Tuesday, April 9, 2013
BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday April 7, 2013
VALUE ALL HUMAN LIFE
(Building a community that values all human life)
Genesis 1:26-31, Exodus 1:15-17, Psalm 139:13-16 & Matthew 18:2-6
The life of CHRIST is the embodiment of the statement that, “We must live like GOD, in order to reveal GOD to others, here on this earth”. In Genesis chapter 1, we learn how, from day one, GOD uses “divisions” and “distinctions” in order to fulfill HIS divine purpose for the world.
For example, on day one, GOD separated the “light” from the “darkness”. On day two, HE separated the “celestial waters” of the heavens above, from the “terrestrial waters” of the earth beneath. On the third day, GOD separated the “land” from the “seas”. On the fourth day, GOD further distinguished the night from the day, by appointing the sun to preside over the daylight hours, and the moon and stars to govern the night.
On the fifth day, GOD distinguished between the animal life HE created for the water (fish), and, the animal life HE created for the air (birds). And finally, on the sixth day, we see GOD making HIS greatest distinction of all. On this day, GOD even makes a distinction in HIS creation method. Here we see that, after GOD had created, all manner of livestock and wildlife, which were to dwell on dry land, in dramatic fashion, HE changed HIS creation method when HE created man.
Instead of speaking man into existence, or just forming him from the dust of the earth and leaving him without spirit, as HE had done with all of HIS other animal creation, HE decided that after HE fashioned man from the dust of the earth, HE would then make him in HIS OWN spiritual image by breathing into him, HIS breath of the spirit of life, embodying him with “HIS OWN nature”. This is what Scripture means when it says we are “made in the image of GOD”. It is a “spiritual image”, not a physical one. JESUS says GOD is SPIRIT (John 4:24) and therefore GOD does not have a physical image for us to look like. GOD made us in HIS image, sharing with us, HIS communicable spiritual attributes, which are “HIS nature”. And after we failed to take advantage of HIS wonderful gift, trading it in for satan’s “sin nature”, GOD then sent JESUS to us, “in human form” (Romans 8:1-4), to save us from ourselves. GOD’s nature consists of seven “Communicable Attributes”. Those attributes make human life the most valuable of all GOD’s creation, and they include;
These communicable attributes provide us with the spiritual capacity we need, in order for us to fellowship with, and worship GOD. They are also the qualities we need in order for us to reflect HIS image to others, in the same way that the coming CHRIST would do. These attributes also equip us with the capacity to care for ourselves and GOD’s other creation, similarly to the way GOD cares for us.
GOD blessed us and instructed us to multiply ourselves, through the miracle of the wonderful reproductive system that HE has also provided us with, and, we were to subdue all of HIS other creation, and maintain the responsibility of dominion over it (Genesis 1:26-28). And so we are to produce and be responsible for maintaining all human life, not kill and destroy it through murder, abortion, etc. To destroy human life is to destroy that which is made in the image of GOD.
In Psalm 139, verses 13-18, King David ponders aloud on GOD’s breathe-taking, life-giving power to create the human existence, and then, allow it to be procreated and duplicated, through the miracle of childbirth. In addition to that, GOD already has each life planned out in intricate detail, minute by minute, even before we are conceived in the womb. And, through GOD’s wonderful abounding grace and love, HE remains with us, and sustains us all through the life HE has given us, from the beginning, to the end. That’s how important human life is to GOD.
In Exodus 1:15-17 we see the Pharaoh of Egypt issuing a decree to the Hebrew midwives to kill all the Hebrew male children at the time of birth in order to control or stop the population growth of the captive Jews. But because the Hebrew midwives feared GOD more than they feared man, they did not buckle under to the order of the Pharaoh. That is the same kind of attitude that we here in the twenty-first must share. We must have a GOD-fearing respect for human life, because that’s what GOD expects from us.
If we are to be like CHRIST we must value all human life, but in a special way, we must value the lives of our children, who are the weakest and most dependent of our society. In Mark 10:13-16, Matthew 18:2-6, and Luke 9:46-48 JESUS likens “humility” and “faith” to the “innocence of a child”. If we are to be pronounced by GOD as “innocent of sin” in the Kingdom of Heaven, we must first acquire “the humility and faith of a child” here on earth. Like JESUS, we too must develop a certain kind of “goodness” in our hearts, through faith and humility, and, through our personal earthly relationship with GOD in Heaven. I’m talking about the kind of good that can meet the gaze of a little child’s eyes, and can withstand the test of a child’s simplicity. And JESUS says that, unless we can bring ourselves to do that (turn from our sins, and become like little children), we can’t possibly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven at all (Matthew 18:3).
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website