The Scriptures teach that life finds its origins in God. There is a Creator who spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1). In his good and perfect design, the sovereign God created life—grass, trees, fish, bugs, flowers, giraffes, cats, birds, people . . . The list could go on. But in the creation account, there is one act that stands apart from the rest.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27
Unlike the other living creatures, people—both male and female—were created in God’s image, in his likeness, meaning there are ways in which we resemble God (ability to reason, awareness of morality, etc.), represent God (dominion), can relate to God (invited into relationship), and are responsible to God.
Though all of God’s creation is good, human life is sacred—distinct, set apart, and valuable—in a way that the rest of creation is not. Despite this special place in God’s creation, humans have rebelled against God, falling short of his holy and perfect standard (Genesis 3).
We are marred by sin, but even so, God loves us with an unending love and provides a way to reconcile sinners to the sinless God.
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. -1 John 4:10
The Lord of all creation values the lives of people and has displayed the depth of his love for us through the gospel of Jesus. According to the Scriptures, human life is sacred life. The eternal God and ruler of all willingly subjected himself to tremendous suffering in order to restore what had been lost through human disobedience.
The story creation and redemption recorded in the Bible declares that human life is sacred life.
Since human life is treasured by God, then those who know God also begin to treasure human life—all of it. Young or old, male or female, rich or poor, Asian or American—human life is sacred life. Those who know Jesus know that life should be saved where possible; therefore, followers of Jesus must champion life and promote life and cherish life in a culture that often aims to reduce the dignity and value of the unborn, the elderly, the immigrant, the terminally ill, the criminal, the foreigner, and the poor.
How do you measure the significance of another’s life? By cost or benefit to you? By convenience versus inconvenience? By familiarity versus distance? By family ties? By social standing? By race or experience or political perspective? Or do you ground the dignity, value, and significance of human life in the truths revealed by God through his word?
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. -1 John 4:10-12