Sermon series: The Trinity: God the Father
Connection to Unit Theme: God is good, merciful, and loving. If all humanity has been created in God's image, why don't we see a good, merciful, and loving humanity? How can men and women return to the good image God created for us?
Have you ever known someone who experienced a tragic accident and they were never the same? They may have ended up with physical or mental disabilities, or even a different personality. We still deeply love them, but we know deep down they aren't the same people they used to be.
In the same way, God created us in His image to reflect Him for His glory (Gen 1:26-28). When Adam and Eve sinned, humanity went through a tragic transformation and took on the curse of sin (Gen 3). We are not the people God intended us to be. We are like images in broken mirrors. We can still make out the image, but we are blind to its full effect. Our images fails to rightly reflect God. How do we return to God's image so that we can reflect His goodness for His glory?
I. God created us to reflect His goodness (Gen 1:26-28)
When God created humanity, He waited until the sixth day to signify that we are the pinnacle of His creation. Because He created us specifically "in His image" and "after His likeness," we are also created to reflect His goodness. Afterward, God announced the role we play in His creation, which is to have dominion over the earth and everything in it. In this way, we reflect God's His goodness as King.
Application: God created you to rule in goodness. As Christians, we should rule over our sinful desires, in our hard work for God's glory in our jobs, and as we bring up younger disciples in the faith. This is our responsibility in leadership. Would you say that your leadership reflects God in that you are good to those whom you lead? Watch your life this week. Work hard and be good to reflect God Himself.
II. Sin distorts us from reflecting God's goodness (Gen 3)
Satan deceived Adam and Eve by luring them to doubt God's goodness. They ate fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and gained far more than they bargained for. God announced to them that because they trusted Satan over His goodness, they and their offspring's innocence were cursed with sin. All of humanity is marred with the stain of sin. We now naturally reflect the works of Satan rather than the goodness of God.
Application: As Christians, we must continue to repent when we reflect Satan's sinfulness instead of God's goodness. First, we confess to God by admitting that we are in the wrong and He is in the right. As we accept His full forgiveness, we repent by changing our direction of sinfulness to His goodness. We find ways to act in His goodness towards Him and others.
III. Jesus restores us to reflect God's goodness (Col 3:1-12)
Through the cross and resurrection of Jesus, we can repent of our sin and follow His Lordship through faith. We put to death our sin through His death that put to death all sin. We also put on Him as our "new man" through His resurrection that makes us a new humanity. Paul calls out lingering traits of Satan's sinfulness that we may put to death through Jesus' cross (v. 5-9). He then listed several qualities of God's goodness that we get to put on because of Jesus' resurrection (v. 10-17). How do we reflect God's goodness despite our curse with Satan's sinfulness? Through faith in the gospel, we are "being renewed in the knowledge after the image of [our] creator" (v. 10). In other words, the power of the Holy Spirit through the work of Jesus is renewing us to reflect God's goodness again as we grow in knowledge of His goodness towards us. The more we focus on God's goodness, the more we will reflect it.
Application: Do not merely focus on your sin, confession, and repentance to restore the goodness of God in your life. Focus also on Jesus and His goodness through the gospel to grow in God's goodness. This week, seek to think on more of the goodness of Jesus through the Scriptures, in the gospel, and in your own life. Focusing on Jesus' goodness will result in reflecting God's goodness.
Many victims of serious accidents must endure months of painful rehabilitation and therapy. Afterward, they regain their former health - or may become even healthier than before. Not only is that the goal of medicine, but it is also the goal of God through the gospel. God miraculously takes sin-shattered images of Himself and restores them through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you experienced this spiritual rehabilitation? Have you been restored through Jesus? Are you reflecting God's goodness?