• Gilmer Campus
  • Spring Hill Campus

Gilmer Campus

At New Beginnings Church you will discover a warm group of real people dedicated to following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Worship Info

8:00 a.m. | 9:30 a.m. | 11 a.m.

Address

1977 State Hwy 155 N, Gilmer, TX US 75644

Spring Hill Campus

Campus Info           Messages           Events

At New Beginnings Church you will discover a warm group of real people dedicated to following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Worship Info

9:30 a.m. | 11 a.m.

Address

2137 E. George Richey Rd,, Longview, TX US 75604

Gilmer Campus

At New Beginnings Church you will discover a warm group of real people dedicated to following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Worship Info

8:00 a.m. | 9:30 a.m. | 11 a.m.

Address

1977 State Hwy 155 N, Gilmer, TX US 75644

Spring Hill Campus

At New Beginnings Church you will discover a warm group of real people dedicated to following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Campus Info           Messages           Events

Worship Info

9:30 a.m. | 11 a.m.

Address

2137 E. George Richey Rd,, Longview, TX US 75604

The Pastor's Blog

Humanity Distorted ,Not Destroyed

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Distorted, Not Destroyed – HUMANITY (1/25/15)     

       Humanity was created in God’s image to glorify Him uniquely in creation. We were created to display His worth and glory as His representatives and steward His creation. This purpose and position gives humans infinite value and the highest dignity. And this value and dignity isn’t earned by things like our accomplishments, what race we are, what gender we are, or how we look. Rather, it is simply a part of what it means to be created in God’s image. So, if all humans are created in the image of God, then how do we explain the unimaginable pain, evil, and injustice involved in the human experience?

RESPONSIBILITY

In Genesis 2:16-17, God gave man a simple command to not eat of one particular tree in the Garden. Everything else was theirs, but God reserved this one tree for Himself. A little while later, Genesis 3 tells us that Humanity is deceived by the serpent and begins to desire what was forbidden. They want to be equal with the creator—setting their own boundaries and questioning His goodness—rather than walk in submission to Him. So, humanity rebels—committing high treason against the Creator and King!

DISTORTIONS

Humanity’s purpose was to know God and to be a reflection of God’s glory. This was lost in an instant. The consequences of humanity’s rebellion against their creator caused physical and spiritual death. While we were created for right relationship with God, ourselves, others, and creation, each one of those dimensions was broken and fractured by our sin. We now have a distorted relationship with:

• God – We were created to be in relationship to Him and worship Him with all of our thoughts, desires, words, and actions. But this is no longer the default position of humanity’s heart.

• Self – Instead of finding our value and worth in God, we look anywhere else. We have become self-absorbed, but still long for wholeness.

• Others – Instead loving and serving one another in healthy community, we use and abuse one another for our own purposes.

• Creation – We don’t steward and cultivate creation the way we were meant to. Instead, we use any aspect of creation we want to for our own purposes rather than for glorifying God.

Without proper understanding and reverence for the image of God in others, we see horrible things take place:

• Human Trafficking (Modern Day Slavery): “Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labor and sex trafficking.”

o 27 million globally are victims – more humans are slaves now than at any other point in history o It is the second largest criminal activity globally

 o Every 3 seconds someone becomes a victim of the slave trafficking industry

o Approximately 80% of victims are female, with 50% of victims being children

o The average age is 12

o 79% of all human trafficking is for sexual exploitation (Women and children)

• Racism and Prejudice:

Hatred and the mistreatment of an individual because of race, ethnicity, or economic status is a global problem.

o According to a new study, more than 250,000 Americans over the age of 12 are victimized every year by hate criminals. 48.3% of these crimes are racially motivated.

o There are 939 active hate groups in the United States - a 56% increase since 2000

o A poll from 2012 revealed that 51% of Americans expressed anti-black sentiments; a 3% increase from 2008.

o A survey in 2011 revealed that 52% of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes.

• Abortion:

The systematic eradication of humans in the womb after conception by the biological parents or national government o Worldwide issue (Govt. enforced in places like China) o In the U.S. there are approximately 1.2 million abortions annually o 97-99% of U.S. abortions occur over convenience (The mother’s life would be interrupted or inconvenienced).

• Orphans:

Children without parents or a home o Affects approximately 150,000,000 to 200,000,000 children worldwide

o 5,760 children become orphans daily o More than 8,000,000 children live in institutionalized care

o Annually: 14,505,000 children grow up as orphans and age out of their care system by age sixteen (38,493 orphans age out daily)

o Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home. Studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen.

o Studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals

o Another study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years

o Average cost for an adoption is approximately $40,000, while the average cost of an abortion is approximately $400 (one child adopted for every 100 children killed)

NOT DESTROYED

Without question, humanity is distorted. However, the image of God is not destroyed in us by sin. There is hope. The Gospel is about the recovery of God’s image in us and the restoration of creation. God promised a “Creation Rescue” mission, even after we rebelled against Him and continue to defame His image in countless ways. There is hope, and His name is Jesus.

John 3.16-17: “For God so loved the world (distorted, broken, humanity), that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” Jesus came into our brokenness to redeem it and offer healing to anyone who would choose Him!

Posted by Todd Kaunitz with

Humanity Imago Dei

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While all things are created for the Glory of God, there is something distinct about the design of humanity that sets us apart from the rest of creation. We were created for a relationship with God that is special and unique, and we are meant to display God’s glory in creation like little pictures. Being created in this way is referred to as the doctrine of Imago Dei – The Image of God.

DISTINCTIONS

Humanity is special and unique in creation. When God created us in in His image in Genesis 1 and 2, He made us distinct in our:

· Order - On the 6th and final day of creation, God fashions mankind as the crown jewel of all He made. Until this point, creation was “good.” But when God made us, it was “very good.”

· Method - God spoke everything else into existence, but He personally used His hands to shape mankind and demonstrates an intimate, personal relationship with them, and care for them (Gen. 1:26).

· Position & Calling - God gives humanity the position of dominion over creation and the calling to steward it. We are not to dominate or destroy creation, but to care for it and cultivate the earth (Gen. 1:28-29).

· Morality - Humanity is given a distinct command that the rest of creation isnt given (Gen. 2:16-17). Humanity is given a unique moral compass from the rest of creation: the ability to choose right and wrong.

· Design - We are uniquely created in the Image of God (Imago Dei). We are not God, but we were created to reflect Him (kind of like little mirrors) and to represent Him in creation.

INTRINSIC VALUE & IMPLICATIONS

There is a dignity all humanity deserves, not because we earn it or worked for it or come from a certain place or look a certain way, but because of whose image we all bear. We don't get to “decide” whether someone has value and deserves dignity--everyone does! This issue of being made in the image of God has massive personal and social implications:

· Individually - The doctrine of Imago Dei should change the way we approach self-worth and value. It directly informs how we see ourselves and others, and puts all on equal grounds no matter the circumstances. We have value and worth that is not dependent upon what we do or don't do, but upon whose image we bear.

· Socially - The doctrine of Imago Dei should change the way we approach social and political issues because they are theological issues first. We must protect and value human life in every form--from the womb to the grave. We must value and serve others who do not look like us or act like us; if we don't, it is a sin and shows hostility towards the image of God. We must love and fight for those who cannot protect themselves and are dehumanized for the pleasure of others.

FREEDOM & REPENTANCE

If you are dealing with issues of self-esteem and self-value, the doctrine of the Imago Dei is freeing—your value is found in whose image you bear! If you have contemplated something like abortion, or even gone through with it, there is hope and healing. If you have prejudices against any of your fellow human beings—God is graciously calling you to repentance and to value His image in others. If you have ignored or disregarded the poor and needy around you—God is calling you to repent and to take notice.

Posted by Todd Kaunitz with

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