Scriptures

The Sacredness Of Life

Introduction

Like most people in the world, Christians see life as very precious but fleeting, life is also sacred for the Christian because we understand that life is a gift from God, where we live holy lives, set apart for God who is the giver of life.

Although the evolutionists would have us believe we’re nothing more than sophisticated pond germs, Christians understand that unlike the animals of the world, they share in the nature of God. Genesis 1:26-27 / Genesis 2:7.

Only humans are created in His image, only humans have a soul, spirit and body, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. A soul is something which animals don’t have; therefore, humans are very special, they are sacred. God didn’t create us for the fun of it, He created us personally as individuals, with a purpose. Psalm 139:13-16.

Although animals deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, it’s only humans who have souls and made in God’s image. God knows every human being who’s ever lived, who’s living now and those yet to be born, he knows every hair on our heads, Matthew 10:30, and God has a plan for every single person.

Whoever God creates, He loves, and there’s not a person on this planet He doesn’t love, John 3:16. He loves the newborn baby, He loves the elderly, and everyone in between, He loves the healthy and the sick, the rich and the poor. If we believe we’re to treat the animals with kindness and respect, how much more kindness and respect should we show to all human life?

When we understand how sacred life is, not only our own lives but also other people’s lives, we begin to understand the huge responsibility we have towards each other and more importantly we understand how much of a responsibility we have to look after our own lives. We all have the responsibility to look after ourselves and treat our lives with the respect our lives deserve. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Christians especially have a duty to look after themselves, they have a duty to take care of their bodies because they understand that the Holy Spirit resides within them, their bodies are holy because God is holy, 1 Peter 1:16. Wasting our lives on drugs, alcohol and overeating is really disrespectful towards God who gave us the gift of life in the first place.

Humans are so sacred to God, even His own Son, taught us over and over again about the importance of treating each other properly, with respect and worth. Mark 12:31 / John 13:34.

Life, human life is so precious to God and should be precious to all human beings, whatever their age, wherever they’re from, their class, colour or gender. In a world where murder, abuse, kidnapping, wars and torture are commonplace, it’s difficult to see the sacredness of life. Maybe if people started looking at each as created beings, created in the image of God, they would have a lot more respect for each other!

Let’s go ahead and try and understand two of the most debated subjects which many Christians are facing today when it comes to the sacredness of life, abortion and euthanasia.

Note

The subjects of abortion and euthanasia are probably the most debated subjects in the Christian world today, for some Christians these seem to be the most important subjects but for other Christians, they try to avoid the subjects like the plague. I must say I can understand why, because they are so personal, so sensitive and they are highly emotional subjects.

Abortion

The subject of abortion has been spoken about for many years now, it was once classed as illegal, but it now seems that more and more countries are striving to make it legal. It’s becoming more and more of an issue these days and Christians should be concerned about it because whether we accept it or not, we’re speaking about a human life.

Those Christians who work in the medical sector really have their moral and religious beliefs tested in this area, thankfully in most countries, there are options available, where they can opt out of getting involved in the process.

Procedures

There are many procedures available for an abortion these days and I’m not going to go into the detail of how each one works because they are very disturbing to say the least, but here are a few examples: the abortion pill, suction aspiration, dilation and curettage, dilation and evacuation, dilation and extraction, and saline solution.

When we think about a mother’s womb, this should be a safest place on earth for any human life, sadly, this isn’t the case anymore for many babies.

The ‘experts’ tell us that an ‘abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus before it can survive outside the uterus’.

If you read that carefully and listen carefully to the media, you’ll notice that they never use the word ‘baby’ when they refer to a baby still in the womb, they use the word, ‘fetus’ and the reason for that is simply because the word ‘fetus’ doesn’t sound very human, does it? It sounds very impersonal. They don’t believe that a baby actually becomes a baby until its eight weeks old in the womb.

Think Twice

I personally don’t believe that any mother or father for that matter, takes the decision to have an abortion lightly, although I’m sure there will be some who don’t think twice about it. The reality is and it’s been well documented, that many women after going through the procedure suffer significant psychological pain.

They have feelings of guilt, anger, depression, grief, regret, sorrow, shame, and loneliness and there is now evidence to suggest that the risk of miscarriages, premature births, bleeding, and breast cancer increases as well. Think twice because that’s a lot of burden on one person’s shoulders which many women carry with them for the rest of their lives!

Arguments For Abortion

There are many arguments used today to support abortion, some of which I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again on social media, newspapers and leaflets. Here are a few of the most common examples.

1. A woman has a right to control her own body.
2. We cannot know if the fetus is a human being.
3. It is better to abort a child than abuse one.
4. We cannot impose our morality on others.
5. People are going to have abortions anyway.
6. Rape victims should be able to abort the child.
7. If we outlaw abortions, many women will die in back alleys.

Although we could argue against each of these arguments and come up with a hundred different kinds of scenarios, let’s just remember the golden rule, whatever the subject matter is, no matter how painful, personal or emotional, we must listen to what God says and put our own personal beliefs and feelings to the side.

The Scriptures

Like I mentioned earlier, the ‘experts’ don’t believe that a baby actually becomes a baby until its eight weeks old in the womb. Christians on the other hand believe that a baby becomes a baby at the time of conception, hence why most Christians are against any form of abortion, because that baby is a human life. Notice the following Scriptures.

‘When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the BABY leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Luke 1:41

‘As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the BABY in my womb leaped for joy.’ Luke 1:44

When Mary went to visit her pregnant relative Elizabeth, we read that the ‘baby’ leaped in Elizabeth’s womb, now as a matter of interest, that’s the same word used in the next chapter of Luke to describe a child after birth.

‘This will be a sign to you: You will find a BABY wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Luke 2:12

In other words, God views those in the womb and those out of the womb the same, both are babies. Just because the ‘experts’ tell us that life begins at eight weeks old in the womb the Scriptures tells us something different.

Personhood is never measured by age or stage of development in Scripture. From the moment of conception in the depths of the womb one was recognised as a human being created in the image of God. That’s why to be pregnant was to be ‘with child,’ Matthew 1:18, and the angel Gabriel told Mary that her relative Elizabeth conceived ‘a son’, Luke 1:36.

When we take the time to read through the Scriptures, we find that God has always had a special relationship with those in the womb, those who have not yet been delivered, the unborn. We looked at Psalm 139:13-16 earlier, here are another two wonderful examples of this relationship, between the Creator and the created.

‘Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you moulded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.’ Job 10:8-12

‘The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ Jeremiah 1:4-5

We need to understand that there’s not one conception, ever happened or will happen in the future, there’s not one conception which has ever occurred that’s not the result of God’s creative purposes, Genesis 17:16 / Genesis 21:2 / Ruth 4:13.

And so, because of that reason, none should be in the business of messing around or tampering with what God has done. God’s Word clearly teaches us that life begins at conception, long before that baby’s body is formed. The reason abortion is sinful is because it robs God of His glory and robs the child of his or her life.

Hatred

There’s a growing hatred against women who have had or are thinking about having an abortion, but I personally don’t believe that shouting at them and calling them all kinds of names doesn’t help the cause or even help them.

We must remember that they too have souls and they too are precious in God’s eyes. We’ve all sinned, Romans 3:23, and God’s love has been offered to us unconditionally, John 3:16 / Romans 5:8. Everything we do must be done with compassion and love, even if we disagree with their actions, 1 Corinthians 16:4, we could say, love the sinner but hate the sin, John 8:10-11.

Forgiveness

Many women may have had an abortion without knowing these Bible truths, many women may want to become Christians but feel so guilty they don’t think that God or anyone else will ever forgive them. The good news is that God is always willing to forgive, He’s always willing to help us forgive ourselves. He knows us intimately and sympathises with our weakness and mistakes. Hebrews 4:15.

Euthanasia

God has really blessed mankind with the ability to discover new medicines and make huge leaps forward in terms of medical technology, all of which can really help humans prolong their lives.

It has been suggested, however, that doctors too often practice extraordinary methods in order to keep a patient alive, methods which may be unnecessary, given the patient’s prognosis.

Like abortion, the practice of euthanasia was once widely accepted as illegal, but more and more countries are now making it legal. The legal consequences, as well as the ethical complications have yet to be seen regarding this practice.

What Is Euthanasia?

The word ‘euthanasia’ comes from the Greek root that may be translated ‘good death,’ but more strictly translates ‘easy death’ or ‘mercy killing.’ It’s the practice of mercifully terminating life when a person is hopelessly ill or injured in order to hasten the relief of death.

There are two forms of euthanasia, firstly, there is what they call ‘passive euthanasia’ which is a refusal to use life-sustaining medical equipment to prolong life when there’s no prospect of recovery.

Secondly, there is what they call, ‘active euthanasia’ which is when one deliberately takes action to end a person’s life. It’s this form of euthanasia which many Christians don’t agree with.

Arguments For Active Euthanasia

There are a few arguments for the practice of active euthanasia, the most commons ones are as follows.

1. It’s our human right.
2. A separate right to die is not necessary, because our other human rights imply the right to die.
3. Death is a private matter and if there is no harm to others, the country and other people have no right to interfere.
4. It is possible to regulate euthanasia.
5. Allowing people to die may free up scarce health resources.
6. Euthanasia happens anyway.

Worldly Arguments Against Active Euthanasia

As Christians we may well be surprised that even the world has put forward some very good arguments against the practice of euthanasia, here are a few of the most popular ones.

1. If euthanasia was made legal it would be virtually impossible to determine whether the motive of the killer came entirely from compassion or whether it came from greed or other selfish reasons.

2. No law having to do with mercy killing would be able to account for every circumstance, and therefore would be either so complex as to make dying longer and less dignified, or it would have so few controls that abuses would occur.

3. Supposed terminal illnesses can be misdiagnosed so that patients may feel inclined to make needless requests for a merciful death. Even conditions thought to be terminal may undergo unexpected remission. The medical books are full of cases where near-death patients experience remarkable recoveries.

4. Mistakes can be made with regard to supposed ‘incurable’ diseases. The disease may be incorrectly diagnosed or may be able to be survived or cured.

The Scriptures

Like the subject of abortion, we could come up with a hundred different kinds of scenarios, let’s just again, remember the golden rule, whatever the subject matter is, no matter how painful, personal or emotional, we must listen to what God says and put our own personal beliefs and feelings to the side. 1 Samuel 31:1-6.

Notice that King Saul was mortally wounded in the battle against the Philistines, also notice that he begged for his own armour-bearer to kill him, rather than to allow him to die slowly in torture or suffer humiliation from the enemy who would take him captive. We see that Saul attempted suicide when his armour-bearer refused. Let’s read on. .2 Samuel 1:1-10 Later in 2 Samuel 1:1-10, we read that an Amalekite from a non-aligned nation passed by and Saul begged him to take his life.

‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive’, verse 9.

His response was exactly the same as those who practice euthanasia.

‘So, I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen, he could not survive,’ verse 10.

What happened? God condemned it!

‘David asked him, ‘Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?’ 2 Samuel 1:14

Why was the Amalekite killed for his act? 2 Samuel 1:15-16. David described the act as ‘lifting your hand to destroy’. From his judgment we must conclude that it was completely unacceptable to God, regardless of the motive behind it. David compares the Amalekite’s act with an act of murder, and we’re left to assume that he mirrored the Biblical stance of the sacredness of life and the importance of preserving it. Let’s look at another example.

‘His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’ Job 2:9

Here we see in the case of Job, a scenario where this would be a prime example for the practice of euthanasia, if Job had taken the advice of his wife. For those who would practice euthanasia, this would be the answer, but notice what Job said in reply.

‘He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.’ Job 2:10

When we continue to read through the Book of Job, we actually see that God preserved Job’s life and blessed him richly, Job 42:12-17.

Conclusion

Although many people genuinely care about the life of others, especially when it comes to the aftermath of war and famine, there’s another group of people who don’t seem to understand the sacredness of life. It goes on quietly in the background, although every now and then we’ll hear about it, but it shouldn’t really surprise us that millions of babies are being ripped out of women’s wombs every year or some people are happy to assist others to end someone else’s life.

As Christians we understand that suffering enables us to learn humility, and in so doing, we’re better equipped to comfort others, James 1:2-4. Performing active euthanasia causes the administrator of death to sin, and at the same time, suicide for the one who requests such death. Taking one’s own life, although it may be by the hand of another is still murder, self-murder, Exodus 20:13 / 1 Peter 4:15.

I’m not suggesting I totally understand all the pain and suffering which these people go through, but I do understand that life is sacred and we have no right to take or end anyone’s life, no matter the circumstances and more importantly I understand that it’s God who is the giver of life, only He has the right to take it.

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’ Job 1:21

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God."

Acts 18:11

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