Sermon and Bible Study Database
Topical: Respect for Life
Author: Kent Berghuis
Respect Life, Respect God "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death."--1 John 3:14 Introduction: Main idea: Christians must show respect for God by respecting human life at all times. I. Respect for Human Life Shows Respect for God. A. People were created in God's image--Gen 1:26-27, 2:7. B. Death entered humanity through human sin--Gen 2:16-17, 3:19. C. Although fallen, we still pass God's image on to each generation--Gen 5:1-5. D. God's image in people is the fundamental reason to respect human life--Psa 8; James 3:9; 1 John 3:14. E. Ultimately mankind will experience again full freedom from death in Christ's image-- Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 15:42-49. II. Respect for Human Life Extends to Every Stage of Life. A. It extends to the reproductive process. 1. Cloning, genetic engineering, and reproductive technologies often intrude on the sphere of God's domain, which is administered through natural human means. While human science and knowledge is not wrong, its application can be immoral. [Jurassic Park quote--"You worked so hard to see if you could, you never stopped to ask if you should."]--Acts 17:25. 2. Sexuality is inseparably linked to producing life. When this link is ignored, sexual promiscuity increases. As sexual promiscuity increases, respect for life inevitably decreases. God's solution? Honor marriage!--Heb 13:4 B. It extends to our human offspring. 1. The life in the womb is there by God's design--Psa 127:3-5, 113:9. 2. A parent's sin should not result in the child's death--Deut 24:16. 3. Abortion clearly violates these principles. People attempt to justify it by: --claiming the unborn are not yet "persons" and do not yet have human rights. This minimizes the clear fact that the life there must indeed be human; it ignores the very real adversarial relationship that has wrongly been established between parents and their children. --relativizing compassion for the parents over respect for the unborn. This suggests that abortion is actually a form of mercy killing, and indeed a person may be forcibly sacrificed for the supposed "good" of another. I would suggest that babies are sacrificed for the simple reason that they cannot protest themselves, they are powerless to defend themselves, and those who should love them have turned against them. This claim also ignores the possibility for an improved life, the long-term chance to make a difference, and seeks to snuff out life in a moment of darkness before the dawn of hope causes parental bonding. Ultimately it is short-sighted and flies in the face of a persevering faith in God. 4. Respect for our children should influence the way we raise them. We understand they are made in God's image, but fallen creatures who must be taught right from wrong in love.--Eph 6:4. C. It extends to our human parents. 1. We must honor and obey our parents--Eph 6:1-3. 2. We must care for them when they cannot care for themselves--1 Tim 5:4, 8, 16. D. It extends to dying with true Christian dignity. 1. Death is the result of mankind's sin, but it has been swallowed up in the victory of Jesus Christ--1 Cor 15:54-55. 2. Pain and suffering are opportunities to show the victory Christ has won for us through his love--Rom 8:35-39. E. It extends to living with respect for all humanity. 1. For ourselves--Eph 5:29. 2. For our neighbors--Mark 12:29-31. 3. For our enemies--Matt 6:43-45. Conclusion: When we show respect for human life in all its stages, we show respect for God who gave us life.