COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

Sermons on Colossians

CREATED TO IMAGE GOD

Rod Dreher in his book titled: “Live not by Lies” writes:
“Over the past few years, America has seen the rise of a chilling ‘soft totalitarianism’ -something more ‘Brave New World’ than ‘1984’.
Identity politics are beginning to encroach on every aspect of life. Progressives attempt to marginalize conservatives, traditional Christians, and other dissenters, sneering at the idea of civil liberties protecting their beliefs. Corporations now censor opinions with which they disagree. Technology is inching us toward a surveillance state, and consumerism has dulled our spirits and made us willing to accept a secularism imposed not by gulags but by ‘softer’ means.
Despite these warning signs, many American Christians fail to recognize the dangers, and even fewer know what they can do to resist. Meanwhile, the men and women who survived communist oppression have been sounding the alarm that their souls and their liberties are already at stake.”

Later in his book he makes this observation:
“The modern age is built on the Myth of Progress. By “myth,” I mean that the concept of historical progress is foundational to the modern era and built into the story we tell ourselves to understand our time and our place in it. Believers in the Myth of Progress hold that the present is better than the past and that the future will inevitably be better than the present.
The myth is a powerful tool in the hands of would-be totalitarians. It provides a transcendent source of legitimacy for their actions, and frames opposition as backward and ignorant. Understanding how communists manipulated the Myth of Progress is important to grasping how today’s progressives roll over the opposition.
Those steeped in the teachings of Marx believed that communism was inevitable because History – a force with godlike powers of determination – required it.”

The author Milan Kundera published the book “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (originally written in Czech)
“A leftist is a shared belief that humanity is on a “Grande March” toward Progress.
The Grand March is the splendid march on the road to brotherhood, equality, justice, happiness; it goes on and on, obstacles notwithstanding, for obstacles there must be, if the march is to be the Grand March.”

Rod Dreher makes this comment about the “Grand March”:
“If Progress is inevitable, and the Communist Party is the leader of society’s Grand March to the progressive future, then, the theory goes, to resist the Party is to stand against the future – indeed, against reality itself. Those who oppose the Party oppose progress and freedom and align themselves with greed, backwardness, bigotry, and all manner of injustice. How necessary – indeed, how noble – it is of the Party to bulldoze these stumbling blocks on the Grand March and make straight and smooth the road to tomorrow.”

LTC Robert Maginnis “Progressive Evil”: “In 1956 Russia’s Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev said: “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within…”
Progressives are fulfilling Khrushchev’s promise by making this country impotent, a socialist state controlled by amoral wealthy elites who seek to overthrow America from the inside out by redefining our rights, our institutions and ideals.”

Dr. Michael Heiser “The Unseen Realm”
“Humankind was created as God’s image. If we think of imaging as a verb or function, that translation makes sense. We are created to image God, to be his imagers. IT IS WHAT WE ARE BY DEFINITION.
The image is not an ability we have, but a status. We are God’s representatives on earth. To BE human is to image God.
This is why Genesis 1:26-27 is followed by what theologian call the “dominion mandate” in verse 28. The verse informs us that God intends us to be him on this planet. We are to create more imagers in order to oversee the earth by stewarding its resources and harnessing them for the benefit of all human imagers.”

Rod Dreher in his book titled: “Live not by Lies”
Believers in the Myth of Progress hold that the present is better than the past and that the future will inevitably be better than the present.

The Czech playwriter and future post-communist president Vaclav Havel published an essay in 1978 titled:
“The Power of the Powerless; Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe”
“A person who lives only for his own comfort and survival and who is willing to live within a lie to protect that, is a DEMORALIZED PERSON.
The system depends on this demoralization, deepens it, is in fact a projection of it into society. Living within the truth, as humanity’s revolt against an enforced position, is, on the contrary, an attempt to REGAIN CONTROL OVER ONE’S OWN SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY.”

A.W. Tozer in his book “The Dangers of a Shallow Faith” writes:
“Christian liberty is freedom to live in the Spirit, unhindered by externals. Christian liberty is freedom from fear of the government, freedom from fear of your sins, freedom from fear of God’s service, freedom from fear of the devil, freedom from black cats and birds and amulets and spells and charms and wizardry, freedom from religious bondage of every kind, and freedom from the iron yoke of traditions. Christian liberty is freedom to live in the Spirit and worship God in Spirit and Truth.

WORKING WITH GOD

In our text we notice 4 incredible statements that will guide us through our study:
• Jesus Christ IS THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD
• Jesus Christ IS THE CREATOR OF EVERYTHING IN THE SPIRITUAL AND THE PHYSICAL REALM.
• Jesus Christ CREATED THRONES OR DOMINIONS OR RULERS OR AUTHORITIES (all in the spiritual realm)
• Jesus Christ CREATED THE CHURCH OF WHICH HE IS THE HEAD, the firstborn from the dead to bring us back into fellowship with our Creator.
Dr. Michael Heiser (THE UNSEEN REALM)
“God does not act without purpose. He created the heavenly host, intending that they carry out his will. Did he create them to meet some need in him? No. A complete, perfect being has no deficiencies. God has no need of a council, but he uses one. Similarly, God did not need humans to steward his creation, or later on, to reveal that Messiah had come. But those were his choices as well. God delighted in creating proxies to represent him and carry out his wishes. His decisions in that regard have ramifications.”
Patrick D. Miller (Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology):
“The creation of the human creature is the establishment of a representative from the divine world to rule the created order. The image of the divine ones is placed on earth to embody and represent the divine ones in subduing, ruling, and governing the earth. The creation of male and female provides for the sustaining of that rule in the perpetuation of the creation.”
Dr. Michael Heiser:
“…. God rules over the heavenly realm and the earthly realm with the genuine assistance of his imager-representatives. He decrees and they carry out his commands. These points are clear. What is perhaps less clear is that the way God’s will is carried out and accomplished is open – imagers can make free decisions to accomplish God’s will. God decrees the ends, but the means can (and apparently are at times) left up to the imagers.
This balance of sovereignty and free will is essential for understanding what happened in Eden. The choices made by human and nonhuman beings described in Genesis 3 were neither coerced nor needed by Yahweh for the sake of his greater plan. The risk of creating image bearers who might freely choose rebellion was something God foresaw but did not decree.”