may be a little too provocative for some of you. Are you ready? (it’s just a picture of the reproduction cycle of a plant)
God created plants to reproduce and fill the earth. He gave each plant specific instructions to guide it in its processes.
1:14b Laws of time and seasons
Keep in mind that this is a long time before Galileo or Isaac Newton. Moses, as he tells the story, is spot on. As the earth rotates and the moon rotates, its causes seasons and years and ways to measure time. God created this. He spoke the rules and the order into existence.
1:22 We see the first direct command to nature. To multiple
1:28 man given same command to multiple
2:16-17 The first command of order with a negative consequence.
God gave his creation specific instructions. It’s not just humans, all of creation was given an order.
Ok that’s pretty straight forward. I want to shape your worldview. I need you to see that to have a truthful worldview, you need to have correct and accurate answers to questions. Genesis is so important. It explains so many things. The order God gave this universe explains why everything does what it does. God told it to. He makes the rules.
Ok, let’s spend the rest of the time looking at the word:
Gods’ good world becomes very good with one addition. The image of God. He creates man with the image of God.
Read through 1:24-25
This is the big moment. God is filling his perfect creation with all kind of creatures to live and enjoy God and his creation.
I think we want to sit on 1:26-27 for a minute.
Not in some humanistic way, worshipping how great we are. But with awe and amazement.
He created this last creature, but he did it differently. He made this creature to reflect him.
To be the visible image of who he is. Not God. We are not God. We are only created to bear the image or reflect the image of God. To remind creation of who God is while he’s not there physically and to tend to everything while he’s gone.
Both male and female. We both got the same image status. Both made to reflect God.
Verse 31 is possibly the greatest statement we will read until the gospel. God is completely satisfied in what he sees.
Let’s take a minute to ponder what we were meant to be.
The reflection of man was pure in Gods eyes and man’s eyes because it reflected God.
V 1:31 He says it is very good
Think about this: Why do you think he said it looks very good?
It’s because he was looking at the reflection of himself. When he looks at Adam and Eve, He doesn’t go, oh wow, look how amazing Adam and Eve look. That’s a good-looking dude and a beautiful woman. THAT’S NOT THE POINT!!!
When God sees them, it’s basically like he is looking in a mirror and sees himself! Then he goes, wow that looks great!!!
This is ultimately about Gods view of us.
We’ll get back to that, but let’s take a quick look at how He sees us now
The New Testament says that God sees us, without Jesus, as enemies.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
Currently, there are two ways for God to see you. In Christ, so that he sees himself. Or an enemy. That’s it. No other way. Either he sees his image, or he sees his enemy.
But that’s not the way it was intended. We were created for God to look on us and see a reflection of himself.
And we weren’t embarrassed because we saw God when we looked at ourselves.
Adam and Eve did not have the same outlook as you do. When they looked at each other, they were pleased because they were seeing the goodness of God. When they looked at their selves, they were pleased because they saw the goodness of God.
(Carry around a mirror and let students look in it. This worked well. Most of the students looked away or told me to get away. All but the kid with the mullet. He liked seeing his mullet.)
Have you ever thought about why you are so embarrassed of your body or of who You are?
The way you look, the way you think, or the way you act.
We say, “I hate looking in a mirror. The way my hair falls. My overbite. I’m fat. I’m skinny.”
(Either crack the mirror or ask for a cracked iPhone. I forgot to bring the hammer to crack the mirror.)
It’s because you are looking at a broken screen, like a cracked iPhone screen. Imagine this mirror was busted and cracked. That’s how you see yourself. Your perspective is broken! The image is skewed.
It’s not what Adam and Eve saw.
It’s not your totally fault that you have trouble seeing yourself without being embarrassed. When you act out in sin. That’s your fault. But the image is not.
I want to leave you with some good news.
First, you are messed up because of Adam. YOU ARE BROKEN!!! YOU ARE MESSED UP!!! YOU DO SEE YOURSELF WRONG!!! YOU DO HAVE IMAGE PROBLEMS!!! THAT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!!! Do you understand that? It’s not your fault.
I really hope that can bring some sense of peace and healing. I know many of you struggle so hard with this. As teens, you will. As adults, you will. Let the gospel heal your hearts. It’s not your fault!
Second, even though Adam cursed you, you still mess up. That’s your fault. When we act upon our brokenness, it’s called sin. You are responsible. Sin is your fault! There is no one to blame.
But Third, either way; there’s grace!!!
Let’s spend the remaining minutes going through a passage in Romans that lays this out pretty clearly. Turn to Romans 5.
Romans 5:15–16 NKJV
15 But the free gift is not like the offense.
The offense was what Adam so graciously gave you. The gift is the gospel of Jesus Christ!!!
For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
Romans 5:20–21 NKJV
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Verse 20 scares some Christians so bad. They plead, but no, if we give grace, someone will keep sinning. We have to make sure they quit sinning. We have to make sure they never sin again.
I’m telling you tonight, hard rules do not lead a person to repentance and a life of running after Jesus. Now there’s work to be done as a Christian. You are going to work harder than you ever have before, but GOD’S GRACE is what attracts sinners to change. GOD’S GRACE is what makes this all worthwhile. That’s the good stuff.
And this passage says that for those that are in Jesus, there’s more than enough grace to cover you!!!
Let’s close out and do a time of reflection, commitment, and invitation.