The Sanctity of Life
Jan. 21, 1996
Scripture: 1Cor. 6:12-20
This is sanctity of life Sunday.
What does "sanctity of life" mean?
It means that human life is set apart for the purposes of God.
God created it and it is holy because God is holy.
In this sense, mankind is created in the image of God.
What is life?
It is the ability to generate and replace cells to maintain one's own body and the ability to reproduce cells that transfer that capability from one's own body to another. To maintain life from life.
Like sour dough bread starter culture.
Like the "living edge" of a tree - the cambium layer.
We have the capability to transfer life through reproduction and to end life, but not to create life. Only God can do that. He is the author, sustainer, redeemer and sanctifier of life. In this scientific age, man is gaining knowledge enough to meddle more and more in the affairs of God regarding the sanctity of life. We can do almost everything in a test tube now except create life. That alone should be proof enough of God - general revelation to the scientific world.
What is the "image of God?"
Gen. 1:31, at the end of the sixth day God saw all he had made and pronounced it very good.
God created man good. Originally, in the garden, man was morally neutral or "able not to sin." But he made a choice to sin, to know evil as well as good. He thus became fallen from his neutral state. He became "not unable to sin" or "not able not to sin." This ability to sin was not freedom but bondage. Upon faith and regeneration, humanity's true freedom is restored so that people are again "able not to sin." They continue to be plagued by sin, but if they yield to the H.S. they are "able not to sin." Someday when believers receive their new glorified bodies, sin will be fully eradicated, and regenerated people will realize their true freedom perfected. When this happens they, like Jesus, will be "not able to sin." (Baker: In the Image of God)
Gen. 1:26-27, God made man in his own image and likeness to rule his creation, and he made them male and female in order to transfer this gift of life he had given them. Adam was made from dust. Eve was made from Adam. They were to be a visible representation of God. Human life has value and dignity and significance. We are like God in certain respects. Ps. 8:5-6 says he made us a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned us with glory and honor, making us rulers over all his works.
Gen. 5:3, Adam had a son in his image. The image of God was transferred through Adam and Eve's reproductive capability.
Gen. 9:6, Murder was condemned because man is in God's image.
Mal. 2:15-16, Divorce is violence to the image of God because of the damage it causes to the godly offspring God desires from the one flesh union. The maintenance of his image through the reproductive union becomes tarnished.
1Cor. 11:7, Man is the image and glory of God. Woman is the glory of man. The image of God is tarnished when those roles become confused.
2Cor. 4:4, proclaims that Christ is the image of God, as does Col. 1:15-16 that also calls him the Creator and says he created all things for himself.
John 5:21;26 says the Son has life in himself and he gives it to whom he pleases.
Col. 3:10 says we are being renewed in the knowledge of the image of our Creator. To have the image of God is to know God.
Eph. 4:24 says we are created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. Eph. 5:1 reminds us to imitate God in living a life of love.
In the Fall, man ceased to be a perfect vehicle for the representation of God, but he still possesses godlike qualities of love of beauty and goodness, none of which are found in animals.
To summarize the image of God then, it is: (Baker: In the Image of God)
An inner quality having to do with psychological make-up, reason, spiritual quality, personality moral awareness. It is what makes Christ in his humanity the perfect example of what the image is.
A God-human relationship as an ability to relate.
God wants us to reflect himself as we see him in Christ.
We can relate to God because we are like God.
An image of dominion. Unlike animals, humans are given lordship over creation. In this fallen world Satan has usurped our authority by bringing us under the bondage of sin through the guise of freedom. The image of God in man is what enables us to exercise dominion over the earth.
An image as representative of God, that is in his holy nature.
An image of sonship.
Satan and Sexuality:
Our sexuality is at the very core of our created being in the image of God. It is the means by which we physically transfer this image of God to each succeeding generation. If Satan can tarnish or destroy the concept of who we are in God, he will accomplish his self exalted purpose against God.
Unlawful sexuality is at the center stage of Satanic worship, ie., the orgy surrounding the worship of the image of the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain with God to get the law. Satan took his opportunity while the people were without a leader. They wanted to worship created things rather than the Creator. Idol worship was the besetting sin of Israel. They couldn't leave it alone. They lay down as a prostitute under every spreading tree (Jer. 2:20). It is wrong to worship sex rather than the God who made it. If we are tempted by some particular attraction, we must stop and worship the God of beauty who made all beauty and do not tarnish his beauty by subjecting it to less than his intended purpose.
A quick review of our current culture will reveal an amazing preoccupation with sexual sin. We have self sex, same sex, change sex, mind sex, phone sex, computer sex, film sex, video sex, abnormal sex, young sex, abusive sex, sex before covenant, sex outside covenant, broken covenants, experimental sex, recreational sex, and even Satanic sex. This is the unisex generation "X" where sex is as casual as a handshake.
I doubt there is anyone here who has not been touched by sexual sin at some point in their lives to some degree. For many, sexual problems begin early in life. Children pass from the age of innocence to the age of accountability when they discover their sexuality, to tell right from wrong (Is. 7:14-16). We should not restrain their natural desire for modesty when it occurs. And we sin irreparably, except through the restraining grace of God, when we awaken sexual desire too early by crossing the moral boundaries that God puts into place in our conscience. Many of these problems experienced by children are discovered by no one until the child himself discovers much later in life how his life has been impacted by such lies. The lie is that the sanctity of life, the image of God in them, has been violated. The lie is that if I have no value to those in authority over me, then I have no value to God. And since I am therefore rejected by God, it doesn't matter what I do and Satan has won his case in the perpetuation of sin through the generations. The image of God becomes tarnished. But the good news is that faith in Christ can turn that mirror around again to fully reflect the glory of God and blind Satan so he cannot diminish us as God's creation ever again.
Satan wants us to believe that sex is a basic human right that we may pursue any way we desire. He promotes a wrong view of our bodies. The modern idea is that "it is my body and I can do what I want with it." This is the sin behind abortion. Sex becomes a function rather than a responsibility. If sex doesn't really mean anything then neither does the child who happens to be the unwanted fruit of the union. He is tossed out on the garbage heap. But he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Human sexuality is not just physical, it is also spiritual. Its misuse has severe consequences. We go to great lengths to prosecute those who abuse children and yet uphold the right of abuse by abortion. It makes no sense whatsoever.
Don't imagine for a minute that you have chosen a man whom God has called as your pastor who has lived a sinless life from birth. I have not. But I proclaim to you a life that has been washed, sanctified and justified by the blood of the Lamb. I, as well as others, are living proof that God is real, and that what he promises is real, that there is freedom. And that freedom becomes the basis for ministry to help others, and you can have it too. Can you say with me, "There is freedom in Christ!" It is a truth encounter and a power encounter, and both the truth and the power reside fully in Christ.
(MBI illustration X 3 in one day)
God and Sexuality: ICor. 6:12-20
I. False View of Freedom and the Body (vs. 12-14)
II. False View of Human Sexuality (vs. 15-17)
III. God's View (vs. 18-20)