Image and Idolatry

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A quick search online reveals that a lot of us have image problems. Not only do you and I have image problems, but it seems like every category of person, career, human activity, and individual has an image problem.

The Satanic Inversion of the Image of God

As I mentioned in my message this past weekend, “I am More than My Image,” the deepest root of our image problem is the Satanic inversion of how God created us in His image. In Genesis 3:1-7, we can see three aspects of this inversion within the dialogue between the serpent and Eve:

  1. Satan questions the truth of God (“Did God really say?…”) – something which humans in original innocence took for granted as true and good
  2. Satan questions the motivation or rationale of God’s truth (“You will not certainly die…for God knows…”) – something which humans in original innocence took as in their best interest
  3. Satan questions the human relationship with God (“And their eyes were opened”) – the original harmony (shalom) or relationship is no disrupted

The opening of eyes gives more than humanity bargained for as this taints the image of God within humanity. That image is still there – an amazingly good reflection of God in our lives – but it is fogged over and cracked like a damaged mirror.

Human Dissonance about Image and God’s Guidelines

As we look at the story of the Bible after Genesis 3 we see that humanity tends toward putting the self at the center. Not only that, but we construct the world in a way that lifts up images outside of us and inside of us that are contrary to God and His ways. This is a direct reflection of the dissonance we experience as a result of the Satanic inversion of the image of God in Genesis 3. Read More »

The Neighbor (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “The Neighbor,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, which concluded our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When have you seen a simple lie create a big impact? What happened?
  2. This weekend at Eastbrook we conclude our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments by looking at the final commandments found in Exodus 20:16-17. Read these verses out loud and invite God to speak to you as you study the Scripture.
  3. The context implied in Exodus 20:16 is the courts of law. Why do you think truth telling about others is so important in the law court?
  4. Of course, the implications of this command go beyond the courts of law and into our everyday lives. In Colossians 3:9, Paul writes: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” Why is this important as a reflection of new life in Jesus Christ?
  5. In what ways might you need to live in the truth more? How do you need to watch how you speak about other people?
  6. The next commandment centers on two words “covet,” which is translated from the Hebrew word for desiring, wanting or craving something, and “neighbor’s” as applied to various physical objects. What does this commandment tell us about desire?
  7. Some commentators see coveting – or envy – as the source of all other sins. Why do you think this might be the case?
  8. The final commandment takes us beyond the external actions of the previous commandments and into our hearts. Where do you struggle most with envy of others right now?
  9. What is one thing God is speaking to you through this study? If you are alone, write it down. If you are with a small group, discuss these things with one another.

Read More »

The Neighbor

Chiseled ThumbWe concluded our series on the Ten Commandments, “Chiseled,” this weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at the ninth and tenth commandments from Exodus 20:16-17.

Many commentators divide the Ten Commandments into two categories: 1) those dealing more with how we relate to God and 2) those dealing more with how we relate to others. Strictly speaking, the final two commandments are the only ones that mention the word ‘neighbor’, drawing into focus the ways in which we treat those around us.

The outline for the message is below. You can view the message online here or listen to it via our audio podcast here. You can now access all the messages from the “Chiseled” series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This series is part three of an occasional series we are doing from Exodus. You can enjoy the first two parts of this extended series on Exodus here:

Read More »

Murder, Adultery and Theft (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Murder, Adultery and Theft,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, from our series on the Ten Commandments entitled “Chiseled.”

Discussion Questions:

1. In what sort of settings or situations do you think rules are helpful? In what settings are situations do you think that rules are a hindrance?

2. This weekend at Eastbrook we continue our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments by looking at the three commandments found in Exodus 20:13-15. Read these verses out loud and invite God to speak to you as you study the Scripture.

3. Exodus 20:13 instructs us, “You shall not murder.” Why do you think that God needed to instruct His people with these words?Read More »

Murder, Adultery and Theft

Chiseled ThumbI continued our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments this weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at the sixth, seventh and eighth commandments from Exodus 20:13-15.

These are the most brief and bluntly worded commandments of the Decalogue. I brought together Jesus’ parallels to these commandments in the Sermon on the Mount in order to talk about two basic truths:

  1. Our hearts are worse than we think
  2. God’s grace is greater than we understand

The outline and presentation slides for the message are below. You can view the message online here or listen to it via our audio podcast here. Access all the messages from the series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This series is part three of an occasional series we are doing from Exodus. You can enjoy the first two parts of this extended series on Exodus here:

Read More »