It has now been 47 years since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s rights to abortion.
This is an important issue for Christians because the Bible gives clear teaching on the value of human life, as well as the dignity of humanity made in the image of God. God defines life, defends life, and judges life denied.
Let’s first look at human life defined. Where must we look for such a definition? Only in Scripture should the definition be found and it ought to bring us to our knees with amazement and praise. Consider the first chapter of Genesis, verses 26-27. We are image bearers of the Great Creator. We have the capacity to know things, to have morals, and to become holy, as Christ is holy as we live victoriously in the Spirit. And we are made princes over all God has made. (Psalm 8) We have been delegated the fine job of caring for his creation. The crown of God’s creation we are, and what a task we have! From long ago, God knew each of his own, and each is special. (Psalm 139) We live to “glorify and enjoy Him forever.”
Human life defended looks like this: God says that man made in his image is special. When God covenants with Noah after the flood has subsided, he says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” (Gen. 9:6) God takes seriously the taking of life that he created and blessed – the 6th commandment demands it. Murder to God is as if an artist hands you a gift, a piece of his own handiwork – and you ball it up and throw it in his face. Further in the Old Testament, God’s laws protect his people Israel from murderers. They must be purged from the community! (Deut. 19) A murderer must be put to death, Numbers 35 tells us, because one who commits such a crime against God’s creation pollutes the rest of Israel. Jesus, Paul, and James each quote the OT commandment, “Do not murder.” And so God defends human life with a heavy and strong fist. His most significant creation, man in his image, is protected by a dignity that no other part of his work was given. This is our great safety net – the image of God! Human life is sacred as defined by its author, it is to be protected above all else, and is only to be controlled by God. He gives life and takes it.
Human life denied is characterized by our society, politics, and the abortion industry. Yes, industry. Their definitions of life: “life is a choice,” “life is defined by quality,” “life is defined by each individual”, “an inconvenience or mistake.” And our culture throws God’s greatest piece of art back into his face and our net of safety is eroded. Without a view of the image of God in man, human life becomes irrelevant. RU-486, Abortion on Demand, Partial Birth Abortion, Euthanasia, Dr. Kevorkian, “pull the plug,” and the like. Man is redefining life. Man decides when life ends. But man too is quickly attempting to control when life begins, how the life is designed, and how to make a superman! And so we watch the sacred definition of life cheapened, and the safety net of man disappears more and more rapidly.
Take heed dear folks. Life is to be defined God’s way. The Psalmist writes, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (36:9) We live because God gave us life, we know because God is true light, and we live eternally and are forgiven of the most heinous sins – even abortion, through the Son of God, the Christ, who gave his life that we might have life.
Christian, live well with the dignity God has given you. Protect life, respect it, and do not weary in keeping true to God’s definition of life – for we “are fearfully and wonderfully made” by the God of Creation. (Psalm 139)