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Pro Life Sermon

Pro Life Sermon

This is the outline of a pro life sermon first preached at the First Presbyterian Church of Pottstown, IL on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, 22 January 1995

The Sanctity Of Human Life

Genesis 1:26-28 - [Aim: To gain an appreciation of the Great Value God has put on Human Life.]

Before Prayer: We take a brief hiatus from our series in Joshua this morning to concentrate on the critically important issue of Human Life, on this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

PRAYER

Introduction:
* Did you know that ONE Human Life is more Valuable to God than the entire Non-Human Creation? Did you know that ONE Human Life is of More Worth to Him than all the Angels, all the Stars and Galaxies, Planets, Moons, Mountains, Rivers, Fields, and all the Animals combined?
* WHY is this the Case? Because Human Beings are Created in the IMAGE of God. [Did you know that Angels are Not Created in God's Image?]
* What IS the "Image of God"?
Is it Rationality? Yes; but the Angels have that attribute as well.
Is it Personality? Yes; but the Angels have that attribute also.
Is it a Spirit that is capable of Communion with God? Yes; but the Angels also possess a spirit.
* A Critical Ingredient in the Image of God (the "Imago Dei") is DOMINION--"Let Us make man in Our Image . . . and let them RULE." (v.26) This, the Angels do Not have.
* Why should we study a text like Gen. 1 on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday? Because We, as Christians, must learn to Value Human Life the way the God of the Universe does.
* Please turn with me to Genesis 1:26-28 . . .

THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
I. Human Life is Sacred because It MIRRORS God, v.26
Anything that REFLECTS on you or me we take very seriously. How many of you Husbands are able to get out of the house dressed the way YOU would like to? Don't our wives put a quick end to this potential embarrassment by making us get into something nicer, something more acceptable? What about our Children? We don't send them off to school looking ragged (if we can help it) because it Reflects Badly on us. In the same way God Greatly Values Human Life because it MIRRORS His Essential Qualities and Characteristics.
I. Human Life is Sacred because It MIRRORS God
A. We Reflect His TRIUNE Nature, v.26a
1. Have you ever read and wondered about the PLURAL Pronouns used in this first chapter of the Bible? They are there to give us the initial introduction into the Wonderful Truth about God that finds its full fruition in the NT--namely, that God is One in Being, but Triune in Personality. This could never be the case with Created Beings, but it IS the case with the Infinite Being--God. Those Three Persons, of course, we discover in the NT to be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. [You might remember the account of Jesus' Baptism by John in Mt. 3:16-17 where we hear the Father's Voice from heaven, see the Son being Baptized, and see the Holy Spirit descend on Him in the form of a Dove.]
2. So, How do WE, as Human Beings, Mirror the Triune Nature of God?
a. This question has been debated for years by theologians, but let me suggest a little text from Paul's pen that might shed some light on the issue. If we look at 1 Thess. 5:23, we might receive a clue. Here is what the verse says, found at the end of the letter to the saints in Thessalonica. Paul prays: "May your whole SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." [The Greek words employed here are "Pneuma" for Spirit, from which we get terms like "Pneumatic Devices"; "Psuche" for Soul from which we get the word "Psyche"; and "Soma" for Body from which we get words such as "Psycho-Somatic".]
b. Is this the Triune Nature of God Reflected in Us? It may be. It is kind of interesting that the Lord Jesus would, in His Incarnation, take forever a Body; that the Holy Spirit, of course, IS a Spirit; and that we are to Love our Heavenly Father "With all our SOUL" as we read in Dt. 6:5.
3. The Bottom Line is this: that though we do not wish to be dogmatic about the way in which we say that we Mirror the Triune Nature of God, nevertheless, in some Wonderful Way, we, as Human Beings, do indeed Reflect that Nature, and that, as such, we are in a Class of Creation all by ourselves.

I. Human Life is Sacred because It MIRRORS God
A. We Reflect His TRIUNE Nature
B. We Reflect His KINGLY Nature, v.26b
1. This is that DOMINION Idea I referred to earlier. God Created Man (and Woman) to RULE. WE are the ones who are to Govern All the Lower Creation--it is very interesting.
2. This concept is seen in any number of places in the Scripture. Consider these few verses with me:
a. Gen. 9:2: "The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands."
b. Ps. 8:6-8: "You made him [that is, Man] Ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas." [You Hunters and Fishermen ought to love verses like this!]
3. We Mirror God's Character by RULING over His Creation; by taking DOMINION of it. This goes, of course, far beyond the Rule of the Animals--it is also seen (for instance) in a Man being the Head of his Wife (Eph. 5:23), and the fact that the Man and Woman together are Co-Regents of all Spiritual Realities given to the children of God (1 Pt. 3:7).
* Because Human Life MIRRORS God, we ought to Revere it, even as the Lord does--Protecting and Defending the Innocent and Helpless.

I. Human Life is Sacred because It MIRRORS God
II. Human Life is Sacred because It MAGNIFIES God, v.27 God's Glory, though Great in and of itself, would never be appreciated if He did not choose to Create Beings that could comprehend it and love Him for it. There is very real sense in which the Creation of MAN, the Pinnacle of God's Work, Multiplies and Magnifies His Greatness because it is the means by which He Extends His Realm, namely through the Propagation of the race.
II. Human Life is Sacred because It MAGNIFIES God
A. We Celebrate the Lord's UNITY, v.27a
1. This part of the verse relates God's Closeness to His Masterpiece--Man. We are most Vividly Reminded of this in the Incarnation of the Son of God. Paul says this in Gal. 4:4: "When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman . . ." John puts it this way in Jn. 1:14: "The Word became Flesh and made His dwelling among us."
2. Please notice the Repetition in this verse: "God created man in His own Image, in the Image of God He created him."
3. Man was Created to have Communion with God. This is the Unity we are speaking of here.
4. This Communion, of course, was Lost when Adam Fell into Sin. It is only Restored by the Last Adam, Jesus Christ. Paul said this in Rom. 5:19: "For just as through the Disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made Sinners, so also through the Obedience of the One Man [Christ] the many will be made Righteous."
5. Have You been made Righteous through Faith in Jesus Christ? [GOSPEL]

II. Human Life is Sacred because It MAGNIFIES God
A. We Celebrate the Lord's UNITY
B. We Celebrate the Lord's DIVERSITY, v.27b
1. Both Man and Woman were Created in the Image of God. My old seminary professor and dear friend, Stu Hackett, used to tell us the story of a teacher of his who once answered a student's question about the Generic Use of the Word "Man" by stating that, "As a Rule, "Man" Embraces Woman." The smart-alecky kid who asked the question then said something like, "Yeah, in more ways than One!" [Stu always got a kick out of telling us that story.]
2. The idea here that I am trying to get across is simply the Wonderful Creative Diversity of the Maker of all things.
3. All of this serves to enhance the Magnification of the Lord because through His Creation of Man He has ordained a means for the Propagation of the Race and the Enrichment of His Purpose through the Differences that exist between Men and Women. It's kind of a joke to hear about all these million dollar government studies that are proclaiming that Men and Women are Not Alike. You and I could have told them that for nothing!
* Because Human Life MAGNIFIES God, we ought to Revere it, even as the Lord does--Protecting and Defending the Innocent and Helpless.

I. Human Life is Sacred because It MIRRORS God
II. Human Life is Sacred because It MAGNIFIES God
III. Human Life is Sacred because It MANIFESTS God, v.28 The Creation of Man, more than any other part of His Work, Shows Forth in Majestic Splendor His Qualities and Characteristics. David said this in Ps. 8:3-5, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, What is Man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor." The Ultimate Proof of the Manifestation of God in Man is found in the first chapter of the book of Hebrews, (verses 1-3a)--there, we read these words: "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He made the universe. The Son is the Radiance of God's Glory and the Exact Representation of His Being . . ."

III. Human Life is Sacred because It MANIFESTS God
A. He is Seen in Our ENJOYMENT of Creation, v.28a
1. Did you know that we are to Enjoy the Creation? Did you know that IT is to Serve Our Ends and NOT the Other Way around (as radical environmentalists would have us think)?
2. The Blessing of God here is seen in the Extension, Fullness, and Government of Human Beings over the rest of the Lower Creation.
3. It is really Exciting to Discover that Christianity is Not a Kill-Joy Religion. Consider, in this vein, these verses:
--1 Tim. 6:17: "[God] richly provides us with Everything for our Enjoyment."
--Acts 14:17: "He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with Joy." [I especially like the "Food" part of that verse!] and,
--Ps. 4:7: "You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound."
4. Let us be ever-wary of falling into the ugly Religion of the World with its Anti-Biblical Rules of Does and Don'ts--the Asceticism of the Greek and Roman worlds that has crippled much of Christianity over the centuries. Rather, let us remember the first Question & Answer in our Catechism: "What is the Chief End of Man?" "Man's Chief End is to Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever."
III. Human Life is Sacred because It MANIFESTS God
A. He is Seen in Our ENJOYMENT of Creation
B. He is Seen in Our DOMINION over Creation, v.28b
1. What is said in v.26 is Re-Echoed Here.
2. The Dominion of Man over the Lower Creation Manifests the Dominion of God over ALL--His Creation and His Church.
3. This idea of Dominion is important because it is the Express Will of God that we exercise it.
--We are to have Dominion in our Personal Lives--conquering the Old Man through the power of the Spirit working in us;
--We are to have Dominion in our Family Lives--Ordering our Households after the clearly-stated Ordinances of God: The Man has his role; the Wife has her role; the Children have their role;
--We are to have Dominion in the Church--exercising Authority and Discipline in the Sweet Savor of the Love of the Savior;
--We are to have Dominion in the Marketplace--Christians should be at the forefront of all Commerce and Business;
--We are to have Dominion in Civil Government--God's people should be Ruling, employing the truths of the Word of God for the Good of all;
--We should have Dominion over the World--exercising "The Victory that has Overcome the World--even our Faith" (1 Jn. 5:4)
4. Human Life Manifests God in its Enjoyment of and Dominion over His Creation.
* Because Human Life MANIFESTS God, we ought to Revere it, even as the Lord does--Protecting and Defending the Innocent and Helpless.

Conclusion:
Beloved,
* THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE is something that we, as Christians, must take very seriously, and Defend very rigorously.
The Pagans in our midst see Human Life as little better than Animal Life, or Plant Life. To them, People are Disposable, Cheap, Worthless.
* God does not see it that way at all.
In Gen. 9:6 we read these words: "Whoever sheds the blood of Man, by Man shall his blood be shed; for in the Image of God has God made Man."
* On this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday let us Recommit Ourselves to the Reverence for Human Life that is so tightly bound to these verses that first teach us that Man was Created in the Image of God.
Those that take Innocent Human Life are guilty of a Sin that is deserving of Death. The State ought to Execute them, and, in so doing, honor the Word of the Lord.
* What can We Do to make a Difference?
1) We can take a Stand against Abortion and Euthanasia--for instance, we can show up tomorrow night;
2) We can Vote Responsibly--exercising Dominion that God has put within our grasp; and
3) We can Pray, Preach, and Teach Others the Good News of the Gospel that drives home to them the utter Value God places on Human Life.
* Human Life is Sacred because it MIRRORS God; because it MAGNIFIES God; and because it MANIFESTS God.
* THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE . . .
--PRAYER--

Rev Mark Henninger

Email:  markjhenninger@gmail.com

Read more Pro Life Sermons .


Contact At :
First Presbyterian Church of Pottstown
4127 W. Southport Road
Peoria,  IL  61615
(309)676-5917
Web Site:  www.jcalvin.bradley.edu

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