Why Does Life Have Value?

Leon L. Combs, M.A., M.Div., Ph.D.
January 4, 1998, revised November 17, 2015

If we exist via evolution, without the hand of God involved then there is no inherent value to life. There is no difference between us and any other animal. We live and then we die and we are done:
Eccl 1:3 “What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?
Eccl 1:4 A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever.”
1Cor 15:32 “If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

There is then no ultimate justice without God:
Psa 111:7 “The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure.
Prov 21:15 “The execution of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.”

But not only does God exist, He is the creator and sustainer:
Col 1:16 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him.
Col 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

I want to consider five reasons why life has value since God created us.

1. God made us in His image.

Gen 1:26 “Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Gen 1:27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

He not only created us, He created us in His image, according to His likeness. All other creation events begin with “Let …..” but in the creation of man He says, “Let Us …” In all the other creations it is like He speaks and His universe responds as ordered:
Gen 1:11 “Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth"; and it was so.”
Gen 1:20 “Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."”
Gen 1:24 “Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so.”

But with man He directly intervenes. Man is a very special creation of God. He was created in the image and likeness of God and could have lived forever in such a state. The only mention of man dying was if he disobeyed God by eating of a certain tree:
Gen 2:16 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
Gen 2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.’”

But as we know, he did sin and he did eventually die. He was sent away from the Garden of Eden and the perfect accompany of God and started his own family. They had other children after the fall, but look at the wording of the offspring of Adam and Eve from which the Bible gives us our lineage:
Gen 5:3 “When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.”

Note the exact same wording of the son of Adam as compared with God creating Adam. Seth was created in the image and likeness of Adam, not of God. The Bible then tracing the lineage of Seth to Noah and we came from Noah.

So we were born in the image of Adam, not of God. God initially made man in His image and likeness so that he was a trinity also. Man was a body, soul, and spirit so that he could have perfect communion with God. But Adam sinned and his spirit died so that he was then a duality rather than a trinity. Because we also were physically born a duality, we needed to be born again to become body, soul, and spirit so that we could commune with God. The capacity to be born again is present but Jesus said that we had to be born again:
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

But we are not capable ourselves of initiating a second birth anymore than we had a part in our physical birth. This second birth is entirely a work of God, just as was His original creation of man:
1Pe 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
1Pe 1:23 “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.”

Despite the clarity of the above, some people insist that all mankind is born in the image of God because of the following verse:
Gen 9:6 “Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.”

But note that the verse says that God made man. The verb tense is past. Moses is telling us that man is still important to God because He made him initially in His image and He can still cause a person to be born again into that same image and likeness. There is no other animal that possesses the possibility of being born again into a trinity. So even for those who will not see heaven, life still has value.

2. God cares for us.

Psa 8:3 “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
Psa 8:4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?
Psa 8:5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty!
Psa 8:6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet,
Psa 8:7 All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field,
Psa 8:8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.”

God cares for us individually and collectively:
Jer 1:19 “"And they will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you," declares the Lord.”
He even cares for us in our sleep:
Psa 127:2 “It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”

Below are some of the many blessings of God on those who fear Him and are His people:
Psa 111:5 “He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.”
Psa 103:13 “Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”
Psa 37:23 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord; And He delights in his way.
Psa 37:24 When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”
Psa 34:6 “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
Psa 34:7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
Psa 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Psa 34:9 O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him, there is no want.
Psa 34:10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.”
Psa 34:15 “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.”
Psa 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Psa 33:18 “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
Psa 33:19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.”
Psa 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
Psa 16:11 “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Psa 9:10 “And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; For Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.”
Psa 1:6” For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish”.

Be sure to note the last part of Psa 1:6 for the end for those who are not God’s children will be to perish and suffer forever.

3. God gives us the responsibility of managing His creation.

Gen 1:28 “And God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
Psa 8:5 “Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty!
Psa 8:6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet,
Psa 8:7 All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field,
Psa 8:8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.”

Originally man and beasts were vegetarians:
Gen 1:29 “Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
Gen 1:30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food ";and it was so.”

After the flood, men and animals had a very different relationship:
Gen 9:2 “And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.
Gen 9:3 "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
Gen 9:4 "Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”

One day the world will be returned to the original state.
Isa 11:6 “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.
Isa 11:7 Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
Isa 11:8 And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.
Isa 11:9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea.”

4. God esteems our value.

Matt 12:11 “And He said to them, "What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it, and lift it out?
Matt 12:12 ‘Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’”

He sent His son to die for us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Eph 2:4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Eph 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
Eph 2:7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

5. God will Give His People a Glorified Body That Will Forever Live With Him

This section is taken from my aerticle on Salvation that is on my web site. The final aspect of salvation initiated by God is an eschatological (end times) issue since we will not immediately receive our glorified body when we die. The Bible clearly teaches the survival of the soul of believers at the time of physical death in an eternal state in the presence of God but not in that ultimate glorified body. Jesus clearly tells us that we will continue an existence after our physical death:
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,

Other reassuring verses include Matt 10:28, Luke 23:43, John 14:3, and 2 Cor 5:1. We also know that God’s children will not face judgment under the wrath of God:
John 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

We know that our departure from this world will be a glorious event from some of Paul’s writings such as:
2Cor 5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
Phil 1:23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;

We also know that this departure and meeting with the Lord will be immediately after our death as Jesus told the penitent person on the cross that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise (Luke 23:43). The immediate state after death is certainly one in which believers are spiritually alive and fully conscious (Luke 16:19-31; 1 Thess 5:10; Rev 14:13), so there is no time of “spiritual sleep” after death as taught by some people. Believers in that soul-state after physical death will certainly be enjoying the presence of the Lord and other Christians of all ages (Heb 12:23). However even this wonderful state of existence is not the final state to which all Christians aspire. The final state of glorification is the feature of salvation that all Christians anticipate when they will receive their glorified bodies:
Rom 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

A major Scripture reference for the subject of glorification is:
Rom 8:30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Paul also wrote of the glorification of God’s children in another text from Romans:
Rom 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

The souls of the wicked will also survive physical death but their final state is not one of bliss (Matt 11:21-24; 12:41; Rom 2:5-11; 2 Cor 5:10). There will be a resurrection for all people at the End Times (Eschaton), but the impenitent and unsaved will face an eternal condemnation or the “second death” (Rev 2:11; 20:12-15; John 5:29; Acts 24:15). However, believers will have a resurrection and be given an immortal body with which to enjoy the presence of the Lord forever (Luke 20:35, 36; John 5:25-29; 1 Cor 15; 1 Thess 4:16; Phil 3:21). In particular the following is a blessing for Christians:
1Cor 15:51-54 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

The exact nature of the glorified body is not specifically described in Scripture but the resurrected Christian will be like Jesus in His glorified body:
1John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.

The eternal existence of the children of God in their glorified bodies will consist of a life in perfect communion with God (Matt 13:43; 25:34; Rom 2:7, 10; 2 Cor 15:49; Phil 3:21; 2 Tim 4:8; Rev 21:4; 22:3, 4). What a wonderful life awaits the children of God! We should all think of this last phase of salvation while we are involved in sanctification here as it motivates us to cooperate more with the Holy Spirit in working out our salvation:
Phil 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

This fear and trembling that we have now in our submission to the Lord will bring forth more of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) to glorify God while we live here. But we also must look forward to that glorious time in our eternal future with God:
Rev 21:4 “and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. "

Praise God for giving meaning and value to life!