By Pastor Scott Osenbaugh
The Healing Place (Nashville Assembly of God)
In the original creation, according to the Old Testament book of Genesis, God created everything good — and man managed to mess it all up by blatantly and deliberately choosing to disobey. Sin polluted everything in all of creation, including human life. Evangelical Christians will generally agree that man’s sin-problem was the reason for God’s sending Jesus Christ as the answer, the solution to sin that was achieved through His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead.
So — what does this have to do with whether human life is sacred? Like everything that comes from Father God, life is given as a sacred gift. As a gift, then, there needs to be a right stewardship of that life; in other words, those who have life have an obligation to take care of it. Unfortunately, many people do not think life is anything more than an evolutionary incident with no lasting meaning beyond the present existence of whatever is alive. When I was much younger than I am today, one of the “mantras” of my generation was “party hard, die young, and leave a good looking corpse.” There was a disregard for the signature of God on life itself, a decided refusal to acknowledge that life is something more than evolving goo.
God regards all life as sacred, and that alone is perhaps why He warns of punishment on those who by their actions sully that life. Whereas the truth of salvation is truly prominent in the New Testament, there is a parallel track of warnings about the fate of those who take a dim view of the sacredness of life and warp it with their choice to involve themselves in sin. Isaac Newton’s law that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction is a scientific “discovery” of a Biblical truth much older than Newton. The Bible tells us that whatever a person sows (whatever choices a person makes in life), that is what will be reaped (the choices will dictate the outcome). Those who think life is no big deal and regard it with aloofness and destroy the sense of the sacred by their doing of evil will find there will be consequences for those actions. The gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ underscores God’s intention to maintain the sacredness, the holiness and the specialness of human life. But gifts can be rejected, and many do, for a variety of reasons. They may see some specialness or worth in human life but limit it to what a person can contribute to society.
Life is given as a sacred trust. God means for it to be understood as sacred and treated as such. Those who take the deaf ear to God will devalue life until it becomes more a matter of personal convenience or the so-called “quality of life”. The full-orbed understanding of life as God’s sacred gift comes only in relationship with Jesus Christ; everything else is just a desperate quest for survival.
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