Face Value: Four Features that Further Your Faith – Part 2
Sunday Feb 10, 2019
Main Idea– In order to reflect God, the Gospel of John teaches we should have love for our fellow man.
First impressions can be deceptive – they are only skin-deep
- First impressions can be deceptive. They may give us a better impression than the person deserves, or a lesser impression than the person is worth.
- Our American judicial system is based on the principle one is innocent until proven guilty. Ideally, this principle protects innocent people from bad first impressions.
- Our flesh is indeed, weak, and should not be trusted alone. Jesus well knew the limitations of the flesh. Matthew 26: 40-41 – Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The image of God – the impression He makes
- 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.
- No human has seen God’s entirety while on earth. 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.
- God’s infinite plan – and His plan for how he wants us to reflect Him to others by how we act- can be discovered by looking at what those faces represent.
God is . . .
- 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.
- John 4:23-24 – But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
- Fully human.
- John 1:1-3, 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things that were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
- As God on Earth, in the complete human nature, Jesus experienced everything we experience.
The Gospel of Luke
- The Gospel of Luke most reflects the human face in the apocalyptic visions.
- The human face represents Jesus’ humanity. Because of this, we not only love God but we love all His people as well.
- Matthew 22: 37-40 – Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
- The genealogy of Jesus found in Luke begins with Adam, giving a complete picture of His human ancestry.
- Luke was a physician by profession. His gospel was directed primarily to other educated, “Greek-thinking” individuals who appreciated evidence and reason.
- Because Luke was a doctor, it makes sense he would be impressed by Jesus’ healing miracles. He included many instances where Jesus showed compassion and healed people.
- Because Jesus was fully human, and He healed by the Spirit, we too should pray resurrection prayers for others. We also have the opportunity to pray and to bring back what has been lost.
From Luke’s Gospel we learn to . . .
- be a servant
- Ministry work is about people. Help others before you help yourself. Be a “people person”.
- Luke 22: 24-27 – Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”
- be a team player
- Get along with others. Protect others. Cooperate, don’t compete. Don’t gossip. Be coachable. Believe the best first about others.
- Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (found in Luke 6: 20-46 and in Matthew chapters 5 thru 7) contains many verses that deal with relationships. Our relationships should be more valuable to us than our reputations.
- We have a relationship with God so that we can have relationship with each other.Luke 9: 46-48 – Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought in their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”
- be real
- Be honest about your own needs and accept help from others when it is offered.
- Confess your sins and shortcomings. James 5:16 – Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Jesus will never fail us
- Jesus has never failed mankind.
- He will not fail you.
- He came to serve mankind, and so should we serve each other and all people God created.
Reflective Questions for Face Value, Part 2
- Can you remember back to when you were a child and your first impression of God? What kind of first impression did you have of God? How has that impression changed over time?
- In this sermon message Pastor Stephen talked about how the Gospel of Luke best reflects God’s human nature. What does the fact Jesus healed people reflect about his humanity?
- How will having a servant’s mentality, being a good team mate, and being “real” enable you to show that Jesus was fully human, as well as fully God?