delivered on 6/18/17
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] 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.
The term man, as used in this passage is “humankind”, both male and female are created in the image of God. But it is clearly stated in the opening verse, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”. Here we are called to reflect God’s character, to live in a way that reflects His image, and His likeness.
In the fall, something happened. The image of God was severely tarnished. We lost God’s image. Our ability to mirror His holiness has been greatly affected, so that now the mirror is fogged. No longer a clear vision of God’s image…God’s likeness.
Through the fall, however, did not destroy our humanity, God’s plan came with Hope of a new beginning, a new life, a new creation. We still bear the mark of the Creator. The restoration of the fullness of the image of God is accomplished through Jesus Christ. He is the Author…
Hebrews 1:3 (NIV)
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
There is still hope. The fall may have tarnished the image of God in our lives, but Jesus Himself restores what was once lost. If the message from last week is still fresh in your head. Delivered by our Deacon Vili, having a relationship with Jesus is needed. Without it how would one know Who to follow, Who’s image are we to reflect. Without a relationship with Jesus, there will be no fellowship with our Creator, no fellowship amongst each other, and no value of worship.
We are celebrating Father’s day today. And from our text, reflecting Gods image is a very tall order. Dad’s…can we really say, with an honest heart, are we reflecting God’s image in our lives? ( Home, workplace, lifestyle ) Only you can answer that Dad’s. I cannot answer that for you, but keep in mind God knows. It just really blows my mind on how much I need Jesus in MY LIFE! I need Him…we need Him. It’s the only way we can cast His image.
What I loved about the conference that I attended was… each pastor, each lesson or message that was delivered, was them turning everyone back to scripture. How many of the modern day churches have lost the value of Scripture. For example, being a man, being a dad has lost its biblical value. Earthly fathers has lost the image of the Creator, and followed the patterns of the world. Dad’s have forgotten their biblical role. Neglected God’s commands in their life. Fallen again!
An article I read from a devotion says this…
Time magazine, in an issue called, “The Hottest Jobs of the Future,” lists fatherhood as one of the occupations that will disappear in the next century. This is what the article says: “Between in-vitro fertilization and cloning, dads could become dinosaurs.” (Extinct) Ouch!!!
I don’t know about you? But I would not want that to be true in my life. With God’s help, it will never be true in my life. And I hope it would not be true in yours!
Another sad article…
Joe Maxwell, writing on the web site called ibelieve.com, summarizes the state of fatherhood in an article entitled, “Dads: The New Endangered Species.” Here’s what he says: “In other words, guys really want to be good dads more than ever, but they aren’t changing much. When the good news is combined with the bad, it seems that fatherhood in the United States is poised for either a great awakening or a gory collapse.”
With what I am seeing in our world today…I think he is right. Dads, we’re either headed toward a spiritual stirring or we’re looking at becoming an endangered species. We need Jesus men…dads! More so now than ever.
We need to come back to a biblical theology of fatherhood. God very clearly says that dads are to be difference-makers by leading and loving their wives and kids. Fellow dads, it’s my prayer that through our study of God’s Word together that we might experience a great awakening in both our person and in our parenting! To be a biblical husband…a biblical dad.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
These are direct commands from our Creator… dads. I requested that there be no Sunday school for our kids today. Simply because one day, our boys will become men, become husbands, become dads. Who do you think they will imitate?
Our little girls, daughters, our young women, will one day meet someone to be their husband.
Do they want a husband a like their dad who reflects the Creator?
Here is the truth church…you can agree with me with what you know, and see, or you won’t.
But the truth is, our kids will either grow respecting, loving, wanting to be like their parents. Or they will grow up hating their parents, because they don’t see Christ in them, in us! We are called to be Christians…not called to be like the world.
Anyway… Before we unpack these verses, I want to begin by giving some background. In the first century, when this passage was written, families were presided over by fathers who could do whatever they pleased in their homes. A dictator kind of husband and father.
Rome had a law called patria potestas, which meant “the father’s power.” Men who were Roman citizens were given absolute property rights over their families. By law, the children and the wife were regarded as the patriarch’s personal slave, could you imagine that? Your wife, your children, are just regarded as slaves. and the father could do with them what he wished. A displeased father could disown his children, sell them into slavery, or even kill them if he wished.
When a child was born, the baby was placed between the father’s feet. If the father picked up the baby, the child stayed in the home. If he turned and walked away, the child was either left to die or sold at auction. The Apostle Paul, described Roman policy with regard to unwanted animals: “We slaughter a fierce ox; we strangle a mad dog; we plunge a knife into a sick cow. Children born weak or deformed we drown.”
Sadly…church, things are not much better today, are they? Millions of unwanted babies are aborted each year. You don’t want your child, but you don’t want them killed, have them adopted. Children have become a disposable commodity in our society, just as they were in ancient Rome.
The Bible calls Christian fathers to a different standard. Just as it was revolutionary for dads to lovingly lead their kids in the first century, faithful fathers today who do not exasperate their kids are counter-cultural. Our kids are not property to own but image bearers of God who need to be managed and trained. Dads, we are called to provide a proper nurturing environment where our kids can grow up to love and serve Christ. Our primary responsibilities by which our fathering will be judged are set forth in Ephesians 6:4.
I want you to notice the very first word of this verse: “Fathers.” I think Paul addresses just dads here because he knows that we especially need to hear this. He doesn’t say “parents” or “moms and dads.” He uses the word, “Fathers.” Most of us dads are sloppy in our fathering, not giving much thought to what we’re called to do. This verse brings us up short by calling us to some pretty high standards.
Paul is challenging us to see the word “fathers” as a verb not just a noun. It’s biologically easy to become a father, but biblically challenging to actually “father” our children. The Bible very clearly challenges dads to become the point men in their homes because the ultimate responsibility for what a family becomes is the father’s. Your marriage is falling apart? Guess what? It’s your fault! Your children hate you? Again…it’s your fault.
You can do your best to be a biblical husband…a biblical dad. And hope for the best. Or not do anything at all, and expect the worst! “Let Us make men in Our image, according to Our likeness”. That was what our Creator intended!
The first duty is we are told to “not exasperate our children.” This is a caution or warning designed to put us on guard against stirring up anger in our kids either deliberately or through careless provocations. I think Paul started with a negative command because he knows that fathers, who are fallen creatures, are prone to abuse their authority in the home.
The Greek word translated “exasperate” means “to rouse to anger” or “to enrage.” The present tense of the verb indicates that we are to stop doing something that is common and continuous. This warning is calling us dads to avoid anything that will eventually break the spirit of our children. Paul puts it this way in….
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
While there are times when kids become sinfully angry due to their own selfishness or immaturity, there are other times when dads are guilty of aggravating their kids. We can do that by deliberately poking them, by callously neglecting them or by any number of other intentional or careless means that exasperate them. When that happens, it is we dads who are sinning and provoking our children to sin as well.
Remember that our children are commanded by God to honor us. When we provoke them to wrath, to anger, we are causing them to sin against the Fifth Commandment. In such cases we are guilty before God for disobeying Ephesians 6:4 and guilty for causing our children to stumble. Keep in mind, that for them to see Christ growing up, they need to see it in you. Or else…how will they believe?
As Colossians 3:21 challenges us, we are not to provoke our children to anger or they will become discouraged. Dads, let’s cut down on criticism and sarcasm in the home. Let’s look for ways to celebrate and applaud. Let’s give our approval spontaneously so our kids don’t have to earn it or look for it in the arms of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Let’s catch our kids doing things right instead of lashing out at them for what they do wrong. Remember that they will always need our guidance.
Here’s another article:
“A child learns what he lives. If he lives with criticism he does not learn responsibility. He learns to condemn himself and to find fault with others. He learns to doubt his own judgment, to disparage his own ability, and to distrust others. And above all, he learns to live with the continual expectation of impending doom. ( Haim Ginott )
( Power Point )
Another way to exasperate your children is by neglecting them. When we fail to show affection and act indifferently toward our kids, we can cause them to burn with anger. We can neglect our kids by never being home, or we can do it by being home but not involved in their lives.
One common mistake that we always make is excessive discipline. Too much punishment is another sure way to provoke a child to anger. Dads, don’t ride your kids constantly. The father who throws his weight around, whether physically or verbally , can be devastating to a child’s spirit. They will always feel that, he/she, is never doing anything right.
Keep in mind that, we are created in His Image. God disciplines you and I, in love. And we should also discipline in the same manner.
“because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Discipline out of love, and not out of anger or anything else. God disciplines in love, and we should also do the same.
The last part of Ephesians 6:4 tells us…
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The word “instead” shows a contrast between what we should not do and what we are to do. Here’s the first thing we are called to do, provide nurture. The NIV translates this verb as “bring them up.” This is the same phrase that is used in referring to the husband’s role of “feeding and caring” for his wife. Men, we are called to nourish our wife and children by sharing love and encouragement in the Lord. “Let Us make men I Our Image, according to Our likeness”.
Notice also that we are to “bring them up.” We are to bring our children up because they will not get there by themselves. Dads, we are to take an active role in shaping the character of our children.
A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
“What ruins most children is not what their parents do to them, but what they do not do for them.” ( John Macarthur)
What strikes me here is that as a dad I am called to not just raise three boys, but I am called to raise three men. I’m charged with providing a nurturing environment so that they grow up to become men of God. The phrase, “bring them up” also carries with it the idea of “tutoring” and “instructing.” I’m a dad, but along with my wife, I’m also a tutor and teacher for my sons. In fact, my most important job is to disciple my boys and to leave a legacy of faithfulness for them.
Another article that I read:
According to a 50-year study of Christian and non-Christian families, most young adults who follow Christ either come from non-Christian homes or from homes where they grew up in love with Jesus because mom and dad were in love with Jesus. Their parent’s passion for Christ permeated their lives and passed through their pores to their kids. Sadly, very few believers came from homes where there was a kind of indifferent, apathetic commitment to Christ. It is sobering to suggest that the chances are better for a child growing up in a non-Christian home to become a sold-out believer than for a child growing up in a spiritually lukewarm environment.
Ouch!!! Who failed?
Dads, how are we doing on this one? Are we modeling authentic faith? Are we providing a nurturing atmosphere in our home in which our children can grow up to love and serve Christ? Are we looking for ways to teach and tutor our kids or are we leaving this for mom to handle?
As we’ve established in this message, one of the best ways to parent our children is to live authentically yourself. As someone has said, “One way to correct your children is to correct the example you’re setting for them.”
Dads, we are the point man in our home. We are the coach of our team. We are the captain for training young soldiers for the greatest battle in the world. Our goal is not merely to get our kids to outwardly conform to a list of rules. Our mandate is to develop children who seek to glorify God with their lives. It is not enough to teach them to do good things, our job is to teach our children how to develop a lifestyle of kingdom servanthood. Dads, you’re the leader. Lead on! Your kids are waiting for you to step up to the plate! Lead by example… “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”.
Dads, before you leave this service feeling piled and discouraged by your own failures and inconsistency, let me remind you of 3 things:
1. There are no perfect fathers, except our Heavenly Father.
2. We can all be better dads if we will work at it. And follow the examples of our perfect Heavenly Father.
3. We do not father alone. That’s why we need to pray daily for our kids. For our family.
Short Story: I’m sure you have heard this one, but it’s always good to hear it again. Good story!
A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated. He found his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door. “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”
The dad replied: “Yeah, sure, what is it?”
“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?”
The dad got mad and said, “That’s none of your business! Why do you want to know?”
The little boy said, “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”
The dad, wanting to sit down and relax, said, “If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”
The little boy sighed and bowed his head. Looking up, he asked, “Daddy, may I borrow $10 please?”
The father flew off the handle, “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is so that you can hit me up for some cash to buy some stupid toy, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. You’re so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for this.”
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The dad sat down and started to get even madder about the nerve of his little boy. How dare he ask questions only to get some money. After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think that maybe he was a bit hard on his boy. Maybe his son really needed the money for something important. And so, the father went up to his boy’s room and opened it, “Are you asleep, son?”
“No daddy. I’m awake,” replied the boy.
“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day, and I took it out on you. Here’s that 10 bucks you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” he exclaimed. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out a wad of crumpled up bills.
The dad, seeing that the boy already had some money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his dad.
The dad, now ticked off, demanded to know what was going on, “Why did you want more money if you already had some?”
The little boy replied, “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do. Daddy, I have $20 now…and I’d like to buy an hour of your time.”
It’s not too late dad’s. Let us make our walk right. We have little eyes at home that can see what we are doing. One day when our kids are old, and have a family of their own, we would love for them to tell their kids that…Yes! My dad loved the Lord, my dad served the Lord with all his heart. That is what he taught us, and that is what we are teaching you.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck,write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”
Pastor Richard Santos
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