From Scripture, we know with confidence four things about man/woman: Imago Dei (created in the “Image of God), gender, life, and depravity. Because the world is in a state of mass confusion about the state of mankind, as we continue our series, “The 7,” John Elmore teaches us about our image, gender, and mission in light of God’s creation, man’s destruction, and Christ’s redemption.
Watermark’s Belief Statement – Man
We believe man was created innocent and in the image and likeness of God, but that man sinned, bringing both physical and spiritual death to himself and his posterity (Genesis 1:27, 2:17, 3:19), can do nothing to merit God’s favor and as such is in need of salvation (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). We believe that mankind’s sinful nature is rebellious toward God, and His good design for life and worship (Romans 1:20-24; Ephesians 2:1-3). Mankind’s rebellion causes confusion about good and evil, and harm to people ultimately ending in judgment, despair and death (Genesis 1:31; Galatians 5:16-21; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; James 1:13-15).
We believe God created mankind in His image, forming each person in the womb from conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:2, 49:5; Jeremiah 1:4-5) until the point of death when they breathe their last (Genesis 25:8; Luke 23:46); and assigning gender to His people, male (man) and female (woman), as He created them sexually and biologically different, but with equal personal dignity and value (Genesis 1:26-28).
We believe that God ordained marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18; Matthew 19:4-9; Ephesians 5:31-33). Those who accept and live within God’s design for sex, biological gender and marriage experience the blessing of His good design (Psalm 1:1-3, 128:1-4), and decisions to change, alter or modify God’s will in marriage, sex or gender are part of man’s brokenness and lead to despair (Romans 1:21-22; James 1:13-15).
We believe that God loves and pursues mankind despite our rebellion (Romans 5:8). He offers forgiveness, healing and abundant life to anyone who turns to Him in humility (John 3:17, 10:10; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7).
Image - God made us to relate and create
- We are to be image bearers of God, to be in relationship with Him.
- Value is determined by what someone is willing to pay. Thus, every person is of infinite value…God the Father paid the infinite price of God the Son, Jesus.
Gender - Gender is defined by the Designer, not desire
- God designed gender (male & female), marriage (one man + one woman = one life), and sex (in marriage, for procreation, and for pleasure to the glory of God), and He revealed these three things in Genesis 1:27.
Mission - Our mission is to live for God
- Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever (Westminster Catechism).
- We—as immortal beings who will spend forever in either heaven or hell—are made to worship God; He is our one and only hope.
Image – Man is now depraved and enslaved
- Sin leads to death…it often has a slow fuse, but make no mistake: it leads to death.
- Man now determines who lives, who dies, and when & how they die (euthanasia, suicide, & abortion)
- If you are a Christian, Satan can’t take your soul, but he can take your role.
- “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” -John Owen
Gender - Gender is defined by desire, not the Designer
- Humans continue to redefine gender, marriage, and sex.
Mission - Our mission it to live like gods
- Social media and depression are statistically proven to be linked by what is called social comparison.
Image – We have been saved
- Because of Christ, all will be restored; it doesn’t matter what’s in your past or even your present—run to Jesus!
Gender – We are being sanctified
- All the longings, aching, scars, and pain from sin will be wiped away and every single person will find their fulfillment in Christ.
Mission – We have been sent
- Because of Christ’s redemption, our mission has returned to what is began as: to live for God. To know Him and make Him known through Jesus Christ our Lord
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Are you most prone to view yourself based on your own merit/value (rather than what Christ did for you), define your gender based on your desires, or live for yourself rather than for God? Share your answer with your community group, and ask for help & accountability according to how you answered.
- Read the Scriptures (in the belief statement above or in the suggested Scripture study below), memorize one of them, and share it with someone within the next seven days.
- Based solely on where you spent your money and your time during the last seven days, how would others define what your mission was? How can you change one thing so that the next seven days you live as one who has been sent?
Mentioned or Recommended Resources
- Suggested Scripture Study: Genesis 1:27, 2:17, 3:19; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23; Romans 1:20-24; Ephesians 2:1-3; Genesis 1:31; Galatians 5:16-21; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; James 1:13-15; Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:2, 49:5; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Genesis 25:8; Luke 23:46; Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:18; Matthew 19:4-9; Ephesians 5:31-33; Psalm 1:1-3, 128:1-4; Romans 1:21-22; Romans 5:8; John 3:17, 10:10; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7.
- What We Believe At Watermark
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- Real Truth Real Quick: What Is The Nashville Statement and Why Is It Needed?