The acrimonious debate over abortion that’s divided the country for generations is being reignited for the 2020 election with the Supreme Court’s tilt to the right and Democratic-led states moving to lift some restrictions on the procedure. In view of that it is important that we Christians understand clearly what God’s Word says about human life. The fact is, according to Scripture, we are made by our Creator in His image! What does that mean?
In another place, I have written extensively about this topic.
Consider what Scripture teaches about the image or likeness of God.
In The Hebrew there are two words for image or likeness
- The first Hebrew word for image is tselem .
“So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” – (Gen. 9:6)
The pagans made images of Baal (2 Kings 11:18).
Images of men were portrayed on walls (Ezekiel 23:14).
The forms and people we see in our dreams are called tselem (Psalm 73:20). When we awake we realize these are not real. They are but dreams.
- The second Hebrew word for image or likeness is demuwth. This image persists even after Adam’s fall into disobedience and sin:
“This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.” – (Gen.5:1)
And yet Adam’s son Seth was brought forth in Adam’s image.
When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth (Genesis 5:3).
What is the prophet’s point?
Adam and Eve and their children were made in God’s likeness or God’s image. But their third son, Seth, was brought forth in Adam’s likeness (demuwth), after his image (tselem).How can this be? What does this mean? Consider the process of birth through which Seth inherited the image or likeness of Adam. Here is what the Spirit reveals.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” —Psalm 51:5
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” —Psalm 53:1-3
“The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.”—Psalm 58:3
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned?” — Romans 5:12
From this we gather that the likeness or image of Adam is sin and that we children of Adam and Eve are sinful and estranged from God from the moment of conception.
This is why our Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:3-7).
In Baptism, the Spirit gives us new life, spiritual life (Rom. 6:1-11). That same Spirit is now at work renewing and restoring the image of God within us and cleansing us from the sin we inherited from our first parents. The Apostle writes:
with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18)
Thoughts about my children and grandchildren
I think about all this a lot since my wife was called home by our Lord a little over two months ago. She and I were privileged to be co-creators with God. He created three children through us. He made them in His image. And in turn they were privileged to participate in this wonder of creation when the Lord God granted them children.
All this is why we Christians are so disturbed by what is happening in our nation. Since the horrible Roe v. Wade decision some 25 million unborn children have been aborted.
More about this another time.