Identity - Week 22
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. - Genesis 1:26-27
Gender distinction! It may be the greatest expression of God's brilliance in creation and it is certainly among the greatest gifts ever given to mankind. Men and women, different from one another and yet perfectly suited to work together and to need each other, accomplishing the will of God in the world he loves. If gender distinction is a reflection of God's glory it should not surprise us that gender confusion is key to the devil's strategy as he seeks to pervert the image of God in mankind and to rob people of joy. That strategy began in Eden and it has continued uninterrupted throughout human history. As a result, what was created to work together in companionship constantly works against each other in competition. It has become the way of the world; it should not be that way in the church.
First Corinthians 11:2-16 is all about relationships between men and women in the church and in the presence of God. It is a gnarly passage about a controversial issue and many of you won't immediately appreciate what it says but hang in there and stay with me today. If we can get this right, we will enjoy a dynamic in our marriages and in our church that we all are hungry for and a liberty to be fully what God created us to be. If we can get this right, we will offer hope to a world suffering from gender confusion.