I don’t think anyone would disagree if I were to say that life can be awfully difficult at times. This world is so terribly fallen; there is poverty, death and injustice everywhere. We fail to do the 'right thing' time and time again, our hearts break regularly and we’re often forced to let go of people we love. As Christians, we believe that human beings are the cause of these problems. Our sinful hearts rebelled against our perfect Creator and left us with a messy, broken world.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we might recognize that we can’t do anything to fix this mess. Nor can we do anything in order to be right with God. He is perfect, and even an iota of sin is too much evil for him to tolerate. Left to our own devices, we would be in deep trouble. Fortunately, His amazing work on the cross and victory over the grave have saved our souls from eternal death! If we believe and trust in him, he wipes our sinful slates clean, and we can hope in an eternity living in community with him—with GOD.
This amazing work is absolutely enough to save us from our sinful selves. If we have faith in the Lord, we need not worry about the bad things we’ve done or fear a consequence of eternal death. Instead, we can trust in him for freedom from sin and find hope in words like these: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more; neither shall there by mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Wow. That’s some encouragement!
So, this work is enough to make us right with God. However, there is more to the story. Although we can now live freely and confidently, leaving all our problems in God’s capable hands, being a Christian also means turning from sin, actively making changes to our behavior and growing in grace. Although we cannot be perfect while living on this broken earth, the Lord does work in our hearts, and he leads us towards repentance. As we grow closer to God and learn more about His character and values, our own characters and values change. This is called sanctification.
Part of our sanctification includes turning from viscous, deathly behavior and affirming life. As Christians, it is our responsibility to value the dignity of life, especially human life. The Bible tells us that human beings are made in the image of God, and the entire book is a story about him caring for us. Throughout Scripture, we see the Lord hating oppressive, wicked behavior and upholding the lives of the lowly.
This is what Churches for Life is all about. First, we affirm the dignity of human life at all stages. We find people to be obviously valuable; even secularists can see this. In addition, we know human life is valuable because God says it is. God himself is a champion of life, and he loves people well! Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
“The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” Psalm 146:7-9
God cares about people. He created life, and he values it. Therefore, as followers of God, we must also affirm the value of human life. A Christian's belief system should affirm a person's dignity from conception to natural death. We at Churches for Life aproach this affirmation holistically, supporting organizations that value human life in a number of ways...and we encourage you to do the same!
Second, at Churches for Life, we believe it's wrong to take innocent life. Biblically, the clearest example of this is when God tells us not to commit murder in Exodus 20. However, there are many other examples of this commandment throughout Scripture as the Bible shows us God’s passion for people and love for life. In addition to biblical proof of the dignity of human life, I think every human being knows, in some form or another, that killing is wrong. As individuals made in God’s image, we can't help but see each other's value. Even though people continue to kill, each human knows—however deep down in his or her soul—that death is 'unnatural' and that killing is horrible.
Unfortunately, contemporary culture does not hold these values. Death is all around us, and people refuse to recognize the sanctity of human life. We kill babies in their mothers’ wombs, we devalue the lives of the elderly and we hate other humans for the way they look. The list could go on and on. This is where our active participation in sanctification begins. As Christians, it is our responsibility to stand against sin and promote a life-affirming message. Today, I encourage you to consider a few ways you might stand against our culture of death that deflates human dignity and affirm life. First, I invite you to pray something like this:
“Dear Lord, Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Give me wisdom, and show me right from wrong. I ask you to fill me with your passion for life so that I might have the desire and capability to stand against evil and promote a life-affirming view. I ask that you will help me turn from my sinful desires and run towards you. I recognize your power to change my heart and equip me to be a champion of life in my community. Amen.”
My hope is that, through prayer and fellowship with the Lord, your hearts may open to Christ’s life-changing sanctification so that you may go on to promote the sanctity of human life. Now, here are a few tangible ways you can do that: