Sermon Detail

Strength for the Journey Image-Bearers: Dignity Affirmed & Duty Embraced

October 15, 2023 | Buster Brown

“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you..."  Ephesians 1:15-18

“Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation…The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.”  Baptist Faith and Message, 2000, Article 3

1. “Every person of every race” means everyone.

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”  C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (p. 45-46)

Our worldview regarding men and women as image- bearers or as mere accidents of an impersonal blind creation, will inevitably determine how we treat people.

2. I am a responsible, called out, and a spiritually-gifted steward. (A steward is an individual who has been entrusted with the responsibility of looking after/guarding that which has been entrusted to him).

“The hope of your calling” involves the affirmed assurance regarding truths that are eternal and unclear or not fully known.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith."  Hebrews 11:1, 7

“Hope” involves the understanding of the stewardship of life.

"O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come."  Psalm 71:17-18

3. We must continually find healing, refreshment, and hope in Christ in order to have strength for the journey. 

“We must find healing in Christ's wings (Malachi 4:2-3) before God can find true spirituality in our services of worship in our life of obedience”  Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God


1. Why did the concept of “life unworthy of life,” which preceded the Nazi rise to power in Germany, pave the way for the Holocaust?

2. How do we simultaneously live out the beauty of understanding that all people are made in the image of God and that we are responsible to live out our calling in caring for others?

3. How does the understanding of men and women as image-bearers lead to lives that deeply care for others and express the beauty of the living God?

“The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor's glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry and the backs of the proud will be broken.”  C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory