Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Created as Worshipers

Part 4 of the Bible study series God's Image Bearers



Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:26-27).


Introduction

Harold Best, in his book Unceasing Worship, describes the Trinity as the Continuous Outpourer who continually pours Himself out between the persons of the Godhead in unceasing communication, love, friendship, and joy. It follows that human beings created in God’s image would also be unceasing worshipers as continuous outpourers.


Discussion

We were not created to worship; rather we were created worshiping. All of life is ceaseless worship. We are continually giving ourselves away or pouring ourselves out for a person, cause, experience, achievement, or status. While the object of worship varies, the act of worship does not. What do people in our culture worship? 


Explanation

Read Heb. 13:15-17. What does worship include?

Read Exod 20:1-3; Deut. 4:23-24. The first commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (v. 3). The opposite of worship is idolatry. Idolatry is by far the most frequently discussed problem in the Bible. How does God view our idolatry? 

Read Exod. 32:1-9 (see also 33:3, 5; 34:9; Deut. 9:6, 13; 10:16; 31:27). “What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or restoration” (G. K. Beale, We Become What We Worship, p. 16). We are either reflecting God or a god. How did the Israelites reflect the god they worshiped? How do we see this today?


Application

“The primary way to define sin is not just the doing of bad things, but the making of good things into ultimate things. It is seeking to establish a sense of making something else more central to your significance, purpose, and happiness than your relationship to God” (Tim Keller, The Reason for God, p. 162). How do we turn good things into ultimate things? How can we avoid this? 

“For most people, their proverbial ‘tell’ happens when they introduce themselves: they first say their name and then say something to the effect of ‘I am a [blank].’ How they fill in the blank (e.g., education, vocation, number of children, neighborhood they live in) often reveals what they have deified and are building their life on” (Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears, Doctrine, pp. 347-348). Honestly, how would you introduce yourself? Do you need to rid your life of an idol?