The Core Sunday Gathering

September 25, 2011

Series: The Sexes
Week 2: Created Male and Female

This may be the closest to a 3-point sermon you’ll ever get from me - PASS OUT BIBLES

        -We’re going to look at how and why God created us male and female

        -And I believe the answer comes in three sections: one from Genesis 1, then Genesis 2, and then Genesis 3

1. ADJECTIVES AND NOUNS (Genesis 1)

         -How do we keep from putting these concepts of “male” and “female” into our little boxes?

        -One way is to take a second look at the way Genesis talks about the genders God created

                -Assign Scripture: Genesis 1:26-27

        -Male and Female he created them. What part of speech are the words Male and Female?

                -Are they adjectives or nouns? In English, could be either. In the Hebrew, they’re definitely adjectives.

                -Who cares, right? What’s the difference?

                -If you said “I’m thirsty” and I said “Hi, I’m Ryan.”

                        -That’s corny, right? So I’m corny. You’re thirsty and I’m corny.

                -These are adjectives, but I’m treating them like nouns. Are you getting this?

                        -“Male” and “Female” are adjectives in this verse, but we treat them like nouns here, don’t we?

                        -Is the important thing that God created one dude and one chick?

                        -Or is the point that he created Masculinity and Femininity?
-In the image of God he created them…
Masculine and Feminine he created them.

                -No matter how the cultural picture changes from one generation to the next, or one continent to the next

                -The concepts of Masculinity and Femininity are preserved.

                        -Why? Because culture changes, but hormones really don’t

                        -Testosterone will always result in some degree of masculinity

                        -Estrogen and Progesterone will always result in femininity.

        -Raise your hand if you have testosterone. Everyone go ahead and raise your hand.

                -Now keep it up if you have estrogen. We all have varying amounts of masculinity and femininity in our veins

        -We run into trouble when we expect Masculinity to be exemplified only by males, and Femininity only by females

        -If you don’t believe me, I can prove it to you.  PASS OUT BIBLES        

                -[SLIDE] MEN: Judging, Plotting, Competitiveness, War, Leadership, Physical Force

                                WOMEN: Romance, Mercy, Peacefulness, Strong Emotion, Poetry, Cooking

                                -Assign the following verses to six different groups

                                -Question: What attributes does your character exhibit?

                WOMEN:        Genesis 27:5-16 | Rebecca takes action to seize the birthright for Jacob

                                        Judges 4:4-9 | Deborah was Israel’s only female judge, and commanded the army

                                        Judges 4:17-22 | Jael assassinates the opposing army’s commander

                MEN:                Genesis 25:27-29 | Jacob the home-body  was favored by God over Esau the hunter

                                        Hosea 2:18-3:3 | Hosea loved his wife despite her prostitution, always calling her back

                                        1 Samuel 16:21-23, Psalm 38:1-8 | David the poet and psalmist

                -The men are going into the feminine column, and the women in the masculine column, right?

                        -Obviously there are many more examples of men acting masculine, and women acting feminine

                -But Does God only reward men when they act masculine?

                -Does God only reward women when they act feminine?

                        -Masculinity and Femininity are God’s priceless creation, but they are not divided neatly

                        -Each of us has some of both, and each of us has them in different proportions.

        

2. THE HELPER (Genesis 2)

        -But of course there’s more, because the creation story doesn’t end there.

        -Assign Scripture: Genesis 2:18-22 18

        -We run into trouble here, don’t we… when it says, twice, that God made woman to be a “helper”

                -Questions: What sort of occupations do you think of as being “helpers”?
                        -Secretaries? Nurses? Assistants? Interns?
All subordinate stuff?

                -I wouldn’t use the word “helper” to refer to my teacher, or coach, or trainer… but it would be true, wouldn’t it?

                        -Any good teacher, coach or trainer is there to help you. To be your helper.

                        -Which explains why the same word is used for the Holy Spirit.

                        -The Spirit is there to be our ‘Ezer. Our help in time of need

                        -You might recognize the word from “Eben-ezer” which means “Stone of help”

                        -Read Scripture: Exodus 18:4 The other was named Eliezer, for he said,

                                "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."

                        -In fact, Genesis 2 is the only place where “helper” refers to women, 

                                -and almost the only place it refers to humans at all. It’s almost always about God.

                -If women are created, in part, to help men, it is most definitely not a subordinate role, but an equal one.

                        -In this case, “partner” is a very appropriate word. “I will make a partner suitable for him.”

3. CHASING THE CURSE (GENESIS 3)

        -We have one more challenge in the creation story, and that comes in Genesis 3.

        -When Adam and Eve eat the fruit, and fall into sin

                -God gives each one of them a curse.

        -Obviously both curses suck, because curses are supposed to suck.

                -But if women seem to be more offended by their curse than men are.

                -Men are cursed to work and toil and bust their butts to put food on the table.

                -Women are cursed to suffer through childbearing, and always be drawn to a domineering husband

                        -This is what we call The FALL.

                -Because God is omnipotent, and in charge of everything

                        -We tend to see everything in scripture as God’s idea, and his ideal.

                        -If it is that way, it’s because he wanted it to be. But it’s actually not true.

        -What he did want is for us to have Free Will. He wanted us to be like his actual children.

                -And a good Father doesn’t exercise absolute control over his children’s lives, at least once they’re of age.

                -So that children will do bad things that the Father hates, or even good things the Father didn’t plan

                        -Because he gave them the strength and the ability to do both.

                -When God said that there were consequences for eating from the tree, the consequences were real

                        -Essentially, it meant that the Enemy got to take control of the earth. He would get to set the terms.

                        -In the curse, God was not stating his desire, he was reporting the reality.

                -“Hey Adam, this is what the enemy is going to make you do now.”

                -“Hey Eve, this is how hard the enemy is going to make your life. Because he’s in charge now.”

                        -Of course, God never leaves the throne, but at the fall, the world got a new manager. 

                        -And now they had to play by HIS RULES.

        -So things for Adam and Eve, after the fall, are about as awful as they can get. Because Satan’s fully in charge.

                -But their Father doesn’t lose a moment in chipping away at Satan’s armor

                -And you can read, little by little, as God takes away a piece of the enemy’s kingdom.

                        -First by punishing Cain, then by walking with Enoch, then Noah, then with the judgment at the flood…

                                -At first, everything fits the stereotypes of the curse, but little by little the curse erodes away…

                        -So that each time a man exhibits God’s compassion instead of vengeance

                        -And each time a woman forms a plan and takes action, each time she gains respect instead of oppression

                                -As far God leads them both…

                        -We move away from the curse and into the blessing… a little closer to Eden

                        -We take a step away from Kingdom of this world, and take a step toward the Kingdom of God.

                        -And living life the way our Father created it to be lived.