Made in God’s Image: A Call to True Courage
Text: Genesis 1:26-28
In response to the release of video footage of Planned Parenthood executives negotiating the sale of organs from terminated babies, the pro-death movement has started a campaign, #ShoutYourAbortion. Fortunately, I don’t think they will have a high percentage turnout—given that many women have abortions under duress and the pressure of feeling they have no choice. They seek forgiveness and restoration, not bravado.
But the idea is this: Instead of facing the horror and brutal reality of what the videos reveal, we want to celebrate and call courageous an act that allows this brutality to happen. Should we not rather celebrate and call courageous the women who sacrifice themselves to give birth to that baby that came at a time of crisis?1 This is nothing more than rebellion in the name of courage. It is rebellion against nature and conscience in the name of courage. And it is nothing new.
Long ago people began defining their rejection of faith as having the courage to face reality. Courage, they call it, because it embraces a belief that there is no true meaning, no eternal purpose, nothing more than right now. Courage because they can handle the truth that the world is a cold, hard place, without meaning. But all that courage is nothing more than “the Great and Powerful Oz”.
If you take a look behind the curtain you discover the real issue is that if the world is without meaning or purpose, if there is no transcendent being to whom we give account, then life is a pleasure-seeking competition to experience in the moment whatever most satisfies our whims. Such a godless universe may offer no comfort, but neither does it demand anything from us. We decide what our purpose is; we decide what our goals are. God is dead! Long live the revolution. It isn’t courage after all, it is nothing more than greed and lust.
Sunday we explored the true purpose for which God made man in His own image and likeness. There we discovered the sacrificial nature of that purpose. We examined the fact that we were made in God’s image and likeness in order to extend His benevolent reign to one another and to rule over the rest of creation in a way that keeps it ordered in keeping with God’s benevolent rule. Such a calling requires real courage for it calls us to take up our cross and follow Jesus. If you didn’t have a chance to be with us on Sunday, let me encourage you to download and listen in to that message. Truth for Understanding Our World (Part 3)
Being made in God’s image and likeness defines the purpose for our coming together to pray as we are this evening. We pray, “Your Kingdom come your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” And then it sets us praying for ourselves and others in such a way that extends that kingdom reign. Being made in God’s image and likeness explains why we want to plant a church campus in the Riverview/Brandon area. We desire to be a people living the Gospel in that community in such a way that we can extend God’s benevolent reign to the fallen and broken that are there.
God has made the world to be His dwelling place with people. He set up His throne amongst us in Eden. Man had to be removed from that glorious sanctuary. But now He has set up His throne in Jesus Christ. In Christ, He is once again dwelling with man. And in Christ we are once again called to be agents of God’s benevolent reign in the world.
Love the Gospel, Live the Gospel, Advance the Gospel,
1Let me shamelessly plug an an article my nephew’s new wife, Robyn Cisar, published this past week on Adoption.com regarding #ShoutYourAbortion where she writes, “There is nothing to celebrate in a death brought about in the name of convenience.” http://adoption.com/why-the-shoutyourabortion-campaign-keeps-me-up-at-night.