The Elephant in the Room
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Poem by John G. Saxe,
The Blind Men and The Elephant.
Side - it’s like a wall!
Tusk - it’s like a spear!
Trunk - it’s like a snake!
Leg - it’s like a tree!
Ear - it’s like a fan!
Tail - it’s like a rope!
If we’re not careful, each of us can grab onto just one part of who God is, and when we only grab onto that one part, we are missing the bigger picture.
This is exactly what happened in the early church. In the years following the resurrection as the Gospel movement spread all over the globe, people started to inject new beliefs into the Gospel. They injected things that were wrong about who God is, about who Jesus is…
These wrong beliefs are called heresy.
So it became super important for the church to reject wrong beliefs
just like the blind men and the elephant. If you grab onto just one part, and don’t include the others, you end up with a wrong belief. An elephant has a part of it that is kind of like a wall, there’s a part that’s kind of like a spear, there’s a part that’s kind of like a tree, but no one who knows what a whole elephant looks like would describe an elephant in those ways.
So the church got together and they formed a statement called a Creed. The word Creed is latin and it means “I believe”.
The purpose of the Creed is to be summary of the gospel and a way to check if a believe about God was right or wrong.
Read the Apostle’s Creed together:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; [he descended to the dead.] On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Our theme for this year is UNSHAKABLE.
I believe that the best way for us to be unshakable is to have a firm grip on what we believe as followers of Jesus. The important core things that every single follower of Jesus around the world, in every denomination believes.
So for the next 8 weeks, we’re gonna break down the Creed, thought by thought.
Tonight we’re looking at the first statement:
“I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth”
Read Isaiah 40:12-31 with multiple readers:
The big question I want to tackle is
Who is God and what is he like?
Who is God and what is he like?
In some sense, the answer is impossible.
“This is a mystery which we must not attempt to fathom, for it is utterly beyond the grasp of any finite being. As well might a gnat seek to drink in the ocean, as a finite creature to comprehend the Eternal God. A God whom we could understand would be not God. If we could grasp Him, He could not infinite; if we could understand Him, then He would not be divine.”
But the Creed clues us into two big statements about God:
God is a Mighty Creator
God is a Mighty Creator
Isaiah 40 is filled with language about God being the creator of everything.
Holds the oceans in his hands
pour water picture into someone’s hands
measures the heavens with his fingers
weighs the mountains on a scale
God spreads out the heavens like a tent
God stretches out the tent by himself
Lock-Out students had so much trouble getting those tents up!
Wadi Rum, took 20+ people to set up our 60 foot tent (show picture)
God does it by himself
his breath knocks down kings and presidents
he knows the name of every star in the sky
But why does it matter?
Why does it matter that God is ALL-POWERFUL Creator?
The Creator dictates how his creation works. (Function)
The Creator decides what his creation is for. (Purpose)
The Creator determines what his creation is worth. (Value)
The Creator directs where his creation is going. (Destiny)
An earthly creator, an engineer or an artist, they make things. Think about something like a hammer. The engineer who invented the hammer gets to dictate how the hammer works, its FUNCTION - hold it on this end, swing it with your arm, hit stuff. The creator of the hammer also gets to decide what the hammer is used for, its PURPOSE - this tool is used for pounding nails into wood.
But the engineer doesn’t get to determine the worth of a hammer, VALUE. The hammer is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. The engineer could say, this hammer is worth 20 chickens. But if everyone else is like, I ain’t paying 20 chickens for that thing, then it’s not worth that much no mater what the hammer inventor says!
The inventor of the doesn’t get to direct where the hammer goes, it’s DESTINY. He doesn’t get to direct whether or not someone in the future says that the hammer is going to be a very important tool for all builders to use. He doesn’t get to direct whether or not someone misuses the hammer as a weapon.
The earthly creator, who is not all-powerful, only infuses the hammer with a function and a purpose.
God is all-powerful. All-mighty. The theological term is OMNIPOTENT.
When God creates, he has total control over the Function, the Purpose, the Value, and the Destiny of his creation.
God created you.
That means he has given you a function. He has made you work a certain way with a personality, giftings, passions
He has given you a purpose on this earth, you’re not just here by accident, you’re not wandering aimlessly you have a kingdom purpose
He has given you value, i talked about this a couple weeks ago! You were made in God’s image and therefore have value that cannot be taken away because it was determined by God.
He has also given you a destiny. There is a grand plan for the universe that you are a part of because God created it to be that way. You having a destiny means that it actually matters that you are here!
God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth has:
dictated your function
decided your purpose
determined your value
directed your destiny
I wish I had more time to unpack what it means that God is a Father too.
I’ll save that fro small groups on Sunday, so make sure you’re here on Sunday morning.
Here’s a taste, the teaser trailer for small groups on Sunday:
The OMNIPOTENT Creator God. The One who spoke and galaxies were created, the one who holds oceans in his hands, who measures the heavens with his fingers, picks up the mountains to weigh them on a scale
loves you like a father.
For some of you in here, that stings a little bit because of what your relationship or lack of relationship looks like with your earthy father.
But God is not like your earthly dad no matter how great or how terrible they have been.
God is the Father who cares and loves his children.