Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Part One - The Image of God in the BibleRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., September 8, 2019
Part of the Fearfully and Wonderfully Made series.
Beginning this coming Lord’s Day we are going to start a special five-week sermon series entitled, ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.’ This will be a series of messages on the critical subject that we discover first set forth in Scripture in the words of Genesis 1:26-27:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
The reason we are taking some time to go very deep into the doctrine of man, made in God’s image and likeness, is that this Biblical truth is so very fundamental to all that we believe about being human. In these two verses we discover our origin, our distinction, our differentiation, and our purpose as human beings created by God.
However, this is precisely the place where the Christian faith is under a significant assault today, and not simply from those outside of confessional Christianity. For this passage serves as the flash-point for controversy, even in historically conservative denominations like ours, the PCA. In fact, it is no overstatement to say that here in 2019, the theological unity of the PCA is deeply fractured over these verses (and others), especially as they speak to the issues of human identity and sexuality.
What I hope to accomplish in the next five Sundays is, 1) to speak to you very openly regarding the current theological controversy in the PCA, and the dangers it poses, 2) to set forth a Biblical theology of man (humanity in God’s image), and explore its various implications, especially as they relate to sexuality, and 3) to equip all of us to respond to the massive changes in our culture regarding human identity.
Now, this may sound a bit overwhelming to you, and perhaps even theologically dense. And to be very forthright, these sermons will be somewhat heavy on the doctrine side. But I believe you’ll quickly realize how important and relevant this series will prove to be, especially in light of what is happening in our world and in the Church.
I think it might help if I scope out our plan for you so that you can prepare and pray more effectively as we approach these messages.
First, this Sunday we will focus on ‘The Image of God in the Bible,’ and we will introduce the topic and address the ways this essential doctrine has been distorted and even abandoned. In the second message we will speak on ‘The Image of God in Creation.’ Then, in part three the subject will be ‘The Image of God and the Fall.’ The fourth message will be on ‘The Image of God Restored in Christ.’ And our final sermon will address ‘The Image of God Perfected in Glory.’
Of course, our only sufficient and infallible authority for these messages will be God’s Holy Word. Along with Genesis 1:26-27, we will explore other key Biblical passages that speak to the matters at hand. Together, we will prayerfully open the Scriptures to see what our Creator and Lord has declared to be true.
Also, let me assure the parents of our young children that I recognize that these issues are both difficult and delicate. Therefore, I will be very careful with the words I use from the pulpit, knowing that precious ‘little ears’ will be present.
26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (KJV)