• Rev. Dr. Craig Stephans

A Higher Authority than us Determines Each Person's Worth

Updated: Mar 26

The value that we place on human life from conception in the womb to natural death rests on two factors: creation and incarnation. While other factors of life are incredibly relevant and meaningful, nothing has greater significance in determining a person’s worth than creation and incarnation.

For those who work in the ministry of life, we do not judge a person’s worth by background, context, potential, convenience, appearance, wealth or power. The reason is because God has already set the person’s worth for us, and we accept the value God places on a person as the final authoritative worth. This worth, above all else, informs how we minister to people and treat them.

The first indication of each person’s value appears at the beginning of the Biblical narrative: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…” (Genesis 1:27-28)

God creates each and every person in his image and likeness fulfilling his desire for people created for relationship with him. Regardless of the circumstances of conception, no person exists haphazardly or accidentally. The psalmist confirms this truth: For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Sin has distorted the image and likeness of God in people. Some might argue that since people became sinners, they are no longer of value unless they demonstrate their worth. Some may argue that only a mother or father can ascribe to the child worth. The idea would be that if a mother of a conceived child deems the child of too little value to have then abortion can be a reasonable alternative to life. However, following the fall of humanity due to sinfulness, God confirms that people are of value because they are made in his image still. (Genesis 9:6) Therefore, we are not entitled to set a value on people that is less than God does.

God emphatically confirms the ultimate value of each and every person when Jesus, the Son of God, becomes a person conceived by the Holy Spirit and given life in his mother’s womb. When Jesus becomes a person, he demonstrates the value of a person, even at conception. This is the incarnation – God becoming human. Now the value of a person not only rests on being created in God’s image but also rests on God the Son being a person, fully God and fully man.

Jesus assures us that Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:5) The Creator of all people demonstrated his love for all people by becoming a person and laying down his life because of his love for each and every person. The value of each person has been determined by nothing else than God giving the life of his Son for him or her. God paid the price of his Son for each person; therefore, each person has infinite value based on the highest authority there is. (1 Corinthians 6:20)

This gives us great comfort and encouragement, because none of us are tasked with determining whether a child should live or die. We don’t have to weigh the circumstances of conception or imagine the future that he or she will live in order to know if we should try to persuade the mother toward life. When it comes to the sacredness of human life, none of that matters in determining value. God has shown us that the child has infinite value, and that He is active in the child’s body, soul and spirit for good. For each person conceived, the message from God is the same as his word to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." (Jer 1:5)



©2019 by PRC Chaplain.