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Children, Status, and the Image of God

The bible declares that humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). Being created in that image can mean a number of things . For instance, it can mean that human beings are designed to resemble God in their physical appearance. And this is true insofar as human beings share the same body morphology as Jesus, who is himself God in the flesh (John 1:1, John 1:14). But this is not likely the deeper or primary meaning of that verse. If it means anything at all, it means that human beings are given a status in creation that reflects God’s status in the universe. In other words, humans are the pinnacle of God’s creation on Earth and represent something that is special, unique, and above all of the rest of creation. Just like God is – by definition – special and unique among the spiritual beings and sits above all of them as they govern the universe, man was made by God to be special and unique in his creation, and to sit above all of the other creatures as he governs or has dominion over the earthly physical world that God made.

The possession of that status within God’s creation is one reason why murder is considered by the bible to be such a heinous crime (Genesis 9:5-6, Leviticus 24:17, 1 John 3:15). To destroy a living image bearer of God without righteous justification is to destroy a living symbol that represents the high status of God in the universe. Murder, then, is not just the breaking of a rule or the forfeiture of a human life. Instead, it is a personal affront to God which includes those things. When someone commits murder, that person devalues God, and snubs his status. This, in turn, devalues and snubs mankind as a high category of life.

And if the murder of a single human being represents a personal affront to God, his authority, his status, and his created order, then one must seriously consider what it means when a nation legally codifies and celebrates abortion. Murder has never been legal at any time in human legal history. But today, the wholesale slaughter of innocent children under the banner of women’s healthcare reigns as a symbol of freedom in some quarters. While it remains illegal for a man or woman to kill another man or woman, it is not illegal for a nation to decimate large portions of its next generation and thereby remove from its ranks a population of divine image bearers. This satanic process weakens that nation’s ability to do what it is designed to do – represent a righteous creator. But above even that, it expresses that nation’s rejection of God’s status and their disdain for the potential of his presence among them.

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