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Genesis 1:26-28

A BIBLICAL VIEW OF HUMAN LIFE

Intro:  In recent days, the subject of life and death has been front and center due to the starvation death of a brain-damaged woman in Florida named Terri Schaivo.  Because of what that poor woman had been forced to endure, people around the nation and around the world are thinking about the issues of life and death.

      Sadly, we are living in a world where human life has become a cheap commodity.  It has become effortless to throw human life away before it ever appears in our world through abortion.  And, it is becoming easier to discard those individuals that are seen as worthless and as being a drain on society. 

      In the Netherlands, which has a policy of legalized euthanasia, in 1990 alone there were 11,800 euthanasia deaths.  These accounted for 9% of the total deaths in the Netherlands that year.  In other words, nearly 1 out of every 10 people who died in the Netherlands in 1990 died by euthanasia, at the hands of a doctor, a nurse, or a family member.  Of these 11,800 deaths, some 5,491 were performed without the patient’s consent![1]

      Today, I want to see what God has to say about human life.  I think His perspective should be considered as we think about matters like the right to live, the right to die, abortion and euthanasia.  In fact, not only should God’s perspective be considered, it should be the final say in these matters.  So, today, let’s examine life from God’s perspective.  I want to preach for a few minutes on the subject, A Biblical View Of Life.  There are three statements I would like to make regarding this topic.

 

  I.             GOD IS SOVEREIGN IN THE CREATION OF LIFE

A.  Every Human Is A Special Being – Gen. 1:26-28; Gen. 2:7 – One of the primary truths that come from these verses is the fact that man is the product of God’s creative power and not the result of random evolution.  Man did not evolve from a single-celled organism over the space of millions of years; he is the special creation of God.  You will notice that all the other animals were spoken into existence by the Word of God.  Man, however, was formed by God out of the dust of the earth and God breathed life into the nostrils of man.  The fact that God singled man out for special care in the creation lets us know that there is a vast difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.

            Here is one of the greatest dangers in the entire system of evolution, as it is taught to our children in public schools.  If people can be convinced that mankind is nothing more than the product of random selection then human life looses all its value.  You see, if man simply evolved, then he is no different than a dog or a cat.  You kill him and he simply ceases to exist.  There is no God.  Man does not have a soul or a spirit that live one.  There is no heaven to be gained or a hell to be shunned.  Man is nothing more than an animal and he can be eliminated if it becomes necessary.

            Those who hold to this view of things believe that man should live until his quality of life is over, then he should be “put out of his misery.”  Once we start down this slippery slope, there will be no turning back.  Today, it is babies and brain-damaged people; tomorrow, it will be the mentally and physically challenged as well as the old and the infirm. That is exactly where our world is headed!  There is more than one way to save Social Security and Medicare!

            Now, if the evolutionary theory was correct; there would be no problem with this view.  However, it is a false view of life, death and eternity. We will talk about these matters more in a few minutes.  For now, we need to remember that every human is a special being; he or she is here because they are the special creation of God Himself!

B.  Every Human Is A Spiritual Being – We are told that man was made “in the image” of God.  This does not mean that man looks like God; or that God has a body like we do.  It does mean that man was created like God in that man is a tripartite being.  In the Godhead, there is the Father, the Son and the Spirit.  In a man, there is the body, the soul and the spirit.  God is a three part being; man is a three part being.  God has intellect, will and emotions, and so does mankind.

            This is the primary way in which mankind can be distinguished from the members of the animal kingdom.  Every person who ever comes into this world has three parts.  They have a body, a soul and a spirit.  Let’s take just a moment to examine each of these parts.

1.  The Body – The body is the vehicle with which we move through and interact with our world.  It is the body that provides a home for the soul and the spirit while we are in this world.  Both humans and animals have bodies.  When we die, our bodies return to the earth, Gen. 3:19; Eccl: 3:20; Job 34:15.

2.  The Soul – The soul is the seat of the will, the character, the intellect, the thoughts, and the emotions.  The soul is where we reason, love, hate, want, etc.  The soul is what we refer to when we speak of the mind.  Your soul animates your body and allows you to interact with your world and with other people.  In short, your soul is that part of you that makes you who you are.  Your soul makes you self-conscious.  There is a sense in which it can be said that animals have souls.  That is, they have life within them and they are self-conscious and able to interact with the world around them.

3.  The Spirit – Here is where the similarities between man and animals end forever.  While the soul makes us self-conscious; the spirit allows us to be God-conscious.  Every man that is born into this world, is born dead spiritually, Eph. 2:1.  But, when the Spirit of God comes by and “quickens”, or brings to life, the spirit which is within a man, that person will find his spirit reaching out in faith toward God.  After salvation, the new spirit of life within a person begins to transform the soul part of man.  These changes within the spirit and the soul demonstrate themselves in the action of the body.

            All of that is complicated, but think of it like this: “The "soul" and the "spirit" are similar in the manner in which they are used in the spiritual life of the believer.  They are different in their reference.  The "soul" is man's horizontal view with the world. The "spirit" is man's vertical view with God.  It is important to understand that both refer to the immaterial part of man, but only the "spirit" refers to the man's walk with God.  The "soul" refers to man's walk in the world.”[2] 

            When we leave this world, the soul and spirit return to God to be dealt with accordingly, Eccl. 12:7.  The redeemed to glory, John 14:1-3.  The lost to Hell, Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9.

 

(Note:  The fact that man is the special creation of God and that he was made in the image of God and has the capacity to know God proves that man is a special creature in the eyes of the Lord.  This establishes the fact that God is sovereign over the creation of human life.)

 

 II.        GOD IS SOVEREIGN IN THE CONTINUATION OF LIFE

A.  God Determines The Dawn Of Every Life – God is in charge of when life is created within the womb.  Notice a few instances of this in the Bible: Gen. 29:31; Rebekah - Gen. 25:21; Rachel – Gen. 30:12, 22; Manoah and his wife – Judges 13:2-3; Hannah – 1 Sam. 1-2.

            When we think of childbirth, we think of it being just the product of a physical union between a man and a woman.  It is far more than that!  There is a sovereign God behind the scenes that determines whether or not that egg is fertilized.  He determines whether or not life begins, Psalm 128:3-5.

            I realize that there are often physical issues involved as well.  Still, behind it all is the sovereign will of God.  He opens the womb and He closes the womb according to His will.  He and He alone determines the dawn of human life.

B.  God Determines The Design Of Every Life –  Not only does God determine whether or not there will be life; He also determines what that life will become.  He has a plan for every human that comes into this world.  In Jeremiah 1:5, we read that God has his hand on Jeremiah and even had a plan for the prophet’s life before he was ever born.  The same was true in the life of John the Baptist.  The Bible tells us all about what he would be before he was ever born, Luke 1:13-17.  We even read that God was active in John’s life while he was still in his mother’s womb, Luke 1:44.

            What you and I are in this life is not the product of random chance and hapless genetics.  What we are in this life is the product of divine sovereignty. We are what we are because God determined it to be the way that it is.  This was the conviction of David, Psalm 139:13-16.  Job also held this view, Job 10:9-12.

            Even modern science, which tries so hard to destroy the very thought of God, confirms for us that we cannot be the product of mere chance.  Notice these facts about your body:

      1.  The average body contains some 7.5 trillion cells.  It is far more complex than the most advanced computer.

      2.  Each cell has 200 trillion tiny groups of atoms called protein molecules.

      3.  Largest molecule is called DNA.  Carries hereditary information from the parents to the offspring.  Also carries genetic code.  It determines if you will be a man or a mammoth.

      4.  DNA in one cell is 6 feet long.  Total DNA in body would fill a box the size of an ice cube, but if it were joined together, it would reach to the sun and back 400 times.

      5.  All our cells contain the information found in all the other cells.  Each cell in your body carries all the necessary information for another you.

      6.  If the coded DNA information and instructions of one human were translated into English, it would fill a 1000 volume encyclopedia.

      7.  In cell division the cell forms a rotating double helix.  It rotates at 75 turns per second.  This is equal to straightening out a cathedral full of tangled microphone wire in under a split second.  Yet, the cell’s duplication is so accurate that it is equivalent to a rate of less than one letter for an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

(Note: What I am trying to get us to understand is the fact that every human that is conceived in the womb is special!  Every person whether born or unborn is conceived with for a purpose.  Every human life is precious and none are to be discarded out of hand.  Life must be protected and preserved at all costs!

      That unborn child in that mother’s womb is precious!  That mentally incapacitated person in that institution is precious!  That terminally ill individual is precious!  Regardless of their condition, every human life is precious in the site of God and it must be defended from those who look at it as something that can be thrown away!)

 

III.           GOD IS SOVEREIGN IN THE CONCLUSION OF LIFE

(Ill. Just as surely as the Lord God Almighty is sovereign in the Creation and the Continuation of human life; He is also sovereign in the Conclusion of life.  Neither man not Satan has the power to create life.  Neither has the ability to continue life apart from the sovereign will of God. And, neither has the right to make the decision to end life.  Look at what the Bible says about this matter.)

A.  God Alone Appoints The Time Of Man’s Death – This is the clear teaching of Scripture, Job 12:10; 14:5; 14:14; 7:1; Psa. 39:4; Heb. 9:27.  There is the evidence from the Old Testament record, Dan. 5:1-13.  Belshazzar was told when he would die.  Jesus told a parable in the New Testament that illustrates this truth for us, Luke 12:16-20.  Just as surely as the Lord has a plan regarding the beginning and the middle of your life; He also has a plan for the end of your life as well.  He knows the day, the hour, the minute, even the very second when you will breathe your last and you will go out into the eternity you have chosen.

B.  God Alone Appoints The Terms Of Man’s Death – Not only does God decide when we die; He also determines where we will breathe our last as well.  Regardless of how you leave this world, you will leave it exactly when, where and how the Lord has predetermined it will happen.  It was the Lord’s will that Moses die alone with God on a mountain, Deut. 34:5-8.  It was God’s will that Jacob die surrounded by his children, Gen. 49:33.  It was God’s will that Paul die at the hands of Roman executioners. 

 

            Sometimes people leave through tragedies.  Sometimes people die because of disease.  Sometimes they go out of here by way of old age.  Sometimes they go suddenly with the bloom of youth still on their cheeks.  But, however they leave this world, it is God’s will that must determine the when, the where and the how, and not the will of men.  The only exception I think of to that statement is capital punishment.  The Word of God is clear, when man murders his fellow man; he is to pay for that crime with his own life, Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:4.

 

(Note: Whether we are talking about murder, suicide, euthanasia or abortion, man has assumed the place of God when he reaches out to take another human being’s life.  Each of these horrible sins ends life prematurely, and each will be judged and punished harshly by God.

         Now, please don’t misunderstand me.  There are times when it becomes necessary to withhold further medical treatment and just allow nature to take its course.  If you have had to make those decisions, my heart goes out to you!  You have not committed murder, but you have simply placed the matter into God’s hands if you have had to do that.  However, to put a helpless, voiceless woman to death by withholding food and water is murder!  The courts of our nation failed Terri Schaivo, but this matter will be taken up in a higher court one day!)

 

Conc:  I hope you agree with me that human life is precious!  It is so precious that God sent His Son Jesus into this world to save life through His death on the cross, John 3:16-17.  We need to pray for our nation and for our world.  We have taken the first steps down a slippery slope that will lead us farther and farther away from God.  We have witnessed the dawn of a new day in our country where, in the long run, no one may be safe from the death merchants.  We need to take our stand, cast our votes and lift our voices in favor of life.  We can make a difference and we must! 

      God says that life is precious.  I say “Amen!”  I wonder who will join me at the throne of grace this evening to call upon the Lord in intercession for our nation, our world and the helpless, voiceless people who face death in the name of convenience, money and godless indifference.



[1] http://www.pregnantpause.org/numbers/netheuth.htm

[2] http://www.gotquestions.org/soul-spirit.html

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