In the March website devotional I noted a few brief biblical responses to the question asked in Psalm 8:4, “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him”…? It may be helpful to read or review the March devotional before you continue with April.
With the absolute biblical foundation of the image of God in man, or the Imago Dei, we now approach the deception of man as to his origin, purpose and destiny. In responding to the Pharisees in John 8:44, the Lord Jesus described man’s greatest adversary, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
We live in a world that is under the devil’s domain, and he is a liar and a murderer. He is the arch-enemy of God, His people, and His Truth. There is nothing he delights in more than turning those made in the image of God against their Creator and His Word!
Nowhere is this more evident or important than the issues of life. In his quest to despise and defeat God, the devil’s lies have been adopted as law and the murder of countless millions has followed both world-wide and sadly, nationwide. There has been, is and will be lasting debate about the Bible, bioethics, the sanctity of life, the significance of science and discovery and the consequences – positive and negative, godly and godless, that will follow. You are likely familiar with the terms cloning, stem cell research, reproductive science and technology, genetic engineering, eugenics, … in the hands of scientists who hold the secularist view, who have had no regard to the biblical ethic or the consequences that have followed. To use a fitting line from a movie, “… scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Any tampering with God’s creative order or purposes, coupled with the sanctity of life, must be studied prayerfully, vigilantly and cautiously. These scientific experiments, the ethical investigations and the judicial decisions that follow have far reaching consequences and can be used to protect life or destroy it … and regardless of what culture says, God is the Just Judge, and each one made in His image will stand before Him on “that day” and give an account – whether they “believe in Him” or not is totally irrelevant. Until that time, the practice of abortion and euthanasia are the two primary concerns of those identified as “pro-life.”
These two “kinsman” of abortion and euthanasia have been around for millennia. When Hippocrates wrote the Hippocratic Oath, it was written for physicians with a vision to save lives rather than take lives. In those times, “pro-life” physicians had a strong uphill battle. In their secular and pagan mentality, the populace cared little about the sanctity of human life – as strong a battle as we face today!
For God’s glory, it was the early Church of Jesus Christ in the Roman Empire that began the “pro-life” movement, caring for unwanted children left to die outside the city walls. It was the Christians who established churches, hospitals, clinics, orphanages, schools, and taught multitudes the sciences of agriculture, engineering and medical care – each with a biblical purpose and ethical standard, fulfilling the 1st and 2nd Great Commandments of the Law! (On the side, for those that accuse the church of “not doing anything to meet cultural needs,” challenge them to learn church history before making incorrect or inflammatory judgments).
I am quite certain you would agree that man is created in God’s image. I am certain you would agree that murder is among the greatest sins one can commit (Exo. 20:13), and is punishable by taking the life of the murderer (Gen. 9:6). Homicide is, in effigy, a form of deicide, because it is taking the life of one made in God’s image. It’s a terrible crime to murder a child, the most innocent of society, because of money, power or convenience. Such atrocities will not remain unnoticed by the God in Who’s image He created each one. There is no greater reason for God’s judgment on a nation than the atrocities of a legalized death sentence upon the unborn, the helpless, the aged, the handicapped, or the infirm.
God alone has the right to determine an individual’s conception, birth and the time of life through the moment of death, and nobody has the right to arbitrarily intervene. But man, placing himself in God’s position, following the “murderer from the beginning,” has taken it upon himself to be judge. Societies that have protected and practiced such atrocities are judged by God, as Jeremiah 22 explains. John Calvin remarked, “When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers.” But we’re not through yet …
“What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?” God has created each one in His image for His glory and His Divine purposes. He loves us, and took on humanity Himself in the Person of our Lord and Savior, through Whom He provided the way of forgiveness and salvation, making it possible to have everlasting life in His Presence in glory.And Christians should be encouraged. There really isn’t anything new “under the sun.” We’re in the same battle the early church fought in the Roman Empire. As with them, we must not give up; surrender is not an option, even when the battle is uphill. Remain faithful, love God, love others, stand for what’s just and right in spite of the response of the world. Do it for His glory … and the good of the innocent.
Pastor Richard C. Rogers
Calvary Baptist Church of Sturtevant
President of the Board, Baptists for Life of WI