Sanctity of Human Life: How the Gospel Compels Us to Take Action

On Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we pause to remember the intrinsic value of every person and call the church to action to take up the cause of life. We must take action because the gospel compels us to action. The gospel is the good news of Jesus which speaks of the kingdom of God, the rule of Christ over the cosmos, and the restoration of this broken world. The gospel ushers in a new resurrection-reality that brings redemption, forgiveness, and love to sinners. The good news fuels our motivation to care for the fatherless, particularly the unborn. Foetus-435110

The scriptures tell us that we are orphans. The Scriptures speak of God’s love as a loving father who adopts us and brings us into his family. Spiritually, everyone of us is an orphan, abandoned to our sins, exposed in eternal suffering, and hungry for love and family. As the lamenter Jeremiah said, “We have become orphans, fatherless” (Lam 5:3).

Though we are poor orphans, God cares for the marginalized. He sees us in our lowly estate; he sees our suffering; he sees our hunger, and he chooses to adopt us as his children. He sent Jesus, his own son, to purchase us and bring us into his family. Our salvation tells one beautiful story of adoption. The story of the Bible describes a loving Father who sacrificed everything to love his children. He spared no expense, even if it meant the sacrifice of his only-begotten son.

Yet, even though Jesus has been raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father, God did not abandon us like orphans. Rather, now we have the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18, ESV). He gives us a helper, the Holy Spirit until Christ returns for us.

These glorious Gospel truths amazes us. If you are a Christian, you’ve received the adopting love of God. How amazing it is that God’s love would descend to choose broken, unwanted orphans like us. Though you may feel unwanted, good for nothing, and worthless, God the Father declares: “I love you. I want you. Become my child, and let me become your father. Come enjoy the warmth of my embrace and enjoy your inheritance as my son or daughter.” You want that kind of love. I want that kind of love. If you want to become a son or daughter of God, he invites you into his family today. He calls you to turn from your sin and trust in his son Jesus Christ for your salvation. Come to the Father through the son, and enjoy the privileges of being a child of God.

So when we become a child of God, we are called to action. We spread the kingdom of God and share in our Father’s care for the orphan. As Paul would write in Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV). James write, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22, ESV). James tells us that one of the ways we prove to be a part of the family of God, is that we obey God. Disobedience to the command of God indicates spiritual deception. Our obedience proves our son-ship.

As we think about the sacredness of human life, how does the Gospel compels us to do something? What motivates us to action? Let me suggest five ways.

First, we are compelled by gratitude. As we think about all that God has done for us, we cannot help but be grateful, and that gratefulness leads us to obedience.

Second, we are compelled by love. We want to imitate God, be like him in his care for the least of these. As God has loved us, we love others. Children are like their fathers, and the church should by like God. We share in the care of God for the least of these. Indeed, we are an extension of the love of God.

Third, we are compelled by God’s Kingdom. The kingdom of God speaks to our individual salvation on a micro level, but on a macro level it speaks to the restoration of the cosmos. God will renew all things and restore all things before sins corroding influence on the world. As citizens of God’s kingdom and members of his family, we are compelled to see his kingdom advance.

Fourth, we are compelled by the Great Commission. We do justice and serve the least of these as a part of our Great Commission work to make disciples. Social justice goes awry, when we forget that people need Jesus. Out of love and compassion, let us care for the marginalized, but let us also take the Gospel message with us, inviting all people to trust Christ as the savior and king.

Fifth, we are compelled by God’s glory. At the end of the day, this is the ultimate motivation for all we do. We want to make God’s name famous through all the earth. We want his rule to spread, his kingdom to come. We want the nations to be glad and sing for joy, as all of the cosmos sings in climatic praise to God!

Adopted by God

For many of us, the idea of fathers brings up a wide array of emotions.  Many are blessed with gracious, loving, godly Dads, while many have quite the opposite.  In Galatians 4:1-7, Paul describes the wonderful truth of our loving God reached out to us through Christ to adopt us as his children.  No matter what disappointments we might have experienced in this life, God extends his love for you in Jesus and invites you to be apart of His family in adoption.

   “I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. ” (Galatians 4:1–7, ESV)

Right before this passage, in Galatians 3, Paul discusses 2,000 years of Old Testament history explaining the relationship between the promise of Abraham, the Law of Moses, and Jesus Christ and how they relate to one another.  Paul ultimately reasons that through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross, the promise made to Abraham and his offspring now apply to those who are in Christ Jesus.  We then become heirs to the promise that God made to Abraham.  In Galatians 4:1-7, Paul discusses our adoption as sons and daughters through Christ.

In verses 1-3 Paul discusses our enslavement as children.  To do this, he gives an interesting metaphor.  Imagine the son of a man who owns a huge estate.  The child has been promised that he owns the estate, and he is the rightful heir to the estate.  However as a child, he is treated as a slave because he does not have a say in how the estate is managed.  The guardians and lawyers all dictate how the estate ought to be managed until the child is of age to be come the acting Lord of the estate.  In this way, the child is treated no differently than a slave who has to constantly succumb the the guardians placed above him.  Although the child is the heir to the estate, he is treated like a slave.  Paul says that this situation is exactly the way it is for the children of God.  Those who live under the Law live as slaves to the Law.

Is the Law then an evil thing?  Was the Law created by Satan himself to ensnare and entrap God’s people?  This is certainly not the case!  God gave the Law and it is good.  God intends that the Law reveals our sinfulness and drive us to Christ.  Satan intends that the Law reveals our sinfulness and drives us to despair.  John Stott  says it this way, “God meant the law as an interim step to man’s justification; Satan uses it as the final step to his condemnation.  God meant the law to be an interim stepping-stone to liberty; Satan uses it as a cul-de-sac, deceiving his dupes into supposing that from its fearful bondage there is no escape.”

In verses 4-7 Paul explains how Jesus brings us into adoption as sons.  God’s brilliant plan to save humanity was to send himself to be born of a woman and to be placed under the requirements of the Law.  This is crucial because that means Jesus is one of us.  He is fully man and fully place under the righteous standard God set in place.  Jesus did this so that he might “redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons.”  Because Jesus was fully man and perfectly obeyed the Law, through his death we receive his righteousness and come into God’s family. You and I then become adopted as sons and daughters of God.  The great news is that we are brought into God’s family by the death of Jesu!  Not only did God make us his sons and daughters, but he seals that adoption with the Holy Spirit.  Now our hearts are able to cry out to God and call him “Abba! Father!” just as Jesus did, because of Christ’s death and the assurance of our adoption in the Holy Spirit.

There is a reason God describes himself as Father.  Despite all the varied emotions that rise up in our hearts when we think of the word, God shows that he is the loving father who extends to us the hand of adoption.  We are no longer slaves, but our adoption is purchased through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Do not believe the lie that you are alone in this world.  You are not alone; You have a loving Dad, our great God, who invites you to join and to become apart of His family, the church.