People Matter to God

January 29, 2005

 I.  Creation Reveals God’s View of Man – Genesis 1:26-31

1.  Forming man and breathing into him the breath of life – “living soul

- people matter to God because God made man . . . period!

- the creative act alone communicates a degree of value that God places on mankind

- people matter to God because God made them worship being – created in His image and in His likeness – man has the ability to bring glory to God, to worship God!

- to have a different view of man (or to act & think that people really don’t matter) is to attack the One in whose image man is made (i.e. God as the Creator!)

2.  The higher priority of man over animals – 1:26, 28

- the animal rights people really don’t like this verse

- the implications of ‘rule over’ – i.e. man makes the final decision – has the higher place or priority – but even this does not allow for cruelty of animals

- a good man will respect God’s creation:

  • Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal.

3.  Anthropic (pronounced Ann-throp-ik)Principle of creation

= the appearance that the universe was designed to support and nourish human life

- this is recognized by experts from both sides of the fence (religious/nonreligious)

* Here are a few examples:

[READ pgs. 13-14 – bulleted items]

“Someone must have gone to a lot of effort to make things just right so that you and I could be here to enjoy life.  In short, modern science points to the fact that we must really matter to God. – p. 14

Point:  The Designer of the universe had man in mind in the creation process!

4.  Provision of marriage for man – Gen. 2:18-25

- there was no ‘helper’ for Adam – so God, out of His compassion and wisdom, provided Eve

- God could be more gloried by man having a wife than by being alone – He did not create man or the woman for singleness (that’s not the norm – pattern)

Note:  This is not to say that singleness is bad – some have that gift and marriage is not mandated – but if you are to be married, you must follow God’s design – one man/one woman!

Input:  What do you think marriage is under such great attack today?

- it’s a direct hit on the glory of God & Christ’s love for the church – Eph. 5

Note: If you want to destroy evangelism, destroy marriage – a clear picture of the relationship between Christ and His Bride – the church

- it’s a direct hit on the truth that people matter to God –if you get that, you will treat people the way God intended them to be treated!

  Q: Why do marriages break up?

selfishness – somebody has the attitude: I care more about myself than I do the person that God placed in my life!

5.  Command to be fruitful and multiple – Gen. 1:28; 2:24

Input: How does this command communicate the fact that people matter to God?

1)  This was ultimately for the glory of God as Creator – i.e. that man does what he’s designed to do – pro-create!

2)  God’s perspective on man is revealed in the command to make more of them – so He can be worshipped as God/Creator and be glorified as man fulfills God’s purpose for life!

Input: What implications does this command have toward abortion?

> Abortion devalues human life – says it’s not important

6.  Consequences of taking a life!

- it didn’t take long for the curse of sin to reveal itself in the way one person treats another:

- Gen. 4 is the account of Cain committing the murder of his brother Abel

- the act of murder communicates that man gets to determine the value of life rather than God

> God placed some consequences on Cain (4:11-12)

- later, in Gen. 9:6, God would institute ‘capital punishment’ for willfully taking another’s life:

  • Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”

Note: By the way, to not practice this is to diminish the value of human life – it in essence sanctions the act of murder!

Illustration: The guy who parked his car on in between two parallel railroad tracks in an attempt to commit suicide; when the trains got close, he changed his mind, and ran; but left the car on the tracks – last I heard, the two trains derailed and 16 people were killed and numerous injuries!

Illustration: The lady in Texas who killed all four of her children by drowning them – what ought to happen to that lady?

- You might be thinking ahead to Gen. 6,7,8 and asking the question:

Q: If people are so important to God, why did He destroy so many in the Flood?

[READ Gen. 6:5-13]

- the worldwide flood reveals God’s character – He is holy, just, righteous . . . and He is a God to be feared and worship, not mocked and rejected as man had done!

- the flood was a warning about rejecting God’s authority and plan for mankind

- Let’s go back to Gen 3:15 and make this last point from Genesis:

7.  God provides hope for mankind. [Scot Meinema TEACHES here to II. The 2ndComm.]

- this is reference to the seed of the woman – the person of Christ, the virgin birth, the promised Messiah of the OT, Jesus – the one who would bruise the head of Satan!

[Explain the plan of redemption – Jesus coming, dying on the cross, resurrection]

Point: The ‘seeds’ of the Gospel are Gen. 3:15 – people matter to God! – go to . . .

  • Genesis 6:13 Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 "Make for yourself an ark . . .

- Noah found favor with God –and God spared his life—Why? People matter to God!

 - Later, God would close the door on the ark – in the NT, Jesus refers to Himself as ‘the door’

Point: Are people important to you?

Q:  If people matter to you, what will that look like on a day to day basis? [think about it]

- People matter to God is . . .

II. The 2ndGreatest Commandment Communicates God’s View of Man

  • Matthew 22:36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'

III.  The Life of Christ Communicates God’s View of Man

- His care for the hurting / His outreach to the ‘publicans and sinners’-

Mention NEXT Week:  Two Key Elements: The Cross & The Tomb   John 18-20; John 11

IV. Other Passages That Communicate God’s View of Man

Phil. 2:1-10 – the death of Christ

Input:  If people matter to you, how will that be reflected in your life?