Summary: INTRODUCTION: Video: To Value Life = 1:57 (Found and purchased from Sermon Spice)
As we continue in our series explaining what we are FOR as a church we come to a very important and sometimes controversial subject. As a church we are FOR: LIFE. We wanted to talk about this because we believe it is a subject that is dear to our Lord and so must be to us as His followers. But I also want you to know that scheduling this part of our series, to talk about being for life, was not picked at random. For today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. We join this morning with literally hundreds of churches across America in upholding the value of all human life. The sermon in a sentence this morning is simply this: We believe every human being has value and dignity, and that all human life is precious to God.
That may sound simple, “Of course everyone has value and dignity,” and yet in our culture today, when you talk about being “for life,” it can be an emotional powder keg of a subject. Because while the principle may sound uncomplicated, the application can be enormously difficult, even to the point where our country has been torn apart by not just how we look at life but how we define killing.
Now some people will say the Church should stay away from controversial subjects. If you are one of those I would inform or remind you that one of our core beliefs as a church is we believe the Bible is God’s Word and must be communicated with doctrinal integrity and cultural relevance. In other words, when it comes to controversial subjects we must first, base our beliefs on what God says in His Word. When we find something that God stands for we must also stand for and be the conscience of the community. For if we, as God’s people, won’t stand up for His truth in the public square, who will?
Jesus said about those who follow Him in Matt 5:13-15: “You are the salt of the earth. If salt loses its taste, how can it be made to taste like salt again? You are the light of the world. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. They put it on a table so it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light shine in front of men.” (NIV) So we must be willing to be seasoning to our culture and shine the light of His word to those around us. Like the prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus we must have the courage to stand for God’s truth even if it goes against the grain of popular thought.
And we believe that God has something to say, through His Word, about the sanctity of human life. As faithful followers, the only way to know our position on topics, is to do our best to understand His position.
So, here’s my request of you: during this message, there’ll be your part and my part. For your part I would ask you to listen with an open mind and heart. And, if you hear something that makes you think differently that you will be open to acting differently. And here’s my part. My primary purpose in this message is not (please hear this) is not to try and change your mind. I don’t want to talk you into or out of anything. But I promise I will as faithfully as possible lay out God’s Word and if you’ll honor your part then I believe we’ll have both honored God and His Word.
So, let's look at being for life in three ways: 1) God’s is For Life. 2) God’s definition of Life, and 3) A Christian’s actions For Life.
I. GOD IS FOR LIFE:
The Christian faith is based on God’s worldview which is predicated on a set of non-negotiable truths. One of these is all human life is inherently valuable. Christ’s followers have acted upon this understanding of human dignity throughout history, whether contesting child abandonment, constructing hospitals, combating slavery, creating universities, crying out against human trafficking, protesting segregation or opposing abortion.
The powerful idea that every single person has inherent value is rooted in God’s very creation of the world, in the opening chapter of Genesis. When God created human beings, Gen 1:26 tells us God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” While there is much debate on what “image” actually refers to specifically, there is no debate that being created in God’s image means that every human being has dignity and worth, that God distinguished human beings from the rest of creation. And we learn very early on that killing innocent life, of someone made in His image, is unacceptable to God. When Cain murders his brother Able in Gen. 4 God makes it clear that the spilling of innocent blood is deplorable to Him. From initial creation to the initiation of the first nation (Israel), called God’s people, God has been for life. That’s why in the top ten commands from God to this new nation, we find the mandate: “You shall not murder.” (Ex. 20:13 NIV)