Fifth Sunday after Easter Morning Prayer (22 May 2022)
Updated: May 22
God and mankind. Biblical Foundations. God’s principles.
How good that we are able to worship together freely on this lovely Lord’s Day. We pray for those unable to meet for worship. There are so many reasons, as we know. We can tell some that we care, that we are praying for them. Can we help. I am sure that you often do so. Well, we are gathered here to worship, to pray, to enjoy fellowship, and also to consider precious truths from God’s holy Word.
A BIG QUESTION FOR US EACH TO CONSIDER.
“WHAT THINGS MATTER MOST TO YOU, AND WHY?”
The Bible tells us to consider our ways. This is very good advice indeed! What makes you tick? What should matter most?
Today we are at the beginnings, in the Book of Genesis,
From a Christian standpoint, and keeping our New Testament Colossians Reading in mind, of course, but we are going back to basics.
Not just any old basics. But God’s doings and teachings.
BASICS. BIBLICAL BASICS. GOOD FOUNDATIONS.
Do you remember the story Jesus told, about the wise man building his house on the rock, and the foolish man building his house upon the sand. One house stood firm. One house crashed and was swept away. This week I was hearing about a church building which was in trouble. When built, the foundations were not deep and firm enough. Much work has been done to try to support the walls better, but much needs to be done. Walls are cracking.
The church building did not have a firm foundation!
Well, the house of our lives needs to be built upon the rock, the firm foundation of God’s guidelines and precepts.
Let us look at some foundations, and note Genesis 1:26-28.
If we ignore or deny these teachings, we fall into deep problems which affect us in time and ruin our eternity.
I. LESSONS FROM VERSES 26 and 27
It starts with God said. We must always have as our basis God, and what God says. We shall look a bit at what God said.
WHAT GOD SAID IS FOUNDATIONAL TO TRUE FAITH,
A. “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” We see in verse 27 it says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.”
i. God the Creator.
ii. Man made in God’s image.
iii. Male and female. Man's companion is a woman. Genesis 1:21-24.
iv. A quintessential point is made here. Humans are not like other creatures. They are unique, distinctive, separately and purposefully created by God.
Warning: Listen to God. Note what God said, what God did. Your eternal wellbeing depends on this.
The erroneous theories of the chattering classes, the floundering of the agnostics’ excuses, the false religions, can only lead to trouble.
God saw that it was good, we read in Genesis chapter 1.
v. This point is emphasised by God giving man dominion or authority over animals. (Responsibility.)
B. Note: “At times God walked around in the Garden of Eden.”
i. There was a special relationship between God and man.
ii. Adam and Eve sadly somewhat marred that relationship, by listening to the tempter, and disobeying God.
C. God will bless obedience, but will punish sin.
i. Adam and Eve were ejected from the Garden of Eden.
ii. Death entered the world. Resurrection would be needed.
iii. Genesis 3:15 is known as the Protoevangelium. Satan would be bruised, when many centuries later Jesus Christ the Redeemer came, and one day the evil one will be banished for ever.
iv. This is another basic, a foundational truth. God cared for sinful man. Sin could separate one from a perfect God. God took action.
v. Meanwhile worship is still possible. Is that not wonderful? Sacrifices and confessions could be made. Forgiveness sought.
D. Over the centuries God spoke with his people in various ways.
Patriarchs, prophets, angels, priests and others.
i. God chose a special nation, made up of the Israelites, to be his chosen theocratic nation. One might ponder the tabernacle and the temple, and worship. Carefully note the elements of approaching a Holy God. Yes, a way was made for Old Testament people. But one day more was to come.
The Old Testament sacrificial system, and many of the Old Testament prophecies, given, were leading up to, or pointing to, the coming of the Lamb of God, the Son of God, to do His great work on earth, to become the perfect, once for all, sacrifice for sin.
E. All this is leading up to God then establishing the Christian church, the household of faith.
God’s continuing revelation of Himself, over the centuries and then through Jesus, was good. Once Jesus came, the new way began.
Jesus said: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Only the good foundation, only the good basis for faith, can help us in time and in eternity.
A New Covenant was made with people, and God revealed Himself even more fully and lovingly, as our Triune God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
i. That Good Foundation, sometimes referred to as the Solid Rock, is the Lord Jesus Christ.
ii. The apostle said there can be no other foundation for true faith
iii. We must not build our spiritual beliefs with eternity in mind, on the sands of falsehood and ignorance.
iv. We need to build our faith on the foundation of Jesus Christ. He is a sure foundation. Bible quote: “The wages of sin are death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We are invited to confess our sins, to seek God’s gracious forgiveness, and to inherit eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Sins forgiven. Everlasting life. Eternity with, not away from, God. The Bible teaches, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We need this cleansing and purity, a gift of God, to prepare us to enter the place of eternal bliss and joy in glory for ever and ever.
BACK TO THE BIG QUESTION. TO BASICS, FOUNDATIONS.
What matters most to you? What things are most important?
What do you build your life upon?
What do you build your faith upon?
By God’s grace, let us build on the right foundations.
Only that will work for time and eternity.