God Continually Shows us all Life is Precious
Common Bond – Common Concern
Genesis 1:27 "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
Foundational to the Christian’s concern for other human beings is the status we share of having been created in the image of God. This can be understood in two ways:
The Broad Sense
Augustine of Hippo wrote: “Man's excellence consists in the fact that God made him to His own image by giving him an intellectual soul, which raises him above the beasts of the field” (from “Genesi Ad Litteram,” Book 6, Chapter 12). In most pro-life literature this is the common view of the “image of God.” It looks at the special nature of mankind in contrast to all creation. It extracts particular value for humans above all creation because of its ability to understand and love God. A common proof passage for this view is:
1 Corinthians 11:7 “A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.”
The Narrow Sense
In contrast, the narrow view of the image of God looks at the state of holiness in which man and woman were created and which was lost through the fall into sin. The Biblical case for this view begins with the way Scripture speaks of Jesus. For example:
2 Corinthians 4:4 "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
Colossians 1:15 "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
The admonition from Scripture is that we conform or transform to reflect that image. We see that here:
Romans 8:29 "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters."
2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
Putting it All Together
That admonition for man to comply with the cultural view of the time and cover his head was because it was a letter written to Christians who, through faith in Christ, bear the image of God.
To say that all humans bear the image of God could be understood to suggest that out of all creation, human beings bore the image of God, lost it through sin, and gain it through faith in Jesus Christ. It is a status uniquely assigned to humans. It is for them that Christ died and as such are the objects of God’s special love and commitment.
Our Concern for Life
Some of us love animals. Some of us love nature. But of all creation human beings represents God’s focus of attention. Humans were the pinnacle of creation. Humans were the focal point of God’s plan of salvation. It is because of God's deep love and devotion to humans that we are so concerned. Whether the human being is an unborn child, someone with a disability, or a grandmother at the closing moments of life, life is precious because God created it and redeemed it through the sacrifice of his own son.
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