Face Value: Four Features that Further Your Faith – Part 1
Sunday Feb 3, 2019
Main Idea– Each of the four Gospel books does a good job of reflecting a particular aspect of God’s nature. We should try to reflect those attributes to the world around us. In order to reflect God, the Gospel of John teaches we should first have a genuine love for God Himself.
Christians want to develop into someone who is like Jesus
- Each Christian is working on becoming a better person.
- Each Christian wants his or her personality to be a reflection of what God is like.
- 2 Corinthians 3: 17-18 – Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The image of God
- No human has seen God while on earth. John 1: 15-18 – John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
- Yet, the Bible gives us symbolic descriptions of His nature. Both the Old Testament book Ezekiel and the New Testament book Revelation provide similar visions. Each vision depicted the same four attributes.
- Ezekiel 1: 4-6,10. Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings . . . As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle.
- Revelation 4: 7-8 – The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
- Each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) do a good job of portraying one of the attributes represented by the faces in the apocalyptic visions described above.
It starts with each of us
- To learn about God is not just an intellectual process, it is an experientialactivity that starts with our own behavior.
- Daniel 6: 1-3 – It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
- When you focus on developing what is inside you, God will put you in a position to influence the outside world around you.
- Good living habits will set you up for successfully reflecting God’s nature.
Genuinely love God
- The Gospel of John most reflects the lion face in the apocalyptic visions.
- The lion represents a steadfast, genuine love for God.
- This love for God is the foundation from which comes every other good thing in our personalities.
- When we have a genuine love for God we can rely on Him as the inspiration for all our behavior. We can use Him as a type of parent who always sets a good example of how to live.
- The good things we do should reflect God. Everything we do flows out of our love for Him.
- Acts 4: 13 – Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
Ministry isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.
- Do these three things to better know God:
- Develop your closeness with God – pray, worship, study the Word
- Develop your character – do what is right; help others
- Develop your calling – discover the way God wants to do things through you.
Reflective Questions for Face Value, Part 1
- Why is it best to become closer to God before trying to develop your character? Why is it best to develop your character before discovering your calling?
- Pastor Stephen said a genuine love for God is the foundation upon which is built all our other good qualities. Can you explain what he meant?