We need to study and know the Word of God. I know, the last thing you want to read is a command telling you how you ought to live. I get it. However, this is an extremely important issue for our Christian lives. Open up the Bible to Genesis 1 and read Gen.1:1-2:3.
In this passage of Scripture we read the “creation account.” You have probably read this account before or you have heard this repeated multiple time throughout your time in church services. Sadly, the familiar is often overlooked. If we are to understand the story of Scripture, we must start in the beginning. As Martin Luther once said that these opening chapters are “certainly the foundation of the whole of Scripture.”
How we view this passage will affect the way we view the entire world, and even, our lives. 9 times in the first chapter (1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, and 29) we see the phrase “and God said.” What follows this passage is creation. God speaks, and things happen. In Day 1, God creates light. Day 2, God creates the expanse. Day 3, God creates land, sea, plants, and fruit. Day 4, God creates the sun, moon, and stars. Day 5, God creates living creatures in the water. Day 6, God creates living creatures on the land, and man. Day 7, God rests.
The apex of God’s creation came in day 6 when He created man. What was His purpose in creating man? God created man to be His image-bearers. Man was created to reflect God to the rest of creation. However, because of sin, that image was distorted. God’s will for our lives is that we would glorify Him forever in all that we say and do. Yet, because of sin, we are unable to do that. God designed man to please Him by being obedient to the calling that He gave on our lives. We have failed Him in this task. We have all fallen short of the glory of God and we are all marred by sin.
There is only one that perfectly pleased the Father-Jesus Christ. Throughout Scripture, we see that Jesus pleased the Father (Matt. 3:17). Jesus Christ is the ultimate image of God. We see this in the opening of John’s Gospel. John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1-3). A few verses later, John writes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
In other places, we see that Christ is the perfect fulfillment of the image of God (2 Cor. 4:4, Col. 1:15, John 14:9). Jesus Christ is the only one who has perfectly pleased the Father with all that He said and all that He did. Jesus lived a perfect life (2 Cor. 5:21). It’s safe to say, if we wish to please the Father, we must imitate the Son. But how?
How can we imitate the Son? By being obedient to the Word of God. God’s will for our lives is our sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3). God’s will for our lives is to reflect His image. We are called to be conformed to His image in our lives.What does this have to do with our study and obedience of Scripture? As Christians, we are called to walk in the light; to reflect the light in the darkness.
This happens by our constant self-denial and obedience to the Word of God. It is through God’s Word that He gives life. We see that in the first pages of Genesis and we see it throughout the rest of His Word. If we wish to please God, we must live in total submission to His will for our lives. We cannot separate the will of God from the Word of God. For those of us that are Christians, we are being transformed into the image of Christ every day through the work of the Spirit in our submission to the will of the Father.
Remember, God creates through the creative power of His Word. He brings to life what wasn’t there before. We were all sinners and we are brought to life through His Word (Rom. 10:14-17). Therefore, if we wish to fulfill the command that God has placed on our lives, we must continually submit to His Word. We will be more like Christ when we, by the power of the Spirit, yield to ourselves and begin following after Him, and following after Him means submitting ourselves to the will of the Father, which is found in His Word.
When I find myself at a loss for joy in the Father, it is usually a result of my unwillingness to submit to His Word. It’s through the constant submission to God’s will that I find myself truly satisfied. The reason we study and obey Scripture is because we remember what it’s like to live outside of God’s Word and what it means to be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We know the depth of our sin and the depth of God’s grace that covered that sin. We understand what it was like to be without grace and mercy, and now we desire to be more like Christ because we have been made new creations.
If we have been made new, let us live as if we have been made new. Let us not be content with simply being saved, but let us be content in the joy of continuously being made into the image of our redeemer. Let’s study Scripture.
Soli Deo Gloria