The Imago Dei and Other Things Back to all sermons

Genesis

Date: February 18, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 1:24–2:3

Tags: God, Creation, Image, Interpretation, Imago Dei, Days, Literal, Metaphorical

Challies_sept10-16-04

  • Genesis 1:24-2:3
  • The Image of God

26 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

-Genesis 1:24-25

27  So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

-Genesis 1:27

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

-Genesis 1:28-31

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

-Genesis 2:1-3

  • Main Point
  • These verses close out the week of creation
  • God creates the land animals, and humanity
  • God finishes His creation by being very well pleased and ceases from creating on the sixth day
  • Application Points
  • Days…
    • In our modern time there has arisen a naturalistic theory of the universe
    • Many try to use science to disprove God
    • How many of you were taught evolutionary theory and thought…this goes against what I learn in Genesis
    • Because of the discrepancies it makes sense to look at different views of Genesis 1 and how to interpret it

 

  • Application Points
  • Days…(2)
    • Literal View
    • The literal view takes it…literally
    • Most hold to a young earth view and conclude that science is just wrong
    • Problems
    • The evening and morning motif
    • How is there an evening and morning without the sun? It would need to be taken metaphorically or figuratively not literally
    • Likewise we know there are Old Testament texts to be taken metaphorically (the Psalmist calls the God a rock…is He really a rock?)
    • The same could be said of Genesis 1
  • Application Points
  • Days…(3)
    • Gao Theory
    • This states there was an extended Gap between verses 1-2
    • Problem
    • Nothing in the text would imply this
    • Day Gap Theory
    • There is a Gap between each creative day
    • So, the first day occurs, then millions of years later the second day occurs
    • Problem
    • The text seems specific to imply consecutive days
  • Application Points
  • Days…(4)
    • Day Age Theory
    • This view holds that each day was an age
    • When God created the light and separated the light and this took millions of years
    • This is possible since the term, “day” can mean not only a literal 24 hour period but an extended period
    • Problem
    • The text seems to imply that it is to be taken as literal 24 hour days
  • Application Points
  • Days…(5)
    • Framework Hypothesis
    • The text is not literal but specifying particulars
    • The first through third days represent the creation of dominions, while the fourth through sixth day represent the inhabitants
    • Day one is light and darkness, day 4 is light-bearers
    • Day 2 is separation of waters and the heavens, day 5 is fish and birds
    • Day 3 is seas and earth, day 6 is land animals/humans
    • Problem
    • We can read these things into the text
    • Day 2 could go with day 4 or day 3 with 5 and 6.
  • Application Points
  • Days…(6)
    • Functional Creation
    • The argument is that it is not meant to be historical per se
    • The days mentioned is merely God naming the function of each item
    • Thus the light and darkness were already there but only told their functions on the first day
    • The same for everything else, it all existed just didn’t have a function
    • Problem
    • The text doesn’t seem to imply that this is the case
    • It implies animals, humans etc. existed without any function
  • Application Points
  • Days…(7)
    • Hebrew Myth
    • They took Egyptian Myth and gave it better theological undertones
    • The goal is not to worry about physical understanding of the universe, but the spiritual, theological, religious understanding
    • This would mean the focus is on the Creator not the creation
    • Problem
    • There is little evidence that the myths are found in Egypt
    • One can also find parallels for anything
  • Application Points
  • Days…(8)
    • As we consider it they each have good arguments and bad arguments
    • Not one is necessarily the best, though some make more sense than others
    • The reason is that there are different views by wonderful Godly men and women
    • You can interpret the text differently and love God with all your heart mind soul and strength
    • The problem though is still science
    • One problem is the speed of light
    • It would take millions of years for their light to reach us
  • Application Points
  • Days…(9)
    • Likewise when we consider evolution
    • We can see mutations and life evolving from this
    • How is it possible that God created the universe in such a way in Genesis 1 when all this scientific evidence is here
    • Technically, evolution is not a problem for any of the above views except the literal view
    • When scientists say, “Random” it does not mean, “Chance”
    • One can define “Random” from a purely scientific standpoint to simply mean it doesn’t come to help or hurt the organism…it comes randomly
  • Application Points
  • Days…(10)
    • Thus one could easily argue God designs the organism by bringing forth the mutation which would make the organism better or worse for His purpose
    • God can use evolution to bring about His final goal of humanity
    • He could use evolution to bring about the human race, and once humanity has reached the point it was destined to God bestowed His image on it
    • Thus there is no reason to assume Adam and Eve were not real
  • Application Points
  • Days…(11)
    • The evolutionary process could of gotten to the point when humans bodies existed, then God placed the soul in the bodies and His image on them, then placed them in the garden etc.
    • Or even if God specially made Adam and Eve and then did all that is possible even without evolutionary theory
    • This continues, however, with the origin of life
    • Even scientists recognize that the chance of life coming by random means is so miniscule it is unlikely it happened by itself
    • It’s miraculous that life exists on this planet
  • Application Points
  • Days…(12)
    • The next issue is common ancestry
    • All life, it seems, come from one common ancestor
    • Genetically, there is good evidence for this
    • From this common ancestor different forms of life came from the common ancestry
    • The problem is with the fossil record
    • There is no evidence that life evolved from one species to another through purely natural means
    • There is no evidence that from dinosaurs come birds in the fossil record
    • There is evidence some dinosaurs had feathers, but those dinosaurs died off they didn’t evolve into birds
  • Application Points
  • Days…(13)
    • The next issue is common ancestry
    • All life, it seems, come from one common ancestor
    • Genetically, there is good evidence for this
    • From this common ancestor different forms of life came from the common ancestry
    • The problem is with the fossil record
    • There is no evidence that life evolved from one species to another through purely natural means
    • There is no evidence that from dinosaurs come birds in the fossil record
    • There is evidence some dinosaurs had feathers, but those dinosaurs died off they didn’t evolve into birds
  • Application Points
  • Days…(14)
    • This is a problem for many who hold to a naturalistic evolutionary theory
    • The problem is that it ceases to be science and instead becomes a philosophical argument which is based upon nature being all that there is
    • So we could argue against this by replying there is no scientific evidence for “random” to mean pure “chance” and instead argue where the evidence leads…to a designer
  • Application Points
  • Days…(15)
    • What is just described, however, is not “theistic evolution”
    • What they hold is that God merely started the universe and by literal chance we came out without God’s direction
    • There is no reason why God could not use evolution and direct it for His purposes
    • This is a serious problem for those who believe only in nature, but not for the theist
    • For those who believe in God it is entirely possible God put in the mutations into these different forms to continue the process of His design
  • Application Points
  • Days…(16)
    • Such a person would be called a progressive creationist
    • They would acknowledge that God allowed certain elements of natural evolution to occur while at the same time adding to it at specific moments
    • Such a person would be arguing that God had His hand in it every step of the way
    • Do I hold this view? Not necessarily
    • It’s entirely possible that God created the universe in 6 literal days
  • Application Points
  • Days…(17)
    • It’s possible He created the universe to be old because an older earth would be a better habitat for His image bearer
    • Thus we would see it as the scientist sees it but God could have created it in 6 days
    • Could we go back and view the creation or would we go back to the beginning as it is now?
    • All of this is up in the air
    • All that we can say is its possible
    • It’s possible to interpret Genesis 1 and understand evolutionary theory in light of it
    • And it’s possible to interpret it literally as well
  • Application Points
  • Days…(18)
    • My concern is that we would respect one another and acknowledge the most important points we all agree on
    • That the universe has a beginning, has a cause, and is designed
    • That the most likely reason for these things is God
    • Far too often young earth creationists and old earth creationists point their guns at each other
    • Yet both fall, ultimately, in the same intelligent design group
    • The real battle is against the view that nature is all there is
  • Application Points
  • Imago Dei
    • Of all the created order, the creation of humanity is the most significant
    • When we consider all the universe, we might be surprised to find we are the most important
    • This doesn’t mean we should become conceited…we’re still created!
    • Humanity, though, has high status by design
  • Application Points
  • Imago Dei (2)
    • This status is made evident in our relation to God
    • This image does not make us God, instead it is like the tabernacle in the wilderness
    • The tabernacle was an image of the heavenly tabernacle
    • In Colossians we learned how Christ was the image, which would make us the image of the image
    • Still, what does this mean?
    • The majority of the points seem to hit the truth in some way
    • We bear the image in our personalities, in our attributes, in what we are called to be
  • Application Points
  • Imago Dei (3)
    • “Image” is similarly used for the term, “idol”
    • Idols are forbidden according to the Ten Commandments
    • A likely reason for this is that God already created idols, but these idols are not made with wood or stone, but flesh
    • Likewise, idols were considered to be imbued with the spirit of the god within them (like us with the Holy Spirit)
    • To bear the image of God further reflects we are His
  • Application Points
  • Imago Dei (4)
    • You and I are special in relation to God
    • It reminds us that we have a responsibility to fulfill what He has called us to be
    • To be rulers of the earth, to care for it, cherish all that God has made
    • This is in stark contrast to what we see in pagan religions and what we see in our own society
    • In pagan religions, it was not every person who bore the image of god, but the rulers
    • Thus, if we weren’t rulers/kings we wouldn’t bear the image
  • Application Points
  • Imago Dei (5)
    • This goes further in regards to pagan religions and their understanding of human creation
    • Humans were not created with dignity
    • They were created in order to work so the gods didn’t have to
    • They were used by the gods without dignity, sanctity, or worth
    • In our own society we see the same idea occurring
    • In our society, humanity is nothing more than an evolved animal
    • It should not surprise us how when the Judeo-Christian view of humanity was overturned it led to the rise of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao
  • Application Points
  • Imago Dei (6)
    • The doctrine of the imago dei is just as important today as it has ever been
    • It is our responsibility to speak loudly that each and every human life has dignity, sanctity, and worth
    • We are image bearers of God Most High
    • Don’t let the world tell you otherwise
    • Don’t let it continue its naturalistic assumptions about us
    • We are all blessed with the image of God, every single person, from the womb onward
  • Application Points
  • Imago Dei (7)
    • We cannot let it remain on the table of discussion, but instead we need to be reminded of it
    • You personally have worth to God
    • You have worth and the worth is found on the fact that you bear the image of God
    • In Genesis we find the creation of the universe, yet it is humanity (you) that is the most marvelous of creation, the masterpiece of creation
    • Remember that you have a high place
    • Genesis reminds us it’s not just for some, but each of us
    • We are created for a purpose, and that is to marvelously bear His image
  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ
    • Origins
    • Fall
    • Redemption
    • Glorification