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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


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.


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