For us to properly respect life we must ask: “Who am I?” The question “Who am I?” is a very important question for every human being to consider. It is difficult to overestimate how powerfully we are affected by the way we think about ourselves: our self-concept, our sense of personal identity. This has a huge impact on our view of life. The reason our nation has such a low view of life is their failure to understand who humans really are.
Scripture declared, “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27). The Bible affirms that we are made in God’s image. God is a personal being and so are we. We are not merely things, or even animals we are persons. The difference between us and the animals is not merely quantitative – it is qualitative. We do not merely have more cells than an animal, nor are we merely a more complex organism – we are of a different order of being altogether. Man has a soul and animals do not.
The difference between a human being and other beings in the world is vitally important. To murder a human being, for example, is a fundamentally different act than to take the life of an animal.
And surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it: and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man (Gen. 9:5-6).
This, incidentally, is why abortion and euthanasia is so wrong – it is the illicit taking of human life.
To say that we are persons created in God’s image is to say that we have personal worth. We are truly worth more than any of the lower creatures.
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they?
Again, we are worth more than animals because we were made in the image of God and possess a soul.
It is important to note also that God made us male and female – we are not just generic persons, we are men and women. It is an astonishing thing, really, to contemplate that God has made us to be persons like Himself with whom He can communicate and have fellowship. Since we have been created in God’s own image as personal beings, the central concern of our existence is our relationship to the God who created us.
This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Ecc. 12:13-14).
Because we are held accountable to the law of God we have a biblical obligation to preserve life.
Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
We have an obligation to preserve our body and the life and body of others because we are not our own – we are bought with a price.
The Psalmist declared,
Judge the poor and fatherless: Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the poor and needy: Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked (Ps. 82:3-4).
God’s moral principles never change We have an obligation to protect those in danger.
If thou faint in the day of adversity, Thy strength is small. Deliver them that are carried away unto death, And those that are ready to be slain see that thou hold back. If thou sayest, Behold, we knew not this; Doth not he that weigheth the hearts consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his work? (Pro. 24:10-12).
We have a moral obligation to “rescue” them who are in danger. Would you not say that abortion is danger to the unborn child and needs to be rescued?
We are not to have the attitude: “I know him not, he is no friend of mine; why should I trouble myself about him?” These principals of righteousness are brought forward in the New Testament – the Law has changed but the principals remains the same.
Because of the value of human life in the eyes of God we have an obligation to do what we can to show respect for life and teach others to have that same respect. For this reason we must oppose abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and any other evil that is a danger to life. Remember, “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27).