The Good Design

He Created Them  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Together, men and women uniquely display the glory of God and declare the love of Christ to a confused world.

Intro to the series, He Created Them. . .
Goal: Explore the benefits and purposes God has for us based on our unique roles and seasons of life
Gender, Manhood, Womanhood, Marriage, Singleness, Senior Life
Confusion in the world
The culture we live in is trying desperately to rid itself of any ties to Christianity and a Judeo-Christian God. As a result, people are left to find the answers to the big question of life apart from God. This leads to a world of confusion.
One of the best examples of this is the redefinition or the fluidity of gender.
Facebook has a diversity team which has spent time working with LGBTQ groups to develop a list of genders for users to choose from if they believe they fell outside the typical binary choices of male or female.
In 2014 a user 56 preset options of genders to choose from; however, today there are 14 with a final custom option should you define yourself in a way that does not fall into any of the 14 presets.
Agender (no gender)
Bigender (two genders)
Cisgender (gender matches gender assigned at birth)
Cis Woman
Cis Man
Gender Fluid
Gender Questioning
Trans Woman
Trans Man
Transgender Person
Two-Spirit (typically indigenous peoples who Identify with the male/female genders simultaneously)
Custom (A freeform field to enter your own gender)
According to 2002 Christianity Today survey, grand majority of subscribers believed the traditional truths regarding gender; however, the numbers became much more confusing when asked about how the roles of each gender were to be played out in life, the church, and the home.
Confusion in our homes
The confusion in the world regarding the definition and roles of gender bleeds into our homes through television, internet, school, friends, etc.
If not corrected can lead to problems in the marriage, with parenting, etc.
The foundational truths underlying each message in this series:
God created you. You bear His image. He has uniquely designed you for your role and season in life for His glory and your good.
Sin has warped and twisted God’s design. Gospel is both the means and mission for pursuing Gods design.
Together, men and women uniquely display the glory of God and declare the love of Christ to a confused world.
The issue of gender is raised at the very first place in scripture where humanity is mentioned:
Genesis 1:26–27 (ESV)
26 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.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
This is God’s design BEFORE the Fall — Before sin entered the world. This is God’s GOOD design.

Truths from the Creator:

Gender is defined by the Creator and not redefined by man.

26 Then God said,
27 So God created
There are only two options.
male and female he created them.
One’s gender is associated with their sex organs.
“Male” and “female” has an etymology that hints as biological parts.
Gender is assigned by God at birth and is evidenced by our biological features.
Biological features are not all that gender is, but it is certainly not less.
There is much more to expound about gender but there is nothing to define.
(Quote from Cynical Theories)
If you can create something from nothing then you can set the rules.
If God made you then all of your directions about life should first be directed to Him.
If you don’t get your instructions from the Designer you can’t fully live out your design.
ILLUST - Not being able to put away car jack in Peyton’s car and needing the owner’s manual

Men and women equally share in the image of God.

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Man = mankind
What does it mean to be made in God’s image?
Differentiates men and women from the rest of creation. No animal is said to be in the image of God. Not even the angels are in the image of God.
“Image” = tselem
Can be synonymous with idol —
Numbers 33:52 (ESV)
52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places.
Image of God does not mean we image God physically — God the Father has no form.
It served as a physical representation of a god’s presence and authority.
This part of what being made in God’s image entails:
“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.”
The Creator delegates some of his authority and responsibility to his representatives on earth.
Being in the “image” also means we share the characteristics of the One whose image we bear:
Genesis 5:3 (ESV)
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
ILLUST — Brooks is in my image (sorry Brooks!), so much so that pictures are almost identical and mannerisms same (even if not taught)
Jesus, as man, was the perfect image of God.
Colossians 1:15 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
The more fully we live out who God has created us to be, the more we display God’s glory and the more we experience his goodness.
(rightly understood in light of God’s Word)

Men and women have equal dignity and worth while having unique roles and purpose.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
We will talk more about the unique roles and purpose of men and women in upcoming weeks.
Equal dignity
When we speak with another human (man or woman) we are speaking to something that is more like the person of God than anything else in all creation!
This destroys the error of any male dominated society, any place where a woman is viewed as less than a man or treated as inferior. Where a woman is abused or mistreated or seen as property or used for sexual gratification.
The church, above all others, has the reason for claiming that women are to be treated as equal to men in their dignity because they share in the image of God.
It is not better or worse to be male and female
Equal worth
Because men and women are equal in their dignity, they also share equal worth. It is not that men’s gifting or abilities are better than a woman’s and the opposite is true as well.
This applies to all of life — the workplace, the home, the church:
Acts 2:17–18 (ESV)
17 “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
While equal in ability and giftings, men and women operate with distinct, God-given roles in the home and the church in order to serve as a picture of the Trinity as well as a picture of Christ and his Church.
Equally loved
All throughout Scripture God honors women. Regardless of the way the culture treated women, God, and more importantly, Jesus treated women with dignity and worth.
This just shows that God has always called his people to define gender in a way that is counter-cultural.

Reasons why it matters:

It reveals our trust in Scripture.

The gender issue is primarily a Bible issue.
You either believe the Bible or you don’t.
You either have God’s Word as your standard or the world’s voices.
We say God’s Word is the standard for our lives but is it?
The best evidence for the Bible being the standard for our lives is WE READ IT. We study it. We apply it.
In January 2020, we estimated that Bible Users—defined as individuals who read, listen to, or pray with the Bible on their own at least three or four times a year outside of a church service or church event—had reached a 10-year nadir, registering only 48 percent of Americans.
Overall, one in six U.S. adults (16%) reads the Bible most days during the week, up from 12 percent in 2020.
— Barna, 2021 State of the Bible Report

It's God's good design.

- it's reality
If it Gods design then the apposite or confusion of it
Is A lie of Satan — Satan cannot create — he can only twist God’s creation
The world around us is caught in the lie, in the confusion.
“Did God really say...” there are only two genders.
Because of the misuse and abuse surrounding gender issues, some people would rather attempt to find a new way to live in relationships.
ILLUST - (Corbin)’s friend at college who didn’t want to be identified with the typical understanding of a particular gender — to be pigeon-holed into stereotypes that might not be God-honoring
Rather than throw away the baby with the bathwater, let’s redeem God’s good design.

It affects all of life.

Because the issue of gender affects all of life it will affect my marriage, my parenting, my interactions at work, my voting, the way I interact in church.
In January of 2007, the New York City Board of Health unexpectedly withdrew a proposal to allow city residents to change the sex on their birth certificates without undergoing sex-change procedures. Heath Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, who enthusiastically supported the plan only a month before, told the New York Times that institutions like hospitals and jails raised concerns the board hadn't considered: Would female patients end up in hospital beds next to men? Would male inmates wind up in women's cell-blocks? "This is something we hadn't thought through, frankly," Frieden admitted. "What the birth certificate shows does have implications beyond what the birth certificate shows."
— "The Buzz," World magazine (12-23-06), p. 5

It’s a gospel issue.

Did you ever stop to ask why this is even as question? Why are people looking for new ways to define themselves? Why would someone thrust off thousands of years of human convention to “redefine” themselves?
Is it because there has been some new biological discovery of the human anatomy? As far as I know THAT hasn’t changed.
People are longing to know that they matter, they belong, and they have a purpose.
If we are truly to “love our neighbor” then we must not view this simply as an issue to be won but people to be loved.
The Church is very good at looking through stain-glass windows to point out the problems of a sinful and broken world and failing to recognize and act on the fact that effects of the sin and brokenness are played out in the lives of real people who themselves are equally made in the image of God.
The only thing that separates us from the brokenness and confusion of sin is the GRACE OF GOD.
While standing on the truth of God’s Word — the words of the Creator — we are to reach out by the Spirit’s power with the same immeasurable grace that reached us through the gospel.
If you are here today or watching and you’re wrestling with your identity - we love you. God loves you. You are valuable. You are worth the cost of his Son.
How does Granger MC stand on the unwavering truth of God while reaching with the immeasurable grace of the gospel?
The most loving thing we can do is tell the truth.
ILLUST - Dr. who knows you have cancer is most loving when he is honest and shares the truth with you
However, it is often difficult for someone to respond to the truth if it is not given in love.
Men and women:
Both are created with equal dignity and value.
Both are equally fallen in sin and in need of a Savior.
Both are saved by faith alone in Christ alone.
Both equally share in the benefits and rights as a child of God.
Galatians 3:28–29 (ESV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Both are gifted through the Holy Spirit and equally valuable in the ministry of the church.
Together, men and women uniquely display the glory of God and declare the love of Christ to a confused world.
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