In the Southern Baptist Convention, we set aside the third Sunday in January for churches to focus on the sanctity of human life. On this Sunday, emphasis is given to a broad range of life issues, including abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, health care, child abuse, and elderly care, as well as other issues related to the preservation of the sacredness of human life. Genesis 1:26-27 teaches that all of mankind were created in the image of God (imago dei). This is the most important thing that anyone can say about another human being. We were made like God. Humanity is a special design! We were designed to glorify God. He stamped us with His own image to demonstrate His goodness and love upon all of creation. Unfortunately, due to sin humanity fell from glory. Our image was damaged or distorted, but thankfully it was not completely lost. Humans today still bear God’s image, even if in fallen state.
As Christians, we can rejoice in the fact that Christ is the perfect image of God (Heb. 1:3). We are called to display the imago dei in whatever we do, thereby, glorifying the Father in Heaven. One of my professors in seminary taught that because of this we can speak of the image of God as being not only our created design, but also our eschatological destiny. This is a glorious truth that should motivate us to do three things: glory in the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ who justifies us, seek to discipline ourselves unto godliness, henceforth, opening the door to the image restoring process of sanctification which leads ultimately to glorification, and finally seek to promote the sanctity of human life in every nook and cranny of our current culture of selfishness and man-centeredness.
If we begin to live as the salt and light of the world that we are called to be human life will begin to be viewed once again as sacred. Talk of abortion, euthanasia, child abuse, and genetic engineering that seeks to alter us in ways unimaginable will begin to decrease. Health care will be viewed as preserving the sacred. Our grandparents will not receive the ill-treatment that many do in our world today. If we live a life worthy of the calling which we have received, then there is really no telling what God can do through the consecration of human lives. Humanity is truly specially designed.
I long for the day when we as Southern Baptist will no longer have to have a special day of emphasis given to the sanctity of human life. But until we stand up and be counted, the battle will continue. I pray for my daughter, born just four days ago, that her children will never have to hear a sermon about any of the issues plaguing mankind’s understanding of the sanctity of human life. I sincerely hope that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will not grow up in a world plagued by abortion, euthanasia, child abuse, and genetic engineering. That they will not see their parents and grandparents mistreated for the sake of fiscal improvements. I pray that they receive the finest form of health care. One that seeks to honor the sanctity of human life. This will only happen if we as believers take a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
WE MUST NOT GROW WEARY! WE MUST NOT ASSUME THAT THE WAY THINGS ARE, ARE THE WAY THINGS WILL ALWAYS BE! WE MUST CHOOSE THIS DAY WHOM WE ARE GOING TO SERVE! WE MUST HONOR THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST IN ALL THAT WE DO! Only Christ can restore mankind to their rightful place as mirrors that reflect the glory of God in all that we do! We must share the gospel to anyone willing to listen. We must allow God to transform us in order that we may be used by Him. Then He will transform culture through us! Seek how God may use you to impact our world for the better. May God help us to honor Him as His image bearers to the world around us!