Derek intends that we should learn to value ourselves and to see why we are valuable to God. Derek points out that Lucifer was created as "The Shining One," but pride developed in him and he fell. Man, on the other hand, was created in a humble state but made in the image and likeness of God. The purpose of man is to have dominion over all the earth. He is to rule on earth for God.
Now the title to my message this evening is a question. Do You Realize How Valuable You Are? And I suspect that most of you do not realize how valuable you are. One of the prevailing weaknesses of Christians is a poor sense of self-esteem. And it advertises itself in many ways. Some people when you talk to them, they never look you fully in the face. They always keep their head bowed and their eyes never make contact. Or others advertise it by the way they dress. You know that dress, clothing, carries a message. The way you dress says something, either positive or negative. It’s never neutral. I believe it’s a very common religious problem. Sometimes we misinterpret it as humility. But if you have a poor sense of self-worth, you can’t be humble since you’ve got nothing to be humble about. It’s altogether different to be humble. When you know your own value then you can be humble.
And so I want to give you the reasons why you should value yourself, why you are valuable. And I want to go back to God’s original purpose in creating man as it’s recorded in the opening chapters of Genesis. But before I do that I want to remind you that the creation of Adam and Eve was somewhat down the program in God’s creative works. He had already created a glorious host of angelic beings, seraphim and cherubim and archangels and angels and many other glorious beings. But there had been a rebellion headed up by one of the chief archangels whose name originally was Lucifer, which was changed to Satan. Lucifer means the bright, the brilliant, the shining one. Satan means the adversary, the enemy. And the reason why Lucifer fell was pride. And let me say to you, by far the most dangerous sin that ever threatens us is pride. It is a disastrous sin and we are all vulnerable to it in one way or another. Those of us who are in ministry, if we have any kind of success, we easily get taken over by pride. And I’ve lived long enough to see ministries that were ruined by pride. My personal prayer is “Lord, by whatever means is necessary, keep me from becoming proud.”
Now the reason why Lucifer rebelled was that he was proud, and he had a lot to be proud of. In Ezekiel chapter 28 the latter part of the chapter, many of you are probably not familiar with this passage, but Ezekiel 28 deals with two persons. The first half deals with the Prince of Tyre and the second half deals with the King of Tyre. The Prince of Tyre is a human ruler, but the King of Tyre is an archangel, the one who was Lucifer. And this is how he’s described, beginning in verse 12.
…Thus says the LORD GOD:
“You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was you covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.”
The most glorious being and he occupied a place of singular honor. It says, “You were the anointed cherub who covers;” who covers the throne of God. One cherub was set apart to stretch out his wings over the throne of God and that honor was given to Lucifer.
“I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.”
That’s no human being that that’s addressed to. That’s an angelic being.
“You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.”
So there was this glorious heavenly being of inexpressible wisdom, glory, majesty and power, with the singular privilege of covering the throne of God. And yet iniquity was found in him. He became proud and pride was his downfall. He was cast out from the heaven of God into a lower region.
Just picture the three members of the Godhead—the three persons of the Godhead—taking counsel together and saying, “The problem was we made him too beautiful. It was easy for him to become proud. So let’s do it a different way.” I mean this is just my imagination. “Let’s take something so humble and so insignificant that he can never become proud.” And so that was how Adam was created. A remarkable creation. And Adam was made of dust, just common dust mingled with water, and then molded by the hand of God. And we have here the reason why God created him. Chapter 1 of Genesis, verse 26 and 27.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, [you notice God is talking in the plural which occurs several times in Scripture. This is the mystery that God is one and yet more than one.] Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;’”
Notice those are two words, image and likeness. The Hebrew word for image recurs in a different form in modern Hebrew in the phrase to take a photograph. It describes the outward likeness, then the likeness is the inner nature. The Triune God created a triune man; spirit, soul and body. But there was that in the outward appearance of man which in a way represented God. Some people find that hard to accept. But let me suggest you this, it was appropriate that when God was manifested in the flesh, it was in the form of a male human being, not in the form of an ox or a beetle or a bird. There was something about the outward appearance of man that could receive the inward form of God. And then God goes on to say,
“‘Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image: [Notice we come to the singular here ‘His own image.’] in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
That’s very important. There’s a lot of controversy on that particular theme at the moment in the papers. But God created two kinds of persons: male and female. They’re quite distinct and there’s nothing in between. And God created them to rule over all the earth. They were God’s vice regents.
Years ago when I was born in India there was a Viceroy over India. He was the Vice Regent of India representing the Monarch here in Britain. And that was the position that God planned for man. He would be the Viceroy, the Vice Regent, the one who reigned on behalf of God Himself. So that was God’s plan and God’s program.
Then we read the description of how he was made. And there’s one verse, Genesis chapter 2:7, contains such a wealth of riches that we could expatiate on it for a long time. This is how it came about, Genesis 2:7,
“The LORD God formed man [molded man the Hebrew says] of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” [living being does not adequately represent it]
The union of spirit from God and clay from the earth produced a soul. The soul is the unique individual, the thing which has the capacity to say, “I will or I will not,” the thing that makes decisions, the thing that determines the course of a life. It came into being through a creative act of God when the Spirit of God, the inbreathed breath of God came into the clay and man became a unique individual, a living soul.