Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content


Home > Sermons

Humanity's Mission Statement

Humanity's nature and relationships are intended to be a visible expression of God.


If you have your Bible I'm going to read Genesis1:26-31. I want to read the events of the sixth day of creation as it is recorded for us here.

And then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." Then God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I will give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

This last week I bought a printer. I dutifully read the instruction manual before I installed it. It began with an introduction that had something like "Congratulations, you have just purchased a (manufacturer's name) printer." Underneath that was a black triangle with a white exclamation mark in it and thick black capital letters that said, "WARNING." Then it said this, "Instructions, if ignored, could result in death or serious personal injury caused by incorrect operation of the equipment."

So I took a deep breath; I didn't realize I was handling such potentially dangerous stuff. Underneath that warning was another black triangle with a white exclamation mark and another word in block capital letters that said, "CAUTION: Instructions, if ignored could result in personal injury or material damage."

Well, I was scared to read any further, but we needed the printer, so I did. I want to let you know that I installed it successfully and I'm still alive.

The reason I say that to you is because today I want to talk to you about the most important thing that you will ever possess: life itself. I want to talk about the creation of life.

Those of us who have had the privilege of witnessing the birth of a child—many of us as parents have seen our own children born. There will rarely be as exciting and thrilling a moment in your life as seeing this child who has been alive prior to birth, but dependent on its mother, become alive independently and begin to breathe. Every life is itself a wonderful creation.

But in the Genesis 1 account, on the sixth day God created human life as the pinnacle, the climax, the final event of his creation. To call it the pinnacle and the climax is not to devalue in any way any other aspects of creation. Plant life, fish life, bird life, animal life, which predated humanity—all of which God described as "good." But when he created human beings he described them as "very good" and he stopped creating. Enter the seventh day, which in Scripture continues, there remains the Sabbath day—we're told that in the book of Hebrews. God is not creating anymore in terms of anything original, out of nothing.

When God created human life a manual came with it, which has an introduction: Congratulations, you're alive! That's Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. Then it has a warning and a caution. If Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 tell us what the purpose of human life is, Genesis Chapter 3 tells us that if we ignore the instructions and the reason for our existence, we will bring death, damage, and distress. It takes the rest of the Bible from Genesis 3 on to put right the damage, death, and distress that comes in Genesis Chapter 3.

Mission statement of the human race

Now I want to look with you at part of this in Genesis 1. We could call Verses 26 to 28 the mission statement of the human race. Whatever your personal sense of purpose and reason for being is, it must fit the Maker's mission statement about you, and about me, and all humanity. Verse 27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'"

That mission statement of the human race basically is built around three things: it's built around righteousness first of all, when it says, "He made man in his image." The image of God in human beings is his moral character; it's his righteousness.

It's built around righteousness first of all; built around relationships, secondly.

"He made them male and female."

And it's built around responsibility, thirdly,

"Rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and every living creature that moves along the ground."

Your reason for being, my reason for being is built around righteousness, relationships, and responsibilities. One of those is a spiritual issue, one of those is a sexual issue, and one of those is a sovereignty issue, ruling over the earth. This arrangement God describes in Verse 31 as "very good."

Now all of this is in the context of an ideal world untainted by sin, greed, or selfishness. But then the warnings of Chapter 2 are ignored and the damage, distress, and greed all take place in Chapter 3 in the Fall.

I want to look at two of these issues. I want to look at the righteousness issue; what does it mean to be made in his image? Then I want to look at the relationship issue; what does it mean he created them male and female? These two issues are actually interdependent.

Righteousness: the Image of God

Let me talk first then about the righteousness issue. God created them in his image. That is the first thing he says about humanity. Verse 26, "Let us make man in our image and in our likeness."

I have called this the spiritual issue, the spiritual dimension because it connects directly and exclusively with God. If we don't understand what this means; we won't understand who we are and what our lives are about, because this is the defining mark of humanity.

Now of course theologians have long debated what exactly is meant by the "image of God" and there are a number of elements that are contained in that description. But to be simple this morning, we can work out essentially what this means by deduction.

What I mean by that is this: there are evidently some things that are true of God which are not true of human beings. In those senses we are clearly not in his image. These are the attributes of God we may call his incommunicable attributes. That is: he has not communicated them to anybody else. For instance, his omnipotence. God is all-powerful—we are not. We strut out our chests and act as though we might be sometimes but we're not. He is omnipresent. That means he is in all places at all times. We are not; we are localized. He is omniscient. That means he knows everything there is to know. We don't.

I heard about an advertisement for all 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica in a magazine once. It was for sale, almost new. Underneath it said: "Reason for sale: husband knows everything." Well, he doesn't. We don't share God's omniscience.

God is immutable. That means he does not change. We do change. We grow older and hopefully we grow wiser. But God is immutable. God is eternal. That means he has no beginning; He has no end. We of course have a beginning.

So there are clearly attributes that belong to God, which do not belong to human beings, and in those areas we are evidently not created in his image and likeness. But there are qualities and attributes true of God, which are intended to be true of human beings, and these are his moral attributes. We can call them his communicable attributes—ones that he communicated to human beings. For instance, "God is love," says Scripture, and human beings are designed to be loving. God is just and we are intended to act justly. God is merciful; we are intended to be merciful. God is kind and we are intended to be kind. All these things are summed up, when Paul wrote his letter to Romans, in the word righteousness—the righteousness of God or the moral attributes of God.

We were created to be a physical and visible images of the character of an invisible God. That is, if any part of creation wants to know what God is like, look at a human being. You will see it in the way they act, react, and behave, a reflection of his character. That's what image means. Image means you look at an image and you are reminded of the real thing.

Many years ago I was sitting in my office when I was in England and my secretary telephoned me and said, "There is a gentleman here who would like to see you. His name is so and so." I said, "Not so and so from such and such? She said, "Yes, that's where he is from." I said, "Oh I haven't seen him for at least fifteen years." She said, "That's what he just said to me. He's here with his wife." I said, "Look, I'm with somebody right now. Would you give them a cup of coffee and I'll be along in about ten minutes."

When I got there, I greeted my long lost friend and his wife. Then he said to me, "I didn't know you had a daughter." I said, "Well yes, I do, I have two daughters and a son. How do you know that I have a daughter?" He said, "Well, I was sitting here having a cup of coffee with my wife a few moments ago and a little girl came by (it was Hannah) and I said to my wife, 'Look at that, there's a little Charles Price with a dress on.'" Then he said this: "She is your image."

What did he mean? I mean fortunately for Hannah, she's grown out of that now, by the way, so don't insult her by reminding her of this conversation, but what he meant was, "When I looked at her, she reminded me of you." That's what image means. When human beings were created in God's image, we were created to be a visible expression of what God is like. But of course there is a problem, a big problem: we do not show what God is like because the result of Genesis Chapter 3 is, in the words of Paul in Romans Chapter 3: "There is none righteous, no not one."

If somebody came to you and said to you, "What is God like?" you would not say, "If you want to know what God is like, follow me around for a week. See the way I act and react, see the way I spend my money, the way I talk to people, the way I go about my business and at the end of this week you will know exactly what God is like." Would anybody dare say that to anybody else? No, of course you wouldn't. Why not? What are you saying? You are saying, "I'm a sinner." What is sin? Sin is coming short of the glory of God. The glory of God is his moral character. And we do not portray what God is like.

Of course the rest of the Bible story from Genesis 4 onwards is about a reclamation plan designed to bring us back to what we were supposed to be. We call it salvation and sanctification. One is an event; one is a process. Restoring the character of God into human experience is what the goal of the gospel is.

You see, the gospel is not in the first instance primarily about going somewhere, though we will go somewhere. It's about being something. About the life of God restored to human experience. As a result, the character of God is expressed through human experience and life and that is a process. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, "We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Notice the tense of that statement. He doesn't say "we have been transformed" in a past tense or "we will be transformed" in the future tense, but "we are being transformed" in the present continuous tense. That of course is the process of spiritual growth. When you and I grow in our Christian lives, that's the measure of our growth, that there's more evidence of his character than there was in the past. The measure of our spiritual growth is not that we know more of the Bible this year than last year. Or that we engage in more Christian service this year than last year. Or we go to more Christian events than we used to. It's that the way we live more quickly portrays what God is like—the way I as a husband treat my wife should remind her more quickly than it used to of what God is like. The way we as parents treat our kids—give them the freedom to go out into a dirty world, come back home and look into the face of mom and dad and say, "That's what's real, that's what's real."

That is a work of the Spirit of God within us. It's a process and you'll never reach it in this life. We will one day be glorified, is the word used—fully restored. In the meantime it's a process from one degree of glory to another into his image. We have come short of the glory of God; the reclamation process is one degree of glory to another, putting it back, until we express his image and likeness. That's the great thing about heaven. We will fully portray the image and character of God; we'll be like Christ. We won't be clones of Christ—you'll be you and I'll be me and we'll all be individuals. But morally our character will reflect his.

Relationship in need of reclamation

Now that's the first thing in the mission statement of the human race: "Let us make man in our image and our likeness." "Let's create a physical being that becomes a visible expression of what God is like." The second thing in this mission statement is the relationship issue. Verse 27, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

Let me just take a moment to explain an important piece of Hebrew linguistics that will help us understand what follows in these next couple of chapters. I don't read Hebrew myself so I'm giving to you what I have first received. But the Hebrew word for the human species is the word adam. Now we use it of course as the name of a person. But it is used three ways in the early parts of Genesis. It's used as a common noun, first of all, describing the human race. Most translations read Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our own image." Literally what it says is: "Let us make Adam in our own image."

Verse 27: "So God created man." Literally, "God created Adam"—and some of you will have margins in your Bible which explain that. In this sense, the name "Adam" is used as the common term for all of humanity. Hebrew has only two genders—masculine and feminine—it doesn't have a neuter, which means that everything is one or the other—masculine or feminine. Therefore the name Adam at this stage is not about being male; it's about being human. Perhaps it's clearer in Genesis 5:2, "He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, He called them (now the NIV I have puts in inverted commas: "he called them "man"—the margin says the Hebrew word is Adam, which it is.)

All translations have struggled over this. The New King James says, "He called them mankind." The New Living Bible says, "He called them human." The Revised Standard says, "He named them humankind." Only the King James says, "He called them Adam," which is literally the wording of the Hebrew.

So Adam is a common noun describing all humanity, first of all. Secondly it is used as a title when in Chapter 2:20, "So the man gave names to all the livestock," (the Adam gave names). It's a title of, in this case, Adam, who we subsequently know by that personal name. So it's used as a title. Again, the different translations are not sure what to do with this. Some use both, in Verse 20, "The man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable help was found." It's the same word—some translations put: "So Adam gave names. But for Adam no suitable help was found." Some say: "The man gave names. But for the man no suitable helper was found." But it really is a title; it's not a personal name.

The third use of this word "Adam" is as a personal name. But that doesn't occur until Chapter 4. In Chapter 4 it says, "Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain." This is now Adam as a personal name.

So the word "Adam" occurs with three meanings: it is a common noun meaning humanity, it is a title meaning "the man," it is also a name of the first created man, Adam.

Why do I take time to tell you all this, because it sounds a bit boring and I'm bored already and I'm talking. There is a reason and that is that our English reading of the text, where very often the word "man" is substituted for the word "Adam," may create the impression of male dominance over the female in these early chapters—that there is man, male, and then along comes a little helper called female.

Now people read it that way. But the point I am making to you is that is not the way it is to be read. You see in Genesis 1 and 2, male and female were equal in creation, commission, the righteousness that was to be theirs, in the relationship that was to be theirs, and in the responsibility of sovereignty that was to be theirs. When in Chapter 2 we have a more detailed version of the events of the sixth day and it says Adam was made from the dust of the ground (don't get big ideas about yourself, fellas!). That was man, male, the first one. "And then God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone.'"

So God made a helper for him. Now when it says God made a helper for him, this speaks of the interdependence of the two together, not of the priority of the male and the sort of supportive role of the female because she is described as "helper."

This word "helper" is a very important word to follow through. It occurs only nine times in the Old Testament. Twice it relates to Eve here in Genesis 2, being the helper of Adam. On every other occasion except once, it is used of God being the helper of his people.

For instance, Exodus 18:4, Moses named his second son Eliezer, for he said, "My father's God was my helper." The name Eliezer meant that "my father's God is my helper." In Deuteronomy 33:29 it speaks of: "The Lord is your shield and helper and your glorious sword." Psalm 10:14: "You are the helper of the fatherless." Psalm 27: "… You have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior." Psalm 118:7: "The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies." Hosea 13:9: "You are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against me, against your helper." (Speaking of God as the helper).

So please don't be tempted to relegate the use of this word "helper" to some kind of subordinate role unless you are willing to relegate God to some subordinate relationship with Israel. It's the same word, used only nine times in the whole of the Old Testament. What does it mean? Well it focuses on the indispensability of the female to the male, women to men, as it speaks of the indispensability of God to his people. "You are my helper—God, without you, we cannot function as we were designed to function." It has nothing to do with any kind of secondary role.

It's only when sin entered the world in Genesis Chapter 3 that there came a devastating effect on the relationships of men and women. In fact, the events of Chapter 3, the Fall in the Garden of Eden, cut right through the righteousness of God that was supposed to be evident in human experience—his image—and it cut right through the relationship of oneness between the male and the female.

We know that, and I am going to read you part of it in Genesis 3:12. Of course he didn't ask them what happened because he didn't know; he wanted them to acknowledge what had happened. "And the man said, 'The woman you put here with me—she gave me some of the fruit of the tree, and I ate it.'" In other words, "God please don't blame me. It was the woman and if that isn't enough to get me off the hook, it's the woman You put with me." John Piper, who is a highly respected expositor of Scripture, writes of this verse: "Here you have the beginning of all domestic violence, all wife-abuse, all rape, all sexual slurs, all the ways men belittle women whom God created in his own image."

Eve, of course, was no better. She blamed the serpent. "The serpent deceived me, and I ate," she said to God. God then pronounced a curse on the fallen man and the fallen woman that has to do with pain, sweat, and death. In other words, the result of the fall is going to be conflict between the sexes. To quote John Piper again, "There will be dominating men who will want to rule over you, as women, and there will be devious women who want to manipulate for their own ends."

I was listening to somebody on the radio the other day, driving home, on one of the Christian stations. It was a guy talking about marriage and he quoted this verse as being how God ordained things ("Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you."). He said, "Women, I don't like it either but that's what God said." He simply had not read the context. That is the curse that God brought as a result of sin; it's not God's intent—it's the consequence.

Because the consequence of separating ourselves from God is very simply this: the rule of the jungle, the law of the jungle takes over. When the law of the jungle takes over, you can be absolutely sure of this: you will have racism, when one race considers itself superior and better and better managed, better organized to dominate the rest. Colonialism was part of what that was about, slavery is part of what that was about. Not only have we got racism but we have sexism and we see it in our society today. We see prejudice; we see an inferior regard for some people on the grounds of gender alone.

That's why this reclamation process includes the reclamation of the equality and dignity that God gave to men and women in creation. This salvation and sanctification involves: men, how you treat women. It involves: women, how you treat men. The gospel reconciles us to God, the righteousness element; and it restores the oneness that is intended to exist between the male and female. That's why in Galatians 3:27, 28 Paul writing there to the Christian church in Galatia. He said, "All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

Here is the result: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." That doesn't mean of course that there are not distinctions between the Jew and the Greek—there are. It does not mean there are not distinctions between the slave and the free, the master and the servant; of course there are. It doesn't mean there are not distinctions between the male and the female—there are. But do not in any sense begin to regard one as more significant or less significant; you are one. Now he says, this is part of the gospel.

The reason why he said that to the Galatians: because they weren't getting it. They were still looking down their noses at the Gentiles. The whole controversy Paul addresses there was the elitism of the Jewish people. He says, "You are one. Quit these artificial distinctions now—in Christ; it's a new era. Quit these distinctions that have male and female as secondary or of separate value."

When there is a reversal to the law of the jungle, these things do dominate. When Peter wrote 1 Peter 3:7 he said, "Husbands … be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner." I suggest what he means by that is the easier one to exploit—women, with their nurturing and emotional make-up are easier for men to exploit and abuse if they choose to do so. Peter says, "Husbands, be considerate to your wives, treat them with respect as the weaker partner as heirs with you (the King James says, "heirs together with you") of the gracious gift of life." Outside of Christ there are differences that maybe people live by, and certainly in that culture they did. But now you are in Christ, he says, you've got to get this right.

It is, I think, somewhat to our shame that the Christian church has not always been the first to model this. We often have tagged along behind the world on these things. You know we weren't very quick to condemn slavery. We rejoice in people like William Wilberforce whose 200th anniversary of his passing a bill making slavery illegal in the British empire is coming up fairly soon. But there were many, many Christians who actually endorsed slavery. I actually have an article at home which was first printed in the 18th Century justifying slavery from Scripture as being part of God's order for humankind, that we're broken up into different groups and classes. It shows how that Abraham had slaves and so on, and right through to Paul sending Onesimus, a run-away slave, back to his master Philemon, and saying, "go back and work well for your master." What he doesn't say of course, he said to Philemon, "Philemon, you'd better treat this guy well. You're a Christian; treat him like you'd treat me. Don't put him in the dog's kennel like you might have done in the past. Treat him the way you treat me." They left that bit out. What they also missed out was that when Paul listed those who would not inherit the kingdom of God, amongst them was slave traders.

But we've been slow historically to latch onto it because the prevailing culture made it comfortable for those who had the power—and it's only those who have the power who make these things happen. Those who had the power, prevailing culture said, it's okay, it's very convenient to have slavery. Same with racism. I was talking only yesterday to a man known to most of you who was telling me about the school his kids had been to in the States where he lives. He said, actually the root of the school was—it was a private Christian school—he said it began when segregation was enforced, in order to create a white-only school. That was 40 years ago—that's all.

We have been slow to latch onto this. Sometimes the most segregated area has been Sunday morning in churches. That's what I love about this church; I love the rainbow, as Michael Cassidy from South Africa called it when he came here to speak one day. He said, "You have a rainbow congregation." He said, "We would give anything for this in South Africa." Of course they do have that now in South Africa.

But sometimes within the church we have been perpetuators of the subjugation of the female, rather than the equality and dignity and shared righteousness, responsibility, and relationship that was given to us in creation. I know the world has fallen, I know we are prejudiced by nature—we have preferences over things that are convenient. We've got to get hold of this. Sometimes I've got to hold a bull by its horns and say, "I've got to do something about this in my own life," if this is an area of problem.

Sanctification of relationships

You see, the righteousness of God element and the relationship element of male and female are interconnected because, if you read Genesis 1, you will notice it is when you get to Verse 26 and the creation of human beings that God suddenly becomes plural in his language. "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule" … etc.

God is both singular—there is one God—but he is three: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I think it is significant that when God speaks of creating the human being in his image, he speaks for the first time in the plural, because the relationships—male and female—reflect the Trinitarian relationships of the Father, Son, and Spirit. That God, pre-existent to time, pre-existent to the creation of the world, was in a love relationship with the Trinity. The Trinity was in a love relationship with each other. God is love and in creating human beings, he created them in such a way as to reflect that.

Now this is why in the New Testament, when Paul talks about marriage he says, there's a mystery about marriage. The mystery is: it's a picture of our relationship with God. Let me read to you what he says. Ephesians Chapter 5 quotes Genesis 2:24 where it says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

That was a very interesting thing for God to have said in the Garden of Eden. I mean, when he arranged for Adam and Eve to marry, so to speak, there wasn't a lot of choice for them. When God said, "Let a man leave his father and mother," I imagine Adam said, "Excuse me God, what is a father and a mother?" I'm sure God said, "Just wait and you'll find out."

But marriage is a creation ordinance; it is not a Christian ordinance, something that belongs to the church and the kind of state has taken it over. It's the other way around actually; it belongs to the state. It's a creation of ordinance. God ordained marriage right from the very beginning. Actually it wasn't until the 11th Century that the churches started marrying people, because it was not a Christian ordinance as such. But we do that now and we enjoy doing that because we have good meals after it, so we do it.

But when Paul talks about marriage he says, "This is a profound mystery and I'm talking about Christ and the church." Now some people say, "Is he using marriage as a picture of the Christian life or is he using the Christian life as a picture of marriage?" Well the point is, he says there's a mystery here so let's not try to fathom it all out but what happens between a male and a female in marriage is a mysterious portrayal to us of what the relationship of Christ and his church is. But I'm pointing that out because we cannot read Genesis without going through to Christ, the work of Christ, the purpose of Christ, to find what the remedy is.

I'm talking about marriage here and there are many of us here who are single, but this extends beyond simply the relationship of male and female in marriage; it extends to the relationship of male and female in every area of life. Fathers, how do you treat your daughters? Do you somehow have a better plan for your sons—more significant?

One of the things we are trying to do in India is to help care for orphaned girls because it is relatively easy to find a home for an orphaned boy but next to impossible to find a home for an orphaned girl—people don't want them. So one of the things we are trying to do is to help Christians open their homes to fatherless and motherless girls.

It's the way we treat people in the workplace. You men who have some position in the workplace, how do you treat the women? You see we're in a fallen world but you and I who are Christians are the ones who know better, that there is a way back to the original mission statement, as we allow Christ in us to give us not only that righteousness that reveals his character but those qualities of mutual respect, trust, affirmation, and love across the sexes.

This is not something additional to the gospel. The gospel is rectifying the Fall. It's part of the gospel. You know when a man and a woman has really got hold of the gospel of Jesus Christ—not because they tell you they are going to heaven when they die (thank God for that) but because they treat their wives differently and their attitude towards gender issues is one that reflects God's purpose and intention.

The reclamation process is called salvation. That's the moment's event when you come in acknowledgement of your need of God and your confession of your sin and your failure; you are forgiven and indwelt by him. Then sanctification: a lifelong process begins.


I want to ask you this morning—if you are not a Christian by the way, you need to be one because you can never be what you were created to be without Christ in your life. But if you are one, how's the sanctification of your marriage going? Can I ask you that? How's the sanctification of your relationship with your children, with the opposite gender at work? This is what God intends to do, if we're really going to be his people. People are going to walk into a place like this; they are going to meet people like you and me. No matter what their race, their gender, their class in life—whether slave or free, male or female, Jew or Gentile—all those are encompassed there. We are not playing the law of the jungle; we're getting back into God's intended norm of respect, love, and equality.

By the way, I am tired of hearing people quote Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, submit to your husbands." Because that is a misquote. Scripture has to be quoted in its context and the sentence before says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Then he talks about the relationship of wives and husbands—how wives submit to their husbands and how husbands submit to their wives. Then he talks about the relationship with parents and children, how parents: submit to your children—don't exasperate them, how children submit to their parents: obey them. How employers relate to employees and submit to them and how employees submit to employers. It's called masters and slaves in the context of the day—that is it's meaning—employers submit to the needs in your employees, and vice versa.

Don't ever quote Verse 22—especially men—to your wife. I talked to somebody last week and she said, "That's my husband's favorite verse." Listen, you laugh. People are broken by this.

Two people walked out of this church when we had women serve communion. Can you believe it? The utter arrogance? The ungodly view of each other? Let's repent of this. Let's repent corporately of this attitude. Let's repent of our male chauvinism and our racism where it exists and our sticking our heads in the air as though we're better than somebody else, wherever it may exist.

The lady who told me, "That's my husband's favorite verse," he was destroying her utterly, out of context, as a weapon to hit her over the head: "You submit to me." What utter unbiblical nonsense. Husbands, you submit to your wife first and then you can look at that verse, "Submit to one another out of love for Christ." How do you do that? You love her. That's what he goes on to say. Care for her, look after her, release her; free her up to be the woman that God intends her to be. Not to be simply your backing track.

I'm just telling you the Word of God; this has nothing to do with anybody's opinion. This is the Word of God. It's what the gospel includes, because it is what the intention of the Creator was in the beginning. It had to do with righteousness, relationship, and responsibility. It was spiritual, it was sexual; it was to do with sovereignty. And some of us are missing the boat.

Charles Price is the Senior Pastor of The Peoples Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the founder of Living Truth, an international teaching and preaching ministry.

Related sermons

Working Out the Working In

How the church displays what God is doing in its midst

Expect God's Visitation

God visits to test, punish, and bless his children.
Sermon Outline:


I. Mission statement of the human race

II. Righteousness: the Image of God

III. Relationship in need of reclamation

IV. Sanctification of relationships