THE VALUE OF LIFE
I am speaking today on a statement that Elihu made in trying to correct Job and his attitude toward God. Elihu said, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty give me life.” There are two conflicting theories in the 21st century as to the origin of man. One explanation brings him up from the animals; the other downward from God. One gives him an ascent from the ape; the other a descent from the Almighty. The first explanation is a theory; the other is a revealed truth in the word of God. This theory of man's evolution from the ape has no solid scientific foundation. Man has never seen an ape develop into a human being; it has never been demonstrated in a laboratory, and there is no credible evidence that such a transition from an animal to a human can take place. This theory belongs more to the realm of science-fiction. I will spend no time in refuting this theory. What need is there for you and me to disprove what no man has ever yet proved or will prove? The other explanation of man's origin is not a theory and comes down to us in the oldest book in existence, the Book of Job. It seems very significant to me that the oldest book in the world contains a statement that says, “The Spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty has given me life,” and this agrees exactly with the narrative in the next oldest books, those compiled by Moses. That is the Bible account of your ancestry and mine.
Mankind makes a great deal of ancestry. The son of an emperor may become an emperor. The child of a king has royal blood in his veins. Much honor is supposed to descend with an honorable descent. Grant that to be true, and it is generally accepted, it proves more than some of us imagine. It proves there is something more wonderful than being the son or daughter of a king, President, conqueror, or some great poet. Man looks to the greatest genealogy in the universe, the ancestry of all mankind, not a few favored individuals, but all humanity. Christians can open their family record and trace their ancestry back to the most August parentage in the universe. One is our Father, God and One, our elder brother Jesus. We draw our lineage from the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Herein consists the dignity of human life. We go back to the origin of the globe. We find that for the first five days the creative hand of the Almighty made this a wonderful place for us to live in. God simply said, “Let them be,” and they were. However, when man is to be created, the Godhead seemed to make a pause and does something special. “And God said, “let us make man in our image, after our likeness.....So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. So God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul.”
The Bible says that God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life , that mysterious thing that no physicist can define, whose lurking place in the body no medical eye has yet found out, that life which came into the clay structure of Adam and comes into us all. What is life? Of what does it consist, what is it made of? Life is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. It has no simple definition. We know that Life can only come from life ; man cannot create it. We can recognize most things as living or nonliving. We know that a rabbit is alive, but a rock is not. Philosophers and scholars have pondered the meaning of life since ancient times and with all our learning in modern times, no one knows what life itself actually is. Life is God's gift, your trust and mine. I would like to make a few comments on life, its preciousness and power, its rewards and punishments, life for this world and the far-reaching world beyond.
First, we should understand and appreciate the fact that life is a gift of God and is infinitely important. The birth of every babe is a mighty event.
Because of the frequency of births, as well as the frequency of deaths, society is prone to set a very low estimate on the ushering into existence of a living child, unless the child is born in a palace or a presidential mansion. It is only noble birth or distinguished birth that carry much weight with us. Unless there is something extraordinary in the circumstances, we do not attach the importance we ought to the event itself. However, when the events are weighed in the scales of eternity there is scarcely any difference in children born to famous people and children born to poor people. God considers every birth a momentous event. A life is begun, a life that shall never end. A soul begins a career that shall outlast the earth on which it moves. The soul enters upon an existence that shall be untouched by time. The sun will cease to shine, the moon will be blotted out and the heavaens will pass away, but the soul will never end.
In addition, God gives every human being who comes into existence a unique blessing, That blessing is uniqueness. When a babe comes into the world, there is no one else on earth exactly like him or her. Each one has his own DNA. Each one of us is one of a kind. No two people have the same possibilities. Each person may be what no one else can be. God creates every person in such a way as to give us a sense of self-esteem and self-importance. No matter what the circumstances of the birth, no one needs to feel ashamed. It is a momentous thing just to live, think, feel, love and hope. It comes from God; He is its author. The life of every child should rise toward God, its Giver, who alone is worthy of being served, that with God it may live forever. .
In the second place, life is precious and valuable because of the services it may render God in the advancement of His glory. God didn't create the human race just for the sake of creating. He had something in mind. The life He gives is to be used for a good purpose. There is a purpose in the creation of every human being. Jesus set forth that purpose when He said,
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” That is one of the supreme values of life. God did not breathe the breath of life into Adam or you and me just for fame, fortune and pleasure. The soul was given us for a purpose worthy of ourselves, still more of the Creator.
What is the purpose of life? Is it human advancement? Is it merely the pursuit of happiness? Man was created to be happy but more than that he was created to be holy. God said, “You shall be holy because I am holy.”
Men who believe in God and who believe the Bible is the word of God have set forth the purpose of life into the well-known phrase, “Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” That statement is worthy of all acceptation. It expresses the double aim of life: duty first, then happiness as a consequence. David said the heavens declare the glory of God, how much more should creatures made in the likeness of God declare His glory. To build up His kingdom and spread His truth. To bring this whole world of human beings and lay it at the feet of Christ, that is the is end and aim of existence. Everyone who is dedicated to that purpose really lives.
I would suggest to you that another scripture that sets forth the purpose of life is Galatians 4:4-7, “When the fulness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, bon of a woman, born under the law, to redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons, and because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Father, Father. Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, an heir of God through Christ.” The words, “if a son, an heir of God.” set forth the purpose of life. The purpose of life is to become an adopted son of God and that entitles us to an inheritance which our heavenly Father will pass on to us. We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.
What is life for? God is presented in the Bible as a Father of sons whom He wishes to be His heirs. God wants to give us something of great value. This was His design in creating the wonderful stuff called life. Human life is a situation devised by the infinite ingenuity of God, in which to train sons for an inheritance. The promise that we are heirs of God implies God is a Father with vast possessions, gifts and wealth beyond all imagination. To receive this inheritance will make us millionaires. The purpose of life has to be to become adopted sons and daughters of God through Christ.
Life is infinitely valuable because of the eternal consequences that flows from it. Jesus said, “Don't lay up treasures on earth where ....thieves can steal it, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...” We can use this wonderful gift of life to lay up treasures through Christ and for Christ that will make us millionaires to all eternity. This earth on which we live our lives is the porch of heaven or the gateway to eternal separation from God.
At the thought of eternity, we are like little children. We haven't the faintest conception of what it is. Men have racked their brains trying to define it and have come with such definitions as eternal existence or duration, time without beginning or end, always going on, never stopping. The Bible uses the word “forever.” The word of God abides for ever we are told.. Jesus used the word “everlasting” to describe eternity. He said that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in him might no perish but have everlasting life. He also referred to it as eternal life. In spite of all these definitions we don't know any more about it than we do the omnipresence of God.. One thing we can say is that it is an existence whose ages are more than the stars that twinkle in the night skies. It's an overpowering thought.. How momentous, then, is life! What a gift! What a responsibility just to exist!. What a glory to consecrate it to God! What a crime to waste it!
As a closing thought I think we should say something about our physical body which also is a gift of God. The life of which we have been speaking dwells in this marvelous mechanism of the body. David said to God, “I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Back in 1985, William Greer performed an in-depth chemical analysis of the human body and its mineral properties. His conclusions were published in the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. This researcher claimed that the average human body contained 5 pounds of Calcium, 9 ounces of Potassium, 11/2 pounds of phosphorus, 6 ounces of sodium, 6 ounces of sulphur, 1 ounce of magnesium and trace amounts of iron, iodine, and copper. The total value of these minerals is just a little over $8.00. So the value of the human body is roughly equal to the price of a movie ticket in most major cities. This is a testimony to the creative ingenuity of Almighty God that He could create such wonderful bodies out a few chemicals.
However, the value of the body does not consist in the chemicals of which it is made. Its value is in being the home of the soul. The care of life is a religious duty and much of our happiness depends on it. A great deal of your spiritual growth depends on the manner in which you treat this marvelous mechanism of the body. Your religious life is greatly effected by
the condition of the body in which the spirit tabernacles. We should not
recklessly impair, imperil or weaken bodily powers by bad hours, unwholesome diet, poisonous stimulants or immoral behavior.
The great value of the the physical body is set forth by Holy Spirit in making it a model of the church. The human body is presented to the church as a model of how the church should operate as the body of Christ, as a religious organization. The Holy Spirit writes in I Cor. 12:12,13, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that body, being many, are one, for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...” Here the church is compared to a human body in its operations. He goes on to mention the body has many different organs and parts, yet they work together in perfect unity. There is no jealousy. When one suffers the whole body suffers. There is no division among the different members of the body. All work together for good to the entire body.
We, as the church, are the body of Christ, His spiritual body of which He is the Head. The message taught is the best way for us to destroy the work of Christ is to keep arguing among ourselves There is no place for divisions and trouble- makers in the church. No place for jealousy and fighting. Every member of the church is important. The different members of our physical body work together harmoniously and so should the members of the church. Both are the creations of God.