3/24/21 – Imago Dei-Sermon 1-Why listen to God

Imago Dei-The beginning of Order
Casey Russell / General
Imago Dei / Image of God; Gospel / Genesis 1–3
Sovereignty of God
Sermon notes
Genesis 1:1–5 NKJV
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So, the evening and the morning were the first day.
We are going to watch Genesis 1 video from the bible project on YouTube to get better acquainted with the story.
0:00 to 1:53
Tonight, let’s start by defining a word. The word is sovereignty. 
(led Open discussion about what that word means.
Responses from students were-above everything and powerful.)
Genesis 1 is one of the greatest displays of God’s sovereignty. I mean you would expect someone that claims to be in control to be able to just do whatever he wants, Right?
Well, he did. He did whatever he wanted, and he created us. Very Interesting. 
The bible will go on to say that He created us in His Image. That’s what imago dei means. the image of God.
That’s what we are planning to talk about the next few weeks.
This first week is titled Imago Dei-the beginning of order
We will discuss this more next week, but there are two things God installed in creation to go along with it: order and reflection (his image.) 
Everything has a created order and Humans are given specific instructions and purpose. They are given God’s image to carry with them. That means that humans are made to reflect the image of God. 
We will spend significant time with this next week. Tonight, we want to stay focused on the sovereignty of God in creation.
The question that we want to answer tonight is, “Why should anyone listen to God?”
This will not be an apologetic sermon meant for a skeptic. This is for your faith as Christians. 
Turn in your bibles to Isaiah 45:1-13
By the way, make sure and start bringing your bibles next week. We will probably stop putting the scripture on the screen next week. It’s important that you are given a chance to actually use your bibles when you come. 
Most of you bring your bible and a notebook anyway. I can put some bibles at the back for those that forget to bring one or for a guest. 
Ok. Let’s look at Isaiah 45 and 3 reasons that we should listen to God.
1.     He knows you. 
Even before you knew him and even when you don’t feel him there, he knows you.  
Verse 1-4 
(walk through the text)
Cyrus is the leader of Persia or Syria. Basically, he is the leader of a foreign country that is previously known to be the enemy of God’s people. 
You should remember that we have talked about how the Israelites wouldn’t listen to God. They kept disobeying God over and over and over again. God said I will punish you if you don’t stop.  Then he did. He pulled them from their homes and their land.
Well now God is about to do something again.
He tells Cyrus in verse 4, I knew you before you knew me. I even named you Cyrus. Basically, CYRUS, I MADE YOUR MAMA NAME YOU CYRUS, CYRUS.
I want to watch a clip from a famous movie really quick. What’s a famous line about a son and father in the movie, Star Wars?
AJ, you don’t get to answer this.
They say, “Luke I am your father.”
Are you sure that’s right?
Let’s watch.

This whole time, Vader knows Luke is his son and he has been looking for him. Luke finds out. Vader KNEW Luke, long before Luke knew his father. 
Did you know God knew you long before you knew him? He has intimate knowledge of who we are. HE KNOWS YOU!
I don’t want to rush past this fact. There are some people in this room that need to hear this. God knows you. He cares about you. He wants what is best for you. He wants you to know him too! 
Here’s the second reason we should listen to God.
2.  There are no other gods anyway  
Verse 5-6
God says I am the Lord and There is NO other gods beside me.
The world doesn’t like this message. They say, there’s lots of gods. There are lots of ways to heaven. 

God says, that is false. I have looked around and I have seen no other Gods. And guess what, I know everything. I don’t know of any other Gods. I am the only one.
So, I wanted to give you a glimpse into a modern look at gods. I don’t do this to make fun of the Mormon church, but for you to see it still exists.
Show Mormon video (3 Mormons), just so you can actually get a view of what a modern polytheistic view sounds like.

I have to give you a disclaimer. This video is not endorsed by the LDS church. They would never put their stamp of approval on something that isn’t put out by the Prophet. BUT…. This is what they believe. Joseph Smith made very similar comments, along with other prophets. 
Mormonism, many polytheistic religions, and secular thought teach that Christians and many other narrow-viewed people believe that there are other gods that have lesser importance, but we believe only our God is right. 
Let me say that again. The world teaches that WE believe that our God is the greater of other Gods. We have narrow beliefs that our God is greater than the other gods.
That is not what God teaches. He says it’s not that He is great, but that they do not exist. 
There are no other gods. Only idols made to represent fictitious gods. This changes everything. How can other things be right if they do not exist? 
Maybe lead in a time of thinking through what Gods you listen to instead of God.
An idol is anything you put hope in to provide the things for you that only God can provide.
So sports- can become an idol; relationships – can become an idol; jobs and money – can become an idol
(this was a quiet moment of reflection and repentance)
Ok. Let’s check out the last thing.
3.  He created everything, he gets to make the rules  
Verse 9-13
I want to walk through what all this that we have talked about tonight means. Most people think of God as a whale among minnows.
That means that he’s the biggest fish in the sea. He pushes all the other smaller fish around because he’s bigger and more bad. 
He’s not a whale among minnows. That is the wrong idea.
Let’s walk through how removed God is.
Show a person in yard with an ant hill
This is probably a little closer to the picture. There’s the world of the ants and God is by it looking in.
We can do better. Let’s try again. Who is this pictured? (kids not sure). That’s Bob Peeples. The mayor. Imagine if Bob moved to New Albany but was still the mayor. He would be near the area he runs, but not in it. 
I guess that still isn’t quite right. Let’s keep trying. 
Maybe someone standing on the moon, looking at the Earth. Maybe that’s like how God does it. 
That’s still not quite right. Some people have the idea that Heaven is right on the edge of the universe. His “office” is here. (point on picture of universe).
That still falls short. It still isn’t the reality of God and his creation. Heaven and God’s throne is not in the outer reaches. It’s on another plane, in another reality. 
If this stage is a plane and the wall where these pictures are found is another plane… you understand geometry…. Those are two seclusive things. Two totally different worlds. The universe is on this plane, and Heaven… God…. Is on this plane. They are not connected in any shape or form, save that God loves his creation and tends to his creation. 
So, if this is true, then Who are we to question what God knows and what he has done. 
God makes the rules because he “MADE” the rules!!!
Recap the three points and just invite them to deal with God on whichever point they need to do