June 4, 2024

LifeDate Summer 2024 – Made For Life

by Pastor Michael Salemink

You and I are made for life, abundant and everlasting.

It seems rather important to distinguish between living and not.

It also seems quite instinctive and simple. Kindergartners can typically tell the difference. But we age, and confusion sets in: Medical experts disagree about whether an embryo or an incapacitated hospital patient qualifies as alive, at least alive yet or alive anymore.

Biological science has long since settled on consensus criteria. When an entity undergoes respiration, metabolizes energy from nutrients, grows and reproduces, and adapts to the environment, we categorize this as life. (The embryos and patients obviously constitute living human beings.)

Christian truth and faith understand it even better.

“In him [the Word made flesh] was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life’” (John 14:6).

“Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

“Your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

This definition sets humankind apart. This dimension distinguishes Adam’s and Eve’s race even from animals and plants. It categorizes us instead in connection to God. Life’s worth consists not in bodily attributes or abilities alone but in gracious relationship with Christ Jesus. The species He creates with His breath, redeems by His incarnation, and calls into His family shares His life with a nature and to a degree that the other creatures do not.

Life—real life and full life—has as its purpose more than merely thinking and feeling or choosing and doing. It means receiving from the Almighty Maker, rejoicing in the Heavenly Father, and reigning with the Lord and Savior.

You and I are made for life, abundant and everlasting. And this Gospel is made for all our neighbors, every genetic member of humanity.