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Image of God

By Pastor Chad


What did Jesus’ death accomplish? There are several important answers to that question. Jesus’ death gives us life. Jesus’ death defeated sin and Satan. Jesus’ death triumphed over darkness. On Sunday morning, I focused on three accomplishments of the redemptive work of Christ. The one I’d like to discuss here is the unification of humanity (alluded to in John 12:20-24).  


Mankind is adept at dividing and separating from one another. We should just admit it: Humans struggle to get along with one another. We struggle at times to get along with our family, colleagues, neighbors, spouses, and children. We divide and fight over some of the most ridiculous reasons. Ultimately, it is pride; but we are good at finding silly excuses to leave churches, relationships, families, and communities. And, unfortunately, we aren’t really any better at figuring out ways to unite.


There is much talk of diversity in our nation today. Diversity, from the sense of some in our culture, is seen as the greatest good. But ask them why diversity is good, and people have no real answer. Why is it good to be diverse? What does it even mean to be diverse? I remember seeing one social media post that said: “Is there anything greater than diversity?” My question is: Why do you think that? I have never heard a satisfactory answer. 


Sure! I think it is good to be united, but why is it good? Apart from the Christian worldview, there is no ultimate answer to that question. 


Diversity is not the end goal. Diversity is a means to the end. Why? Diversity is a means to an end because all humans are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). We don’t all have the same ability or talents or gifts, but we are all equally valuable in the eyes of God because we are all created in the image of God. This applies to everyone from conception to the tomb. There is no superior race; there is no superior ethnicity. We are all equally stamped with God’s divine image. When we are diverse, we acknowledge and recognize that everyone is valued. 


Just to be clear, by diversity, I mean racial and ethnic diversity here. I do not mean sexual diversity. In our cultural conversations on diversity, sexual diversity is usually smuggled into the discussions. God does not allow for sexual diversity. He created and designed the sexual relationship to be expressed within the explicit confines of a marriage between one man and one woman. We don’t get to change that. That is not our right or privilege. 

 

Given the proclivities of nations and of individuals, human beings will never be truly unified except around the cross. It is because we are never more human than when we humble ourselves at the foot of the cross. You see, true diversity only comes when we are united around Christ and who He is and what He calls us to do. And this brings us to the ultimate problem with contemporary versions of diversity in America. In the American scheme of diversity, humanity is worshiped and idolized. In the biblical understanding of worship, all of humanity is valuable because a God worthy of worship made us special for His glory and honor.   


To hear the full sermon, click here.

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