The world says you are free to create yourself. God says, “You are created to reflect my image.”
What does it mean to be in God’s image? It means we have a certain resemblance to God with our intelligence, our appreciation for beauty, our rationality, and in our capacity for worship and language. It means we represent God, that we have dominion over creation as rulers, as stewards, as those called to cultivate. It means that we are relational beings, interacting with God and with each other so that the image of God consists in these relational virtues of knowledge and righteousness and holiness.
Listen to Colossians 3:9–10: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Likewise, Ephesians 4:24 says, “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” So the restored image of God shows us what sort of image bearers we are. We are those who have the righteousness and holiness that is characteristic of God himself.
Now the world says, “You are not created for divine exaltation. You are here for self-exploration. You are not made to be stamped with a divine impression, but you are here to spend your life on self-expression.”
So we have all these commercials.
Cingular at least used to say, “Express yourself.”
Dr. Pepper, “Be you.”
I am thankful for the Army, but the Army got in on it with, “An army of one.” I don’t know a lot, but what I learned from playing Risk is that even if you have your army of one Kamchatka—you’re gone. You need more.
Our world tells us you are a blank slate. Whatever you choose to paint on the canvas of your life will be beautiful because you painted it. That is what the world says.
Now common sense tells us this does not work in any other area of life. Try it when you have a job selling refrigerators and you don’t sell a single one, and you get fired and you tell your boss, “But I believe in myself.” And he is going to tell you, “Believe in yourself and get somebody else to pay you for it.”
One of the most dangerous areas where we see this self-exploration and self-creation is in the area of gender. In the world’s eyes there is no male/female, masculine/feminine gender. Gender is just cultural, social constructs, antiquated concepts better to be just disregarded, relics of an oppressive, less enlightened past.
But I hope you see how patently unbiblical this is.
“From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6).
And we see already in Genesis before the fall that there were distinct, yet complimentary, roles for men and women. Man was given as the name of the human race and he was the one to whom God gave the command. He was the one to be accountable.
Have you ever noticed that after Eve sins by taking a bite of the fruit, who does God first address? Adam. He was to be responsible. And yet he abdicated the very authority that he was supposed to lovingly exercise. And Eve, contrary to design, usurped her husband’s authority.
When you come to Ephesians 5:25 you find the overarching command for the husband to love his wife. The women may think, “Well, that is lame. The husband just gets kind of a freebie. I mean, we have all got to love. I have got to respect and submit.”
No, there is a reason that the husband is told to love in this unique way as the head of his household. It is because the male propensity to sin is to either be a dictator or a doormat. And both are abdications of our responsibility to love. And the woman, her overarching command is to submit to her husband or to respect her husband because, twisted by the fall, her point of sinful inclination is to usurp her husband’s authority.
God has designed us male and female and it is not simply God’s design as his image bearers, but it is actually the way in which the world works best.…
I must stop, but Kevin continues to develop this point in his message, which you can listen to here.