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Created or Uncreated Life 1

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Created or Uncreated Life 1

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

It’s good to step back from time-to-time from the normal Sunday pattern and just see what it’s all in aid of. So it’s good to step back and ask yourself really — why are you alive and why am I alive? Have you answered that — why are you alive really?

I think a lot of us in these days have been taught to answer, “Oh well, I’m alive to live the best life I can. That’s why I’m alive.” Or, “I’m alive to do the most good I can in this world.” Or, some of us say or we’re taught to say, “I’m alive to leave the world a better place than I found it.” Do you see that all those variations on “good, better, and best” come from one place that God told us we shouldn’t eat? You can see it if you look at Genesis 2:17.

Genesis 2:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” That’s the very thing God told us not to be preoccupied with — what was good and what was evil. Yet we’re so saturated with that whole attitude that we ought to be good and we ought to avoid evil — that we tend to explain the purpose of our own lives in terms of doing good, or living by the golden rule, or leaving the world a better place than we found it.

Of course, it brings us into a terrible slavery, into trying to live up to the good that we think we ought to live up to. That is what men first thought in the very beginning: all they needed was a knowledge of good and evil and that would take care of everything. So you and I have been preoccupied with our understanding of good and evil for generations. Of course, it has done us no good because we haven’t been able to do good and avoid evil.

But why are you alive? God told us it all very plainly in this book {pointing to a Bible}. It’s in 1 John 1:3: “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you.” Then here’s the reason we’re alive: “so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And that’s the reason God made you.

God didn’t make you to be a great doctor, or a great teacher. He didn’t make you to leave the world a better place than you found it. He didn’t make you primarily to minister Jesus’ life to other people. He made you to have fellowship with himself and with his Son. That’s it.

God didn’t make you so you could be saved, or have your sins forgiven. God didn’t plan the whole business of hell just so he could save you from it. God didn’t make you even to take part in a Christian Corps, or to be part of a Campus Church, or to be part of some other church. God didn’t make you just to be a good Christian. God made you because he wanted your company.

Do you see that that’s really true? That God made you because he wants your company. Now it’s nothing less than that. A lot of you are sitting there and saying, “Oh yeah. Well, okay. Big deal. It sounds like a good theological fact, to base a doctrine on. But do you really think God wants my company?” Loved ones, that’s it. God made you because he wants your company. He loves you. He treasures you a lot. He thinks a lot of you. He wants you.

It’s no use you saying, “Oh yeah. You mean he wants all of us to sort of sing hymns to him in great congregations with angels, and archangels, and all the company of heaven?”

God wants you. If you had been the only person that he ever created, this is why he created you. He loves you personally. He knows your name. He has the hairs of your head numbered. He wants you for his own friend. Now that’s why he made you.

Every other purpose in life is less than that. Okay — make the money if you want. Get the social security if you want. Get other friends. Get good jobs. But do you see that all those have nothing to do with the reason for which you were created? God made you because he wants your company. Not because he needs you. Don’t get him wrong. Not because he needs you. God had plenty of good company at the beginning.

You can see that if you look at Genesis 1:2: “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.”

The Holy Spirit was with God at the beginning. God wasn’t lonely. He didn’t make us because he needed us. God had the friendship of the Holy Spirit. And if you look at John 1 you can see someone else who was there with the Father. John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” Now Jesus was with the Father at the beginning.

In other words, the Father had a trinity family that was self-sufficient in itself. He didn’t need other people to talk to. The trinity family was a loving group of three people who understood each other completely and loved each other completely and accepted each other completely. It was a group of three people in whom there was complete harmony, complete peace, and complete understanding. They had complete fulfillment in themselves. The trinity family existed like that at the beginning before the world ever was made.

Now why did God make us? Out of sheer love. They enjoyed each other so much that they wanted others to share that love. The way a husband and wife often have such a great time together that it’s just natural that children result from the union — children to enjoy and share the same kind of love and the same kind of life.

That’s why God made us. God made you and me to enjoy the friendship of the trinity family. That’s it. That’s the real reason for our existence. Everything that happens here in this world is to bring us into that place.

That’s why in Genesis, obviously God is talking to someone else when he says this. Genesis 1:26, at the very beginning, he uses the plural, the first person plural when he says this: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man.’” “Let us.” So he said to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God made us in his image because he wanted us to enjoy his company and he wanted to enjoy our company.

I’ve often mentioned this miserable little dog that we have to you, but he’s a dear little soul. But you’re very limited as to the amount of fellowship you can have with him. I mean, I can chase him around the garden and he understands that. Then he can chase me.

But it’s hard to go too much deeper than that with a dog. And in order to have any kind of fellowship with a person, that person must have the same faculties as you. My dog isn’t too good at saying Amens or Hallelujahs — because he really doesn’t have the capacity for worship and he

doesn’t have a spirit. He just has a little bundle of instincts there in a body.

Now that’s why God decided to make us in his own image. Because he knew, “If I’m going to have any kind of enjoyment from their company, or they’re going to in any way enjoy my company, we must have the same faculties.” That’s why you read the way God made us, if you look just over the page there at Genesis 2:7: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground.” That is, a body. He gave us a body, a physical body. The Son, Father and Holy Spirit have spiritual bodies.

“And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” He put in a capacity for spirit inside us. There’s a spiritual part of us that is inside us.

“And man became a living being.” The Hebrew word is “nephesh” — a living soul. So as God breathed in the spiritual capacity to us into the physical bodies, the result was a soul. That is, mind, emotions, and a will — the psychological part of us.

So God made us really in a kind of trinity like himself. He gave us a body, he gave us a soul, or mind and emotions, and he gave us a spirit. He made us in three parts like himself so that we could enjoy and understand the kinds of things he enjoys. He understands things with his mind — he wanted us to be able to understand what he was thinking. He senses things with his Spirit — he wanted us to be able to sense things with our spirit. He does things in his spiritual body — he wanted us to be able to do things in our bodies. That was why God made us in his own image.

Now you can see that there’s a flaw in that somewhere really. Because if I take one fellow from the front row and a girl from the back row and I say, “Okay, you both have minds, and souls, and emotions, and wills, and bodies. You’re both exactly right for each other. I pronounce you man and wife.”

There’d be somewhat of a tremble and uncertainty in the whole deal. They probably wouldn’t come back again. It’s not enough that you have the same faculties. That doesn’t make you fit for each other’s company. It doesn’t make you able to bear each other’s company. It doesn’t make you able to enjoy each other’s company. So it was with God. God gave us the faculties to be like himself. But in order to be really like him we had to use our free wills.

God then made us more like himself in that he gave us free wills, and he said, “Now you’re not really like me. You look like me. You have the same capacities as I have. But if you want to be really part of my family, you must become like me by choice.”

Now do you see that? He did not make us all like himself in that he made us all with patience; that he made us all with love; that he made us all perfectly like Jesus — because you can see what he would have had — a bundle of robots who could not be unlike him — because they weren’t able to be unlike him.

But God didn’t do that. He made us with capacities to become like him, and then he gave us free wills, and he said, “Now, to become like me in quality, you must choose something for yourself.” He gave us free will.

That explains the rather tricky problem that you get there in Genesis 2:7-9. I’ll just read the whole three verses. “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. And the LORD God planted a garden in

Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Why put a tree of life in when he’d already breathed life into our nostrils? And do you see that that explains it? When you go into the Hebrew it’s even clearer, because the Hebrew really reads: “And God breathed into his nostrils the breath of ‘chayeem.’” Chayeem in Hebrew is the plural of the word life and it means, “God breathed into our nostrils the breath of lives.” Mental life, emotional life, intellectual life, physical life — but another kind of life: he asked us to choose it for ourselves freely. That kind of life was the life that was available on the tree of life.

In other words, God said, “Okay, I give you created life. I give every one of you created life. You all have mental life. You all have physical life. You all have emotional life. But that doesn’t make you like us in the trinity family. It gives you the same capacities as we have. But the uncreated spiritual life that will transmit to you my own genes and will make you like myself — that you must choose for yourselves.”

That’s what God did at the very beginning. He made us with capacities to be like him. But the actual essence of spiritual uncreated life that would enable us to be born into the trinity family — that he made available to us. We had to choose it for ourselves.

In other words, God’s plan was that we should always need to be born again. A lot of us have used that phrase so much that we tie it up with sin, and forgiveness, and salvation. Do you see it was always God’s plan from even before men fell out of his fellowship that we would be born again? Because God new that the only kind of life that we had when he made us was created, physical, mental, intellectual life. He himself said through Paul, “This I tell you: flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Jesus would again point out, “Look, that life that you have is only created life. That’s why God brought the great flood over the world. He was saying to men, ‘Look, that’s only created life that you have. It’s not uncreated spiritual life. It’s only created life. It will not last beyond 70 years.’”

But of course, Satan kept trying to persuade man. You can see it there in Genesis 3:4: “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die.’” Satan came and suggested, “Listen, that life that you’ve got is all you need. That physical, mental, intellectual, emotional life that you have — that’s all you need to have a successful life in this world. You won’t die. Don’t believe God. That stuff will go on forever and ever.”

Do you see that a lot of our attitude in our lives is built on that? We’re determined to kind of prove to ourselves, “No, we won’t die. We won’t die. This created life is enough.”

You might disagree on this, but I think there’s nothing so ridiculous as the way we apply cosmetics to a dear person who has just died. No, there is something so wrong about it. There is something so wrong about how we’re trying to remember him as he was. Really in our own hearts we don’t want to accept death.

We don’t want to face death and we’re continually saying, “No, no, he’s not really dead. He’s not really dead.” You’ll go to a funeral. They’ll talk about anything but the person who has died.

They’ll talk about the Twins’ baseball games. They’ll talk about the summer and the weather. They’ll talk about the poor spring.

They’ll talk about their jobs. They’ll check up on all their relatives and find out how everybody is doing. But they won’t talk about the dear one who is lying in the casket.

Do you see? All along Satan has been involved in trying to persuade us all, “Look, this life is enough. This life is enough.” God has all along been saying, “Look! The flood — it proves this life isn’t enough. I wiped everybody out except Noah.” And God continually brought great judgments on mankind.

He brought the judgment of the Tower of Babel. He brought the exile to the Israelites. He brought persecution to the Christians continually to bring home to them, “Look, that life that you have is only created life. It’s not uncreated spiritual life.” There is only one person who has only begotten life — and that is Jesus. He’s the only person who has this uncreated, spiritual, only begotten life that lasts forever. He was really the tree of life.

That’s why when he came he made not such a big deal of just sins and salvation, but he continually said, “I’m come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.” He said, “He that has the Son has life,” and he was talking about this spiritual uncreated life of God. We call it in these days: the life of the Holy Spirit. And when your life is not going right it’s because of a lack of uncreated spiritual life.

You can see why it’s so stupid to fight each other over, “Well, I’m a good Christian,” or, “I’m not a good Christian,” or, “I’m a good atheist,” or, “I’m not a good atheist,” or, “I’m a good agnostic,” or, “I’m a good humanist.”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a good Baptist, or a bad Lutheran, a good Methodist, or a bad Salvation Army Member. It doesn’t matter what you are. The thing is that all of us need that only begotten, uncreated, spiritual life. Otherwise — we die out after 70 years.

You can look at it — just count the wrinkles. Count the gray hairs and you’ll see, “You’re right. This created life is not increasing too much. It’s not really improving me.” You can check it another way. There are real marks of that created life. The marks of that created life you can find there in Galatians 5:19. It actually does tie it up with the fact that it is just physical created life.

Galatians 5:19, “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Because they’re not being good enough? No — because all they have is created life.

They have not the only begotten, uncreated, spiritual life that comes through the Holy Spirit. And what are the marks of it? You can see them there in Galatians 5:22: “But the fruit of the Spirit,” — and the Spirit is the one that brings the life — “is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.” That’s the kind of life that is produced by this uncreated spiritual life.

There’s a lot more to share about it and I’ll try to share it these coming Sundays. But first of all I’d ask you: would you face that issue? Don’t face the issue of becoming a Christian. That’s silly. Don’t start fiddling around with whether you’re a Christian, or whether you’re a Baptist, or whether you’re a Presbyterian, or whether you believe this doctrine, or whether you believe that doctrine, or whether you’re a Jew.

The issue is –have you received the uncreated spiritual life from God? That is the only thing that will make us fit to take part in the fellowship of his trinity family. That’s the real issue.

It’s not what name you go by. It’s not what denomination you belong to. It’s not even how you believe. But it’s: have you received this spiritual uncreated life of the Holy Spirit — so that you will never die, and so that you will be fit to take part in the trinity family? That’s really God’s purpose for us.

So will you begin to think about that? Because the time is gone this morning, and we’ll need to continue it the next few Sundays. But will you begin to think, “Okay, have I the marks of this uncreated spiritual life in me? Or have I only physical created life? Am I living under Satan’s lie?” I’ll try to talk a little more about his lies and his whole approach to us in detail in these next weeks. But would you begin to think about it anyway? Just consider it — and the Bible makes a lot more sense when you read it in the light of this. Let us pray.

Father, we can feel these hands and this body, and we know fine well that it doesn’t look as if it’s going to last forever. And Father, we have sensed a lack of something inside ourselves. So Father, if it is a lack of this uncreated spiritual life that was your plan for us right from the beginning of the world, will you convince us that that is the situation in our life? And will you enable us to go more and more to the source of this only begotten life –the only one who possesses it — even to your Son Jesus?

Father, we trust you to lead each one of us this coming week to be clearer about our own lack or our own possession of this life that enables us to live forever, and to become part of your trinity family, and fulfill the purpose for which we were made — to have company and friendship with the great Creator of the Universe.

Father, we thank you for such a privilege. We want to be fit for that. We know we cannot be on our own. So we trust you to lead us into this, for your glory, and for reality and meaning in our lives. Amen.