In our last blog post, Daren posed the question: “Who Are We?” It speaks to the question that each person asks of himself: “Who am I?” There is another question to ask that will help answer these questions, and that is: “How did I get here?”
Much of the world now believes we are the result of random cosmic events that have brought life to our bodies and reason to our minds. If that’s true, then who or what is to say who I am? And more to the point, it seems quite reasonable that I could choose a path that works for me, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
But what if we are made by another? What if we are made by one with a purpose and intent, and instilled with an image and a way of being that is by design? Now the game has changed considerably, because the story of our origin matters.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV 1984) 27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them
We are not an accident. More than that, humanity was created in the image of the living God. We are special – every man is special, and every woman is special – each bearing the image of the eternal God in the soul of their being.
We are made in the image of God; a God of holiness, righteousness, love, justice, mercy, zeal, wrath, grace and so many more attributes – each in the perfection of goodness. And God has a way for us to go.
Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV 1984) 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
God expects us to choose right and refuse the wrong. God has laid out a way for us to go because he knows how we are made, and he knows what is best for us.
As image bearers of God, we were made to live a specific way and we cannot change the rules as we go along AND please God. God allows us the freedom to choose how we live in this life, but we will also be held accountable for those choices. Deciding God does not exist does not change this.
And so, to our world today… The pressures of this world are saying we can define who we are, and we can live however we want. This has led to the redefinition of gender and sexuality, and it is being presented to each human being, young and old, as a viable choice with no consequences.
This is so challenging as fallen beings in a fallen world. There is no person that, in and of themselves, views the world as God intended and always acts as God intended. And yet God provided for our rescue through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. Our God is full of rich and abundant love. But embracing this means we decide to follow God’s plan, and God’s plan is for there to be male and female, and that each gender has a specific role that is well attested to in his word.
Specifically, we are looking at how we are made, as men and women. God never addresses the issue we are calling transgender in the Bible. But he repeatedly addresses specific commands and direction to men and to women. Here are some of those scriptures for you to read and ponder:
Genesis 2:24, Genesis 3:16-19, Proverbs 31:10-31, Matthew 19:4-6, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40, 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, Ephesians 5:22-25, Colossians 3:18-19, 1 Timothy 2:8-15, Titus 2:1-8, and 1 Peter 3:1-7
We won’t look at each one together, but let’s consider this one:
Genesis 1:27 (ESV) 27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God created men and women very clearly and precisely. He left no room for an in between or an alternative. What adds clarity to this is that he gave them specific instructions based on their gender. When you work through the above list you will see that God has clearly outlined roles and responsibilities based on one’s gender. The Bible assumes a direct link with how one is created physically and with one’s gender.
But what about those whose feelings seem at odds with their gender? The bible doesn’t address that specifically, but it does address what to do when our feelings don’t match up with God’s will for us.
Luke 9:23-24 (ESV) 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Jesus is clear that our lives are to be in conformity with his will. This is a challenge for every man and woman today. Because every man and woman has areas where they deeply desire to not deny themselves but to give into what feels good. Whether that is anger, gluttony, same-sex attraction, violence, lust, laziness, adultery, drug abuse, alcoholism, greed, the desire to live contrary to your God-given gender, and many more.
All these battles are real and need to be fought daily with faith, wisdom, fellowship, loving support, and reliance on God. We glorify God in the overcoming. We glorify God in resisting the world and the deceptions of Satan. We glorify God when we surrender our life to his guidance.
And to what end? To the end of loving God and looking forward to when all things will be made new. To the day when our sinful desires are banished and we can easily, freely and joyfully live as God intended. One of the hallmarks of the Christian is to look beyond his or her feelings and desires of today and instead look to what pleases God, with eyes fixed on our heavenly reward.
We all struggle with aligning ourselves with God’s perfect will for our lives. But that is where true happiness is found, and that is where true fellowship is forged. So, let us be that happy band that eagerly desires to follow God through thick and thin. That happy band that lovingly and honestly supports each other’s discipleship. That happy band that reaches out to everyone, no matter their challenges or sins. That happy band that helps the hurting around us. And that happy band that spends eternity in God’s holy, rich and satisfying fellowship.