So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27
As Christians, we should believe that every person–no matter their stage of life or what type of capabilities they do or do not have–is made in the image of God. This biblical truth resonates throughout Scripture, but is explicitly stated in five passages: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:1; Genesis 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; and James 3:9. The Bible claims that all human beings are endowed with inherent value on the basis of their image-bearing. Therefore, we should be thankful, rejoice, and celebrate that the overturning of Roe v. Wade, by God’s grace, protects human life in one of its most vulnerable states (see ruling here).
While we should be thankful to God, I want to argue that our gospel work is not done but rather more important in these post-Roe v. Wade times. Here are five encouragements for Christians that the gospel calls us to as abortion is no longer declared a constitutional right.
- Pray and be prepared to offer hope to those who are hurting. The church needs to be a place where it is ok to not be ok. We must extend grace, love, and hope that comes through Jesus Christ to those who feel that this ruling will hurt them personally. We must show them the grace of the gospel as we open our arms to help them with any fears, concerns, or struggles they think will result from the overturning of Roe v. Wade. It’s time for the church to truly embrace Jesus’s words, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). Of course, this love to our neighbor overflows out of our love for God and is grounded in God’s character (cf. Matt. 22:37-38).
- We need to remind ourselves and others about the hope of the gospel. Many emotions and feelings swirl around the abortion issue. May we, as Christians, be known for our gospel of grace in conjunction with our belief in justice and morality informed by the character of God. Colossians 2:13, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.” No one, no matter what they have done, is unable to be forgiven by God’s grace because Jesus came to seek and to save sinners (cf. Luke 19:10), and may we remark like Paul, “of whom I am the foremost” (1 Tim. 1:15). Please, Christian, remember the power of the gospel, which transformed you and can do so for anyone in a post-Roe v. Wade era.
- Be ready to open our homes. We must resemble Jesus’s teaching of the good Samaritan who took time out of his schedule and money out of his pockets to help someone in need (cf. Luke 10:25-37). Jesus told his audience that the Samaritan was driven by compassion for the man on the road, and this was the motive that led to the Samaritan’s service. At the end, Jesus informs the lawyer, “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). This ruling should cause us to open our homes to those who will need us most during this time. It’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s going to be work. It’s going to take resources. However, might the compassion and love of Christ pour out of our service for the entire world to see.
- Support pregnancy center’s in our local area. Many who might have considered an abortion may now be looking to pregnancy center’s for help. Perhaps assistance with counseling, financial planning, coaching, or parenting. We should consider resourcing and volunteering at these institutions to assist them in their work of supporting life and helping people work through an unexpected pregnancy.
- Remember that laws will never change hearts because only Christ can do that. Christians should celebrate and thank God for the courts ruling, but we should not be fooled into thinking that the overturning of Roe v. Wade is going to transform lives into the image of Christ. The law can restrict and restrain man’s evil disposition, but it has no power to save and transform sinners into saints. Paul’s harsh letter to the Galatians illustrates this when he wrote, “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Christ Jesus, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Gal. 2:16). Although the Apostle was talking about a different type of law in Galatians, the validity of his argument remains for us. Only the gospel changes lives, and therefore, causes followers of Jesus to recover and pursue God’s design (3 Circles reference).
Should Christians have been doing this all along? Of course. But, the fact remains that now that Roe v. Wade has been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court we must be more committed to the gospel’s reach for all those that have been impacted by this decision. May the church look at this as an opportunity to praise God for protecting life, but also be lights shining “so that [the world] may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
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