By Steve Gregg
“The Lord commands all men without exception 'to do good' [Hebrews 13:16]. Yet the great part of them are most unworthy if they be judged by their own merit. But here Scripture helps in the best way when it teaches that we are not to consider that men merit of themselves but to look upon the image of God in all men, to which we owe all honor and love. ... It is that we remember not to consider men’s evil intention but to look upon the image of God in them, which cancels and effaces their transgressions, and with its beauty and dignity allures us to love and embrace them.” — John Calvin
This month is one in which a variety of issues deal with the fundamental question of what is a person’s worth and value. January has long been a time that has been set aside to mark the Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion on demand, this ending protection for life in the womb. January is also the month that has been designated as a time to remember the horror of human trafficking. And the third Monday in the month has been designated a national holiday to remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his leadership in the civil rights movement. While these might seem on first glance to be unrelated, the truth is there is a common thread to them. The common theme running through all of these is the way each focuses on an issue that involves the image of God being denigrated and abused in people.
It’s important that we remember whether we are talking about the basis for defending life in the womb, or the right of a person to not be treated like a commercial commodity or for basic human dignity and human rights to extended to people regardless of their race or ethnicity, as followers of Christ, this is not a political issue, but a theological one. Each of these issues touches on a core biblical teaching that every single human being is made in the image of God. And as such each is embedded with a dignity and beauty that demands us, as John Calvin stated, to love and embrace them.
These means as we consider these issues this month it is not enough for Christians to consider how we might vote, but as Francis Schaeffer asked many years ago, how shall we then live? This Sunday we are going to be considering this in our morning worship time. Please join me in praying for God to give us wisdom as we consider how best to faithfully live this out. As with most challenges, there is also a great opportunity for us to glorify the Father as we grow in faithfulness in these things.