Life in 6 Words - "God"
In this month’s episode of Gospelize, we begin a new series called Life in 6 Words. Our first word is “God” – God created us to be with Him. We dive into the many ways in which God formed us to be with Him, to reflect Him, and to be intimate with Him.
Today we’re starting a new series called “Life in 6 words” based on the 6 words in the video: “God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life”. We’re going to dive into 6 statements built on these words to help us go deep AND wide with the GOSPEL. And it all starts with God. “God created us to be with him.”
Question: What are some movies that contain a powerful love story?
(There are obvious ones like The Notebook and Titanic)
Not so obvious: Rocky (explain) and Braveheart (describe plot & Murron’s death)…in Braveheart it was William Wallace’s broken heart for losing his wife, Murron, that kept him going. Even at the end when he is getting his guts pulled out of his stomach through torture he imagines he sees Murron through the crowd…a plot element of a scarf this young girl wore was a part of the whole movie. The man who killed her cleaned his knife with this piece of cloth. If you watch closely the piece of blood-stained cloth gets passed from person to person until finally Wallace has it in the final scene before his head is about to be chopped off. The scenes cut back and forth from him imagining Murron in the crowd to the axe coming down. Finally, the axe does it work and you see that blood-stained piece of cloth drop to the ground in slow motion. That piece of cloth represented the hard-fought love that kept William Wallace fighting against English tyranny.
Braveheart is an unlikely love story and so is this (hold up Bible). From Genesis 3, after the Fall of humanity into depravity and sin, that blood-stained thread of Christ’s coming death is seen. God made the first sacrifice when he covered Adam & Eve’s nakedness with animal skins. Jesus was the last sacrifice that covered us in his grace.
Illustration: Hold up a 6-inch piece of red yard as you talk through the next part:
- That blood stained thread is seen when God sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness in the garden of Eden after they sinned.
- That blood-stained thread is seen when Abraham goes to offer his son Isaac on the altar and finds a ram caught in the thicket to be offered instead.
- That blood-stained thread is seen when the Israelites are being decimated by poisonous snakes and God commands Moses to make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole so that everyone who looks at it will live.
- That blood-stained thread is seen in the story of Rahab, who ties a scarlet ribbon in her window as the sign of her deliverance in Joshua 2:18. The spies tell her,
“…unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house.” Joshua 2:18
- That blood-stained thread is seen throughout the Old Testament- from the blood on the doorposts on the night of the Passover in Egypt, to David’s specific description of a crucifixion in Psalm 22, to Isaiah’s crystal clear assertion that the coming Messiah would die a gruesome death for the sins of humanity.
The Old Testament, like the movie Braveheart, seems brutal and violent, but pulsating underneath the violence and intensity is a love story that is unveiled in graphic detail in the New Testament.
The GOSPEL is the ultimate love story!
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separates us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds. (Genesis 4-Malachi 4)
Paying the price for sin Jesus died and rose again. (Matt.-Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John)
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. (Acts-Revelation)
- The GOSPEL encapsulates the whole story of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation
- Six scenes of a drama that has been unfolding from the beginning of time.
- Think of these six points as talking points – springboards to launch into deeper levels of conversation.
- Each of these six words are attached to an a sentence and, the first letters of each sentence spell out the acrostic GOSPEL.
- God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life.
- More of a message than a method
- Memorize it word for word, get your teenagers or the adults in your small group to memorize it too
- Think of each sentence as a chord on a guitar
- Think of it as a love story
(“Once upon a time…”)
God created us to be with him.
There are three Biblical realities about this statement that I want you to know and believe today…
Biblical Reality #1: We are a special creation, handcrafted by God Himself.
“…the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:6
- Picture God in the mud…sculpting a mud man…Breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. The first thing that Adam saw when he opened his eyes was the smiling muddy face of his Creator.
“…the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:21,22
- God spoke creation into existence, until he created man. He got muddy (Adam) and bloody (Eve) when He created the first humans. Very personal (“hands on”) when He crafted His most precious creation…US.
Biblical Reality #2: We were made in the image of God.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness….” Genesis 1:26
- Often times we struggle with knowing WHO we are…it is an identity crisis, because we have the world telling us who we should be, we’re telling ourselves who we could never be, and we have an enemy telling us lies about who we never WILL be!
- Tell personal story (When my Uncle Dave gave me the gift of a doll)…Satan used that to attack my identity.
- WHO do you think you are? Some of you may be letting a mistake or choice you have made be the answer to that question. And maybe it’s not something we can laugh about right now either…something serious. Scripture says that you are shaped by your thoughts (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”)
- The enemy attacks your identity by deceiving you into believing lies about yourself to the point that you “become” them.
- But God is the one who gives us true purpose. He is our Creator, and for believers in Jesus, He is our Savior. Our identity is found in Him. He is the ONE…the ONLY ONE…who can truly determine WHO you are.
- If you read the creation story… it is so cool. It is miraculous!
- God says “LET THERE BE LIGHT…”
- “LET THERE BE SPACE BETWEEN WATERS”
- “LET THERE BE DRY GROUND”
- “LET THE LAND PRODUCE VEGETATION”
- “LET THE LAND PRODUCE LIVING CREATURES (ANIMALS, LIVESTOCK)”
- ALL of creation…LET THERE BE…”, and there it was!
But when we created US…MANKIND…it was different.
- With all other creation God said, “Let there be.” With humanity he said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26)
Show video $20 bill – you can use an actual $20 bill to illustrate this if you like, or simply show the “How Valuable Am I” SALT video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCStAbTOrc8
- The value of the $20 bill is NOT determined by what it’s been used for…its value was determined on the day it was printed and will not change. Just like us – no matter what we have done, or been used for, we are still valuable. God is the one who made us, and He is the one who determines our value!
We are created in God’s image. God has communicable attributes that we reflect, but also incommunicable attributes (that we do not reflect as humans).
Incommunicable attributes (we don’t reflect these attributes)
-Justice (why we want the bad guy to get it at the end of a movie…e.g., Taken)
-Omniscience (know what is, was, what could be…)
-Immutability (ability NOT to change)
-Sovereignty (absolutely in control)
Biblical Reality #3: We were created to connect with God on the deepest, most intimate level.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day….” Genesis 3:8
- Hand in hand is how it was meant to be.
- In his powerful little book on drama, The Three Uses of the Knife, David Mamet describes the three key elements for every good drama: “Yes. No. But wait!”
- Let’s take the movie Braveheart:
“Yes, I found a girl to marry me.”
“No! She got killed”
“But wait, I freed Scotland!”
- Genesis 1 and 2 is the “Yes” portion of the human drama. But we are about to unpack the “No!” (next podcast)
- As we close out today, what do you sense God is saying to you? Has He reminded you today that you are valuable because you are made in His image, that you don’t need to listen to the lies of the enemy, the world, or the flesh? Are you realizing for the first time how much God really loves you, and that He created you for a purpose and a personal relationship with Him? Next week we will really unpack how we became separated from God, but the short answer is that our sins separate us from Him.
- Illustration: When my grandpa died and my big tough uncles asked me to give the Gospel…While preaching the Gospel I felt a sense of purpose fulfilled. I was made in the image of God, not to be a bodybuilder but to be a preacher.
- What is that gift that you are unwrapping? You were made in the image of God for a purpose. He has wired you with meaning. Keep unwrapping that gift until you see it clearly and embrace it.
Present the GOSPEL:
- Invitation/Response time
- Call to Action: Download the free “Life in 6 Words” app to use as a tool to learn and memorize the G.O.S.P.E.L. and being the journey of sharing the Good News with others.
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