Sermons

Summary: Human life and only human life is created in the image of God

This is us: Cherishing Human Life.

1. Human life and only human life is created in the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27

God recognizes the personhood of the preborn. Jeremiah 1:5; Ps. 139

God has a special place in His heart for the immigrant. Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33; Malachi 3:5; Ruth,

Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 2:11; Philippians 3:30

Special provision:

Special care:

Special identity:

Racism & prejudice of any kind and in any amount is counter to the gospel.

Galatians 3:28; Philippians 2:3-4; Revelation 7:9

We are a troubled world, aren’t we? Genocide in Syria. Homelessness in America. Neo Nazi and white supremicists. Black Lives matter. 1 million preborn babies aborted every year legally. It’s a mess. So what is the biblical view, the Christian view of these matters? Many people claim these are complicated issues. They are not; at least for the person who takes the Bible and the God of the Bible seriously. From the 1st chapters of the Old Testament to the last chapters of Revelation, the value of human life is extolled throughout.

My message has one, and one only point:

1. Human life and only human life is created in the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.”

What’s interesting is that the rest of creation Genesis says that God bara, created it; that is He is the one who brought it to pass. But in v.26 it says the text uses the word asah, not bara, which means to fashion or shape. While God spoke the rest of creation into existence, ex nihlo, from nothing, when He came to creating humans, the picture gets personal, down and dirty, as if God got down on his knees in the dirt and with His own hands fashioned and shaped Adam.

What does it mean that He fashioned and shaped us in His own image? The imago dei, the image of God?

Generally ‘image’ means at least 3 realities: (build)

That we bear the essence of God in terms of rationality and cognitive capacity.

That we bear the essence of God in terms of emotions and capacity for relationships.

That we bear the essence of God in terms of reigning and ruling.

Now remember, just because we bear God’s likeness does not make us God, right? The mountains (pic) are majestic and God is majestic, but that doesn’t mean the mountains are God. The sun (pic) of our solar system is radiant, but that doesn’t mean that the sun is God. You bear the image of God in that you have cognitive capacity and rationality, you bear the image of God in that you have emotions and the capacity for relationships, you bear the image of God in that you are equipped to reign and rule over the rest of creation—but you’re not God. Say to the person next to you, “You’re not God!”

This goes for EVERY human being: black, brown, red, yellow, gay, straight, liberal, conservative, republican, democrat, citizen, immigrant, employed, homeless, Christian, non-Christian, Muslim terrorist or NFL referee. Each and every human being is created in the image of God.

Our secular society, many of those in government and education and science, will try to convince you that what I’ve just said is a bunch of hooey. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sees little, if any, difference between a dog and a human.

Right at the beginning of holy writ is this fundamental, immovable truth: Human life and only human life is created in the image of God.

So if you really believe that, and I pray you do, then what are the implications and applications of that fundamental, immovable truth?

• God recognizes the personhood of the preborn. Jeremiah 1:5; Ps. 139

God speaking to Jeremiah the prophet: “I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned

before a single one of them began.” Psalms 139:13, 16

Science continues to move the dial back toward conception for what it considers viability and personhood….pain threshold, brainwaves, heartbeat, etc.

Pain receptors are present throughout the unborn child’s entire body by no later than 16 weeks after fertilization, and nerves link these receptors to the brain’s thalamus and subcortical plate by no later than 20 weeks. For unborn children, says Dr. Paul Ranalli, a neurologist at the University of Toronto, 20 weeks is a “uniquely vulnerable time, since the pain system is fully established, yet the higher level pain-modifying system has barely begun to develop.” As a result, unborn babies at this age probably feel pain more intensely than adults.” Doctors on Fetal Pain

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