Summary: The Sanctity of Life: Is life God created, Is life God valued, and Is life God redeemed? A scriptural look at the issue of life. Questions deal with "Who is a human being?" and "Who gets to determine when life starts and stops. What do we do with this
Title: A Voice for Life 01/22/12
Text: Psalm 139:13-18
Purpose: Sanctity of Life sermon
A. Describe the birth of daughters, standing there cutting the umbilical cord
B. Describe holding a baby in my hand as it was born premature
C. Describe the sanctity of life
There is probably no other issue that divides Americans, than this issue over life.
• Political elections have been won and lost on the issue
• Families have suffered through it
• Friends have been divided over it
• Even the church has been dragged into it
And it typically revolves around one question:
Question: Who or what is a human being?
TEXT: Psalm 139:13-18
I chose this text because it states right from the very beginning that God had a hand in forming you and me.
It wasn’t by chance you have become a living being, but a plan and a purpose. While it may have been conceived in various ways, each life has purpose and value.
Question: What is a human being? (When does personhood begin?)
There are two very different answers
1. Bible: says we are creatures that God made especially in his image. Jesus says that we are of much more value than the birds of the air.
2. Rather complex: It says that we are here more by random chance than creative design. That we evolved more from primates than the hand of God. That just the right mix of molecules and chemicals had to come together, than a purposeful plan of God.
How we answer this question will determine what we are willing to do to each other.
Again, I’m fully aware of the arguments and stances that have driven our social culture. But for the Christian, it will be imperative that we start with Scripture.
Question #2: Who gets to determine when life starts and when life stops. Who gets to determine what we do with this life, either at the beginning, during, or at the end.
I. Question: Is life God created?
We have to start with the premise of God’s word. Is God’s Word, God’s Word to us? For the Christian, as in the Bible, God begins with the premise that God is.
Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God…” It doesn’t try to defend God, or prove God, it just starts with, “In the beginning, God.”
For the Christian then, we hold that Scripture is the authoritative word of God. It’s OUR starting point. (It’s a whole other sermon about the authoritative word) but for right now, we will hold that God’s word is the authority on how we should live our lives in Christ.
A. Genesis 1:27 “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
1. What does this tell us?
a. That we are made in the image of God
i. Now that is not to mean that we have hands, and feet, and eyes like God, because God is a spirit.
ii. So what is it that we are created in his image? (1)
We can reason
- We use our brains for more than hunting for food, socializing, preserving and reproducing ourselves.
- We can contemplate our own existence in the world and plan our future
We have a social ability
- We use our higher thinking and communication skills to relate with other people and with God.
- We love them and give ourselves in service to them.
We have a moral ability
- Our conscience makes us aware of right and wrong
- A moral imperative created within us by God gives us a nudge in the direction of right
We have a creative ability
- We can’t speak things into existence like God can, but we can imagine things in our minds and fashion them out of raw materials.
We have responsibility as God does
- He makes us caretakers of creation, our families, and each other
We have a soul
- Beyond our physical, psychological and emotional features lie our spiritual nature
- We have a never dying soul that will live throughout eternity
So not only did he create us in his image, but…
b. It also tells us that he made us different from one another.
i. “he created them male and female”
ii. While we are all created in HIS image, we are not created in each other’s image.
iii. You are a product of your parents
B. Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”
a. The Hebrew verb for “formed” is commonly used of the work of a potter with clay. (2)