Made in God’s Image | The Sanctity of Human Life

What does it mean to be made in God’s image? What does the “sanctity of human life” mean?

The Bible clearly states that humanity is made in God’s image. 

  • “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”—Genesis 1:26-27

As a Believer, God’s Word should flow in and through you, transforming your mind, will, and emotions. This passage should set our minds on “things above” and shape how we think about human life. 

Let us pause and think about what the Word says about…

  • Being made in God’s image
  • The sanctity of human life

…so that we can answer our call in this season. 

The Hebraic Meaning of “Made in God’s Image” 

In Hebrew, “made in God’s image” is b’tzelem Elohim. It describes a unique relationship between God and man. Seeing ourselves as made in God’s image influences how we…

  • See God
  • See others
  • Interact with the world
  • Read God’s Word

In the ancient world, a god’s image was a physical representation of the god on earth. Idols were made to represent false gods. Kings and pharaohs were also referred to as images of gods. This came from the idea of the false gods’ rules over creation and people. This was (and still is) the enemy’s counterfeit of God and man’s relationship. 

After God created Adam, He tasked him with ruling and reigning over the earth. He gave him the job of stewarding and caring for what God had created, fulfilling His will on earth. 

Being made in God’s image isn’t only about who we are. It is about our mission on earth—to care for what has been created. Therefore, when new life is formed, it is our job to care for it so that it fulfills its intended purposes too. 

The Hebraic Meaning of “The Sanctity of Human Life”

With the understanding of “made in God’s image,” let’s examine the sanctity of human life. 

In Hebrew, the word for “sanctity” is kodesh. It means to be holy and set apart for a purpose. It denotes a close connection to God, the One who makes something kodesh

Often, people think being “holy” is being pure and righteous. It is true that these attributes can accompany holiness, but at the root, holiness means to be set apart. When someone speaks of the sanctity of human life, they are really saying that each human life is set apart for a purpose. Each human life matters and is given meaning because each human life is made in the image of God.

Psalm 139 

Being made in God’s image and understanding the sanctity of human life sheds light on Psalm 139:13-16, a popular passage associated with National Sanctity of Human Life day. 

  • “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

This passage speaks of God writing about, thinking about, and imagining us even before we are formed. When we were “hidden,” He “saw” us and gave us purpose.

A newborn baby sleeping in the fetal position.

The Enemy’s Agenda

Redefining Life 

The enemy’s agenda has always been to get humanity to doubt God’s Word. He did this in the Garden of Eden with Eve when he said, “Did God really say that?” He knew if he could plant seeds of doubt or simply plant a seed to think in a way contrary to what God said, a door was opened for him to gain access and dominion. 

This is how he has, over time, twisted the culture. It’s as if he said in the Garden of Eden…

  • “Did God really say human life is worth anything?” 
  • “Did God really say human life begins when man and woman come together to create life?”

Sadly, many come into agreement with these lies, not realizing that, by doing so, they agree with the lie that their own lives are worthless. 

This agreement with the enemy gives him access to our minds and he says, “Did God really give you worth?”

But our Creator is life-giving. And He tells us that we are made in God’s image and for a purpose! Every life has a purpose, and this is what the enemy wants us to forget. 

Redefine “Freedom” 

The enemy wants us to think that God’s way enslaves us. Psalm 2:1-3 says…”

  • “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’” (emphasis added)

It is the sinful nature of man to see what is evil as good and what is good as evil (Isaiah 5:20). This is why we must test the spirits, putting all things up to God’s Word to reveal its true intent. 

The enemy always temps us to sin and think contrary to God’s Word. But God’s Word gives life. So then, how does the enemy get around this truth? Like redefining life, he redefines freedom and rights. 

  • First Corinthians 10:23 says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”
  • First Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

In other words, yes, we have a choice and rights. But before receiving Christ, we could only choose the enemy’s ways because he is the one who had control of our lives and the world (Ephesians 2:2-3). After receiving Christ, we are given the choice to choose a different way—a life-giving, liberty way. God provides us with the choice, just as it is mentioned in Deuteronomy 30:19: “choose between life or death, blessing or curse.” 

God’s way is more fulfilling, blessed, and abundant than we can imagine. The enemy’s goal is the kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus’ goal is the give abundant life. Why wouldn’t we, or want others, not want to choose life? When we choose life, it brings blessings to ourselves, our families, communities, and nations. 

God’s ways are not burdensome, but the enemy’s are. He creates a bait-and-switch situation. He lies and says, “This will make you feel free.” When we come into agreement with that lie, it gives him rights in our lives, which is what he is after, so that he can enslave us and keep us from fulfilling what is written in the books of Heaven for our purposes.

God wants us to exercise His power over the enemy and shut down the lies, choosing life and freedom! When we do, we release blessings far beyond what we can imagine, and we walk in our purposes.

Who Owns Our Bodies?

The Bible says that our bodies are not our own, that we purchased at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). 

Therefore, we can either trust the Master who died to give us freedom or follow the one who lies and tells us evil is good and good is evil, only to enslave us by our own actions and words later. 

Either way, we are under the control of another—the One who gave us life or the one who seeks to destroy it. James 4:4 reminds us that when we are friends with the world (which is under Satan’s control, 2 Corinthians 4:4), we are at enmity with God. 

Let’s choose to follow the one who has good plans for us and our bodies. Let’s choose to follow the one who gives life. 

Two children and their father pray on the Bible together.

Born-Again Believers, What Is Our Call?

  • Pray for the unborn.

As we reflect on what the Word says about being made in God’s image and the sanctity of human life, let us come together in agreement and pray for those who can’t speak for themselves. Let’s pray for the unborn. 

  • Pray for the mothers.

Let us also remember that every mother, every woman, is also in a spiritual battle. They may be battling many lies about self-worth, their past, and even their future. Every woman is created in God’s image and must be covered in prayer. 

  • Pray for fathers.

Let us not forget the fathers. Let us pray that fathers step into their role as leaders and providers of the family. Let us pray the Spirit of God falls on them and empowers them to fulfill their purposes.

  • Pray for families. 

We know the enemy’s agenda is to tear the family apart—to remove fathers from the family, to plague mothers with oppression, and to erase children’s existence if he can’t influence them for his plans. Let us remember we are in a spiritual war and need to battle with God’s armor (Ephesians 6). Let us pray for and fight for the unity and peace of the family. 

  • Be an influence where you can. 

It may feel overwhelming to combat all the lies the enemy is spreading through our culture about life. However, you aren’t alone. And we can all do something to… 

  • Pray.
  • Speak life into those who God puts in your path. 
  • Sow seeds into life-giving organizations that want to see more people as God truly sees them, made in His image.

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”—Job 33:4