Scripture: Gen 1.1-2, 28-30, Gen 2.15-18, Eph 2.10, 1Cor 2.8-12, Psalm 139. 7-18, 2 Cor 3.2- 3, John13.35, John 14.15, John 15.26, 2 Tim 3.16, Psalm 119.103, Psalm 19.7-10.
God created the heaven and earth (and by implication everything that would derive from them) achieving everything He did by His Word and through His Spirit. Having purposefully created everything He gave clear instructions for His will regarding His creation. Genesis 1:28 ‘And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.’ The divine purpose was made plain.
Ahead of fashioning man after his image and likeness, he prepared the sphere of influence, dominion and stewardship purposed for him to operate within. Humanity had freedom and dominion, though only as long as he kept within the confines, purposes and revelation God had given to him. Gen 2.15-18. As long as you and I walk in God’s pre-planned purpose for our individual lives, freedom and dominion are available to us as revealed in the scriptures. Collectively and individually we could successfully deliver the stewardship for which he fashioned us. How we need God’s revelation and continual fellowship!
Let us imagine the expression of pride and jubilant contentment of a young child who had just lovingly invested their very best effort and skill to create a drawing or painting, in which they represented the form of their family and themselves. That satisfaction and joy are precious to behold. God related us to himself by making us in
His image- made for expression as a continuation and emissary of Himself, perfect for the purpose of carrying out the task he has prepared for each individually. Imagine God’s determination to make you. Imagine God’s affection and confidence in determining your mission and area of influence, dominion and service. Imagine the jubilant contentment we could give God by confirming His effort and yielding to His pre-ordained mission. Likewise, as the child would feel secure in their satisfaction with an appreciative reception of their effort; I am persuaded that God derives precious joy, jubilant contentment and pride from our obedience and fellowship.
Genesis 1:31a ‘And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good….’ God lovingly and carefully invested His best effort in making us. You and I are deliberately made very good and perfect for purpose!
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
We were deliberately passionately, skilfully made for good works. In God’s own painted picture He is the parent desiring the closeness and intimacy of fellowship, alongside the requirement for obedience. To fall short in our area of stewardship would be to deny God that pride and jubilant contentment He deserves.
God’s excellent intentions and ideal picture regardless, perhaps the collective and individual pictures of our lives have not always been perfect, peaceful and happy.
Perhaps the enemy of your soul crept in and introduced sin. It is a recognizable pattern. When the serpent offered its intervention he achieved its purpose by tricking and encouraging man to disobey the word of God. This created an interruption, a problem and a hindrance in man’s fellowship with God. It damaged the beautiful, painstakingly created a family picture. However, it did not have the final say.
The serpent did not realise that deceiving the first Adam (and consequently his offspring) to indulge in disobedience to the Word of God would ultimately not hand satan the victory. In the scriptures, God demonstrated that by using that same disobedience He revealed his Word and plan to save man. By transforming the Word of God to the son of man, God restored to man his lost sphere of influence, dominion and God’s purpose for him. By intention and design, Jesus Christ graciously through obedience restored that family picture and made us righteous enough to continue in that purpose we were created for. Romans 5:12-19.
We thank God that even today He continues to reveal His plan and purposes through his word in the scriptures and directly by His Spirit. Satan the evil one was outdone in its specialist area of trickery and cunning scheming. God ordained his plan of salvation in a way that humbles and causes confusion for the genuinely clever, indisputably wise, the philosophical, the learned and the self-important (1 Corinthians 2:6-7). God demonstrated to us the difference between human and divine wisdom. 1
Corinthians 2:8: ‘Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.’
From the beginning and currently, the Word of God is preeminent and will be the basis upon which all destinies depend, and are judged. To find that revelation depends on the place of constant fellowship with God and obedience to God’s word.
According to 1 Cor 2.9-12, we yet have no idea how wonderfully pleasing the prepared things are, that God intends to reward us with that humble ourselves and become subject to Him. God wants us to willingly trust Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 – ‘But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’
It is therefore appropriate that we should be reminded how God through the psalmist declared how well God knows us beyond the most intimate or minute of details, even before modern science and philosophies took shape. God knew your DNA and wrote it down long before science would develop any understanding. Psalm 139:16- ‘Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.’
Like as the apostle declared by inspiration of the Holy Spirit in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, God wants to be proud of us- His masterpiece, enmeshed with His word, indwelled by His Spirit and living the life the first Adam lived before his sinless nature was lost.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3- ‘Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.’
This is only possible by revelation from the scriptures, lived out in obedience and culminating in perpetual fellowship with God. The question is, do you love Him enough to obey God completely, and fellowship with Him perpetually?
We obtain appropriate guidance from scripture: John 13:35 – ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ John 14:15 – ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’ John 15:26- ‘But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:’ Psalm 119:103 – How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 19:7-10: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Our human vulnerabilities, imperfections and faults are not unknown to God- but are plain before His sight. Thankfully the power to utterly save and restore is in His hand.
Even the mysteries of God, that cannot be attained except by God’s own Spirit, are available to us through His word and the Holy Spirit. We should be encouraged that the consequent end of the enemy of our soul is already determined. But to us, Salvation and Divine Revelation of each individual’s assigned purpose is available, albeit only to those that live out their love for God by obedience to His word, and perpetual fellowship with Him. We who depend on Him should be reminded that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, and it has not even been conceived by the hearts of men yet what God has prepared for us who love Him.
We need to stop and go back to God. Back to the one that created you and me in His image- and held that painstakingly and lovingly created picture up to identify you and Himself thereon, belonging together. He was so happy, so proud and so joyous that He declared that everything He made was good.
With your response to Him will you accord God His deserved jubilant contentment?
Let us pray.
The sermon was delivered on March 24, 2019.