Murder and the Sanctity of Life

“We stand up for the unborn. We stand up for the aged, the disabled, the persecuted, the immigrant, the orphan, the widowed, the addicted, the prisoner, and the poor. We stand up and say, “The image of God is more significant and more important than anyone’s definition of usefulness.”‘ – Russell Moore

Last Sunday we explored the idea of the Sanctity of Life as described in Genesis 9 and Exodus 20:13. To get the sermon entitled “The Big Ten: Anger and Hate” click on this link.

We said that all of human life is important because we are made in the image of God. The image of God is not us, but Jesus Himself:

Colossians 1:15 (ESV) — 15 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God,

2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 … the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

We made three conclusions:

  1. The sanctity of life means you are loved
    1. Exodus 20 seems to be suggesting that the thing that leads to murder is the lack of security in the love of God. This lack leads to fear, which leaders to strife. Strife often leads to anger, which in turn can lead to murder. In essence, those that struggle with anger are in fact still holding out that there must be something about them that is attractive to God.God’s first point in Exodus20 is this: “I am FOR you”. Remember we said that love comes before the law and that God doesn’t want a relationship with us based on what we do. This is grace!
  2. The sanctity of life means you are loved
    1. There is a proper motivation for a love for oneself. Now obviously this isn’t my primary affection otherwise this would be idolatry but there is a proper place to say “Jesus loves you – it’s ok for you to love you”.
  3. The sanctity of life means you must love others
    1. Paul wrote: Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
    2. Check out this quote from CS Lewis:

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All-day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

There are two explicit wasy to love others:

  • To honour the image of God show mercy (Matthew 25:35-40, Matthew 9:13)
  • To propagate the image of God by making disciples (Genesis 9:7, Matthew 28:19-20)


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