Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 21 Number 3 March 2019
Page 3

Man’s Fourfold Relationship

Gary C. HamptonPaul Simon sang “I Am a Rock” in August 1965. The lyrics portray someone wounded by friendship and determined to live totally alone like a rock that feels no pain. Many have experienced down times like that, but then, they realize they cannot live alone.

Each man has four key relationships, beginning with God. We need to give our bodies to Him in sacrificial living (Romans 12:1-2). We will have all our needs provided if we seek His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). Man’s ultimate purpose is to hold God in awe and do His will (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Christian brothers hold tightly to the good, showing proper affection for brothers, while giving them honor (Romans 12:9-10; Ephesians 4:32). Stealing is given up when we submit to God. God’s children work with their hands so they may be able to supply others’ needs and stay on the lookout for such opportunities (Ephesians 4:28; Galatians 6:10).

Those who have God as their Father also have a unique relationship with those who make them suffer (Romans 12:14; 2 Timothy 3:12). We all have enemies. One 93-year-old man said he had no enemies. When asked how he explained it, he said, “I outlived the rascals!” Christians should do their best to live peaceably with everyone, knowing God will take vengeance on those who deserve it because of their treatment of His people (Romans 12:17-21).

Governmental authorities have not always treated God’s people well, but any power they have comes from the Almighty (Romans 13:1). Jesus told Pilate, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11). Christ’s followers will follow the law, knowing governments exist to keep civil order (Romans 13:2-4). Paul was willing to die if he deserved it (Acts 25:9-11).

It is impossible to live as a rock, all alone. We must cultivate the best possible relationships with God, our brothers, our enemies and governmental authorities. This is the means of our showing what controls our lives.

A Nation Defiled by Abortion

Robert Johnson

Robert JohnsonSince the legalization of abortion in the United States, almost 60 million of them have taken place. What was originally promoted as a procedure that would only be used in emergency situations has become a commonplace occurrence. Certainly, the destruction of life in the womb has become a consequence of this practice. We know the child in the womb is a life, is a human being. Modern imaging equipment has helped us to better understand this, along with other advances in technology. While the abortion rate currently is the lowest since Roe v. Wade, innocent life is still being destroyed daily, as abortion is primarily used for contraceptive purposes. However, Scripture affirms, “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). So many lives have been terminated by abortion that it’s easy to become desensitized to the process of death.

However, are there other ways besides the death of the unborn child that abortion defiles our land? Certainly so! When sin becomes commonplace, it only leads to further and greater sin. Paul reminds us it is lawlessness that leads to more lawlessness (Romans 6:19). What are some consequences that come when abortion is viewed as a normal part of life?

One can argue that a cheapening of the view of life in the womb leads to a cheapening of life outside the womb. If one can indiscriminately terminate an inconvenient life before birth, why not afterwards? What is called the Groningen Protocol, a procedure used by the University Medical Center Groningen in Groningen, Netherlands, offers guidelines for child euthanasia. One of those criteria has to do with the child’s expected quality of life. Life itself is no longer considered sacred, but the changing standards of human judgment are now the determining factor for what life is considered worthy to live or to be ended.

If infanticide can be indiscriminately practiced on infants, then who can say what limits can be applied at the other end of the spectrum, with adult euthanasia? Further, how old do you have to be for someone to decide your life isn’t worth living? Once God as Creator is ignored, and the sanctity of life is discarded, just who defines what makes a life worth living? Who gets to say what are or are not “meaningful interpersonal relations?” The whole prospect is terrifying, not just for us, but for our children and our grandchildren.

Life isn’t by accident but by design; it belongs to God, as we are created in His image. When we bequeath life as the prerogative of humanity to choose or to reject, governed by sinful motives and desires, we all lose. What can we do? Pray to God for hearts to be changed. Spend time with your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reminding them how special they are, how important their lives and all lives are. Honor life as a gift from God, to be lived for Him! “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

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