Sermons

God Who Makes the Broken Beautiful

Sun, May 12, 2019
Teacher: Tom Blackford
Duration:27 mins 36 secs

Message text

God Who Makes the Broken Beautiful
Genesis 1

INTRO:
Our sermon this morning is going to begin in the Old Testament Book of Genesis. This marvelous chapter is not just history, because it provides information concerning events that antedate all history. It is not myth, because it carries within it a credibility that never belonged to any myth. It is not science, because it deals with the beginning. It is INSPIRATION, a revelation from Almighty God Himself; and it is in this way that it is received and accepted.

Let’s start in Genesis chapter 1 and Verse 2. In the text we learn something about the way the world was before God began the process of creation. Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” This refers to the state of the earth in the first phase of its creation and the Hebrew words here indicate the primeval chaos. This is the way the world was at the very beginning. Here the Spirit of God is introduced and the NKJV says “was hovering over the face of the waters” . The Hebrew word we see as “hovering” or “moved” actually means to grow soft, to brood, to be moved or affected, especially with the feeling of tender love, hence to cherish.

You see the creative hand of God in the beginning; on the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day, the fifth day, and the sixth day. By the time you get to the end of Genesis chapter one verse thirty-one it says; “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

In the very beginning of the Bible we learn something about the power of our God.
God has the power to take things and circumstances that are in complete chaos and with His hand, with His power; He can make things out of that chaos that are absolutely beautiful and wonderful.

For a moment, I would just like us to think about His creation. Just think about it.
Think about the sunrises, the sun sets, the stars, and the moon. Think of the springtime when the flowers are coming out, and the autumn when leaves start changing. I don’t mind telling you, folks, it's a beautiful creation. That's something we can learn about the power of our God. He has the power to create things that are beautiful from a situation that's in utter chaos.

Let’s talk about the power of our God to take things that are broken, things that are in chaos, and with His hand make things that are beautiful. With that in mind, in this next example I would like to look at what we find in Matthew Chapter 1.

I. Matthew 1:1 says “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:”
A. Here in Matthew Chapter One is the genealogy of Jesus Christ and what we are going to do is look at the particular individuals within it to see what we can learn about some of these people. The first one I would like to look at with you is in verse three where it says: “Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.”
1. If you recall we read of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. Now Judah had wed a Canaanite named Shua. They had three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah.
2. When Er had grown Judah selected an Israelite named Tamar to be Er’s wife. God was displeased with the Israelites marrying the women of Canaan and the Lord prevented these three sons from receiving the birthright.
3. If you read the story of Judah and Tamar you find it was an incestuous relationship. The father-in-law has sexual relationships with his widowed daughter-in-law and they have twin sons. That’s pretty bad stuff, folks.
B. Going over to verse five; “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,”. We find Rahab in Joshua 2, she is described as the harlot that the spies Joshua sent out stayed with.
1. Rahab is the woman who sent the spies out safely and was allowed to live with her family as a consequence of that. Rahab was a Canaanite and she was a harlot.
2. We read in Joshua 6:25 that Rahab was saved from the destruction of Jericho. “And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father's household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.”
C. What about Ruth? Ruth was a Moabitess. The Moabites worshiped Temash as their god. The Moabites were very idolatrous people, so were the Canaanites. Rahab was a Canaanite, a Gentile. Ruth was a Moabite, a Gentile. Rahab was a prostitute. Tamar has an incestuous relationship with her father-in-law.
D. Let’s see if it gets any better as we continue in Matthew 1:6 – “and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.” Who is this who has been the wife of Uriah? We're talking about Bathsheba of course.
1. We are familiar with the story of David and Bathsheba, David commits adultery with Bathsheba and in trying to hide the adultery when she conceives, David maneuvers to have Uriah the Hittite killed.
2. The Bible is very straightforward in setting all this out. You have adultery, incest, prostitution, and idolatry.
E. Let's look at some of the men involved. Reading on in Matthew 1:7-10 – “7. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah.” Looking at verse 10 we may be wondering who are Manasseh and Amon?
1. Manasseh was the most wicked of all the kings of Judah. He re-instituted idol worship and reversed the religious changes made by his father Hezekiah. It was because of his sin in leading the children of Israel into idolatry to worship Bael and Astorof, Temash and Molach, that they were taken away into Babylonian captivity.
2. He is believed by just about all people who are familiar with the history of the Jews, to be the most wicked of all the kings.
II. What do we see in all this? Have you ever seen someone and thought why did God bless that person with children? Look at that individual look how terrible they are. Look at the life those children are being raised up in. Why is God allowing this situation to happen? What good can come from this? What good can come from an incestuous relationship? What good can come from a prostitute? What good can come from idolatry? What good can come from evil?
A. When you look at the genealogy of Jesus you're going to find a pretty bad group of people. A group of people that illustrates the world—but then the creative hand of God and the power of God shows in; Luke 2:10-14 – “10. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11. "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12. "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.'' 13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!''”
B. From all this mish mash of vulgarity and sin, when the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary who is a descendant of all these people, at the end of it what you have is the Christ child.
C. The point we see from all of this is that when the power of God comes into it He can take chaos, things that are broken, things that are ugly, and make things that are wonderful.
III. What if we were asked this question: In the big broad history of mankind, what do you consider to be our darkest hour, the lowest point in the entire history of mankind?
A. Certainly we can think of some pretty terrible things. The Nazis and the Holocaust were pretty terrible. In my lifetime what happened in Cambodia with over 2 million people being killed was terrible. The communist did a lot of terrible things, and more recently 9/11. But what do you consider to be the true lowest moment of mankind's history?
1. I would say it was when people took the blameless, Holy Son of God and murdered Him in cold blood and loved every minute of it.
2. I'm reading from Matthew 27:24-31 – “24. When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.'' 25. And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and on our children.'' 26. Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
B. I want to stop right there. We know the trial of Jesus was an absolute mockery of justice. He was found not guilty, not worthy of any punishment whatsoever time and time again. “I find no fault in this person”. Finally Pilate delivers Him over to be scourged.
1. We have probably all heard something about scourging. The Romans could care less about the forty stripes save one. They would beat you as close to death as they could, they would literally mutilate your legs and your back. Jesus was scourged.
2. After He was scourged continuing the text here: “27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 28. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!'' 30. Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31. Then when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.”
3. At the crucifixion of Jesus you see how low human beings can go. We're dealing with a man who is absolutely sinless and pure. He loves all of these people who are crucifying Him. He loves them with a perfect love and when He's on the cross He's praying; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.
4. When you look at the crowd surrounding the cross you see something almost like ravenous animals who love to torment, who love His pain, who love the torture and mocked Him saying; “let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.”
C. Yes, I believe what we see here in the crucifixion of Christ is how low we human beings can go, how vile, how vulgar, and how evil we can actually be.
1. The amazing thing is God has taken our darkest moment, the moment of our greatest shame as human beings, and turned it into the most wonderful, most beautiful, expression of love that has ever been.
2. In Romans 5:8 we read – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s amazing!
i. He has taken our ugliest moment and used it as a means of expressing His love for us because He allowed it to take place.
ii. He is using this moment as a sacrifice where Christ is allowing this to happen to Himself.
iii. He's allowing himself to be scourged.
iv. He's allowing them to beat him.
v. He's allowing them to pound the nails in His hands and feet.
vi. He's allowing them to torture Him on the cross – because He loves us.
D. There is no mistake, God Almighty is showing to all mankind in the loudest way possible, I love you, you are precious to Me and I want you to be with Me, to the point where I'm giving My Son to die for you.
1. He has taken our vilest ugliest moment and turned it into the most beautiful expression of love there is.
2. That's the power of our God. He has the power to take things that are ugly, vile, nasty and make them beautiful.
IV. The next example is found in First Timothy. In First Timothy we have a man named Saul of Tarsus talking about himself in verse 15. I Timothy 1:15 – “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” I want to stop right there. “He came into this world save sinners of who I am chief.”
A. Do you think Paul is just saying this? Is he just saying this for the sake of saying it? I don't believe so. I believe he's telling the truth. He's actually telling it the way it is.
B. This, the first great persecution against Christianity, was led by the Jews. Saul is involved in this first persecution against Christianity was not a bystander just observing it, though he held the coats when Stephen was stoned. When the primary persecution kicked in, in Acts Chapter 8 Saul was leading it.
1. He was leading the first persecution against the kingdom of our God and our savior here on this earth. When he says he was the chief of sinners, folks, he was.
2. When you think of this person, how do you think about him? How many of you think about him as Saul of Tarsus, as the chief of sinners? Or how many of him as the apostle Paul?
3. I know how I think about him as the apostle Paul. I stand back and I read about this man and I look at him with absolute awe. I think of him as being if not the most outstanding, certainly one of the most outstanding Christians that has ever lived upon the face of the earth.
4. Whenever I think of him I feel so small and weak and yet this man who became the great apostle Paul calls himself the chief of sinners.
C. He tells us why he obtained mercy. Look at this in the next verse. “However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
1. Look at this. Paul explains here why he, the chief of sinners, received mercy. It’s because there were going to be people in the future who coming into this world were going to sin.
2. I know there are people even today that say “I just can’t be a Christian, I can not live that way, I can not give up the sin I am in.
i. You just don't understand.
ii. You don't know what I'm involved in.
iii. You don't know where I've been.
iv. You don't know what I've done.
v. There's no way I can be a Christian. There's no way I can go to heaven.
3. It is for that reason we have the example of Paul. That's the reason God showed Paul, who was the chief of sinners, mercy.
4. For this reason I obtained mercy that in me first, Jesus Christ might show all long suffering. Jesus Christ did not give up on Paul even though Paul was in his own words, chief of sinners. You've hurt me but I'm putting up with you. I'm not giving up on you and you will be a pattern of those who are going to believe on Me for everlasting life.
5. The point of this folks, is it doesn't matter how terrible your sins are, it doesn't matter how many times you've committed them , you can even be the chief of sinners, and still be forgiven.
i. Though your sins be scarlet... you know the rest.
ii. They shall be as white as snow.
iii. They can be as red as crimson they shall be as wool.
iv. You can be forgiven.
D. That is the beauty of Christianity.
V. The next text I would like to look at with you is in First Corinthians chapter 6 beginning in verse 9. I Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”[NKV]
A. That sounds like a pretty unsavory list there to me, doesn’t it to you? The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, verbal abusers, swindlers, and then he says these individuals are not going to inherit the kingdom of God.
B. But notice the next verse. “And such were some of you.” Whoa, some of these who are now Christians practiced those things? “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
1. Some of them were homosexuals.
2. Some of them were idol worshipers.
3. Some of them were adulterers.
4. Some of them were drunkards.
5. Some of them were swindlers.
C. But when they obeyed the gospel, they were sanctified, they were washed of their sins, they were justified. Listen, folks, that involves everyone. Everyone can have that done for them.
1. It does not matter how terrible your life may be now, you can be justified, you can be forgiven, and have your sins washed away. You can be sanctified and set apart from the world.
2. You can be a Christian, an adopted son of the Father.
D. Let’s look now at II Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

CONCLUSION:
To summarize what we've looked at. In Genesis chapter one, in the beginning the earth was void without form, total, utter, chaos when the hand of God comes and turns it into what is very good. Ah, it’s beautiful.

When we look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ, we have Tamar and her incestuous relationship, we have Rahab a prostitute, we have Bathsheba in adultery, we have Manasseh leading the children of Israel into sin and at the end of it, when the hand of God comes into it, we have the Christ child.

The lowest moment of the history of mankind was when they took the son of God and murdered him and loved it. God has taken this lowest moment of our history and turned it into the most beautiful expression of love.

Look at the life of the apostle Paul who was the chief of sinners and when he submitted himself under the hand of God, turned from his sins, repented of them and was baptized – even though he was the chief of sinners, he was forgiven of those sins and he became the apostle Paul.

There were individuals in Corinth who were involved in all kinds of immorality but when they became Christians their sins were washed away and forgotten.

That is the beauty of Christianity. It doesn't matter what you were. It is what you are, what you are now in your relationship with God. You can be washed this very day of your sins. You can obey the gospel and be forgiven. You can be justified and sanctified.

In II Corinthians 5:17 “if anyone” (what do you get from that phrase “if anyone”?). What I get from it is anyone and that includes you and me. If anyone is to be in Christ you've got to leave the life of sin behind, repent of the life of sin, put off the old man, put on the new man, and be baptized into Christ. When you are in Christ he says you are a new creation.

You go from being an enemy who is separated from God by your sin to being a child of God. You go from someone who is alienated from God to being a Christian. You go from someone who is lost to someone who is saved. That is the beauty of Christianity.
If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. All the past life, all the sins you were involved in, they are gone. You can start fresh and clean.

We have a song that we sing that has to do with the idea that God is the potter and we are the clay. In that song we are asking Him to - mold me and make me after His will. That's what Christianity is. We recognize God as our Lord, and as our King.
We humble our self like a lump of clay under His hands and in obedient faith, allow Him, with His word, to mold us and to make us according to His will.

For any who are not yet a Christian, I would like to encourage you to quit being stubborn, quit fighting and resisting God and submit yourself like a lump of clay under the hand of God allowing Him to mold and make you according to His will. When He molds and makes you the end result is going to be beautiful.

The power of our God can take your broken life, He can take your life of chaos, your life of shame, your lowest moments, He can take all of that and be willing to forgive you of it and from then forward make you into a new creature, a new creation, a child of God.

There may be somebody here this morning who hasn’t obeyed the Gospel yet. As we learned from the text we just read “if anyone” means you, if the sin in your life is standing between you and God, and if it is not dealt with while you are alive you'll be forever separated from God.

If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God even though your sins may be as scarlet they can be white as snow if you are in Christ. The way you get in Christ is by openly confessing your faith, repenting of your sin, putting off the old man, putting on the new man, allowing the hand of God to mold and shape your heart and your life from now on and be baptized for the remission of your sins. The blood of Christ will cleanse you of all unrighteousness and you will be that new creation.

If you're a child of God already and there's sin separating you from God I would hope you would recognize that that needs to be dealt with. You cannot walk in darkness and expect to inherit eternal life. As we read earlier from Corinthians a long list of sins. He says that individuals who do these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. That also applies to the children of God.

If you live in sin you will not inherit the kingdom of God. Should that describe your life I would implore you and encourage you to repent of it.
Put it off.
Take it to God.
He is merciful.
He will forgive you.
We'll pray for you.
We'll pray with you.
We will do the best we can to encourage you.
If you're subject to the Gospel call in any way let it be made known while we stand and sing the song that has been selected.

Invitation song: ???

Reference sermon by: Wayne Fancher

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