Why should man love God?


Man is a creature and the image of God.

For the Christian faith man is first and foremost God's creature and his image. God created man as his image, as the Bible tells us (Gen 1:27). In Psalm 8 the psalmist is amazed that God has made man “a little lower than God” (Ps 8: 6). So on the one hand man is one of an infinite number of creatures. On the other hand, of all created things, he is closest to God. To be the image of God is above all a statement about the task of man: He should represent God and ensure peace and justice in the world.

God has equipped man for this task and given him gifts and freedom. For example, the first chapters of the Bible, called prehistory, tell how Adam and Eve decided to go against God's commandments and how Cain decided to kill his brother Abel. The stories of the Tower of Babel, the Flood and Noah's Ark are also examples of how people turn away from God, live out their freedom, but also have to learn to live with the consequences. All of these stories are about the fine line of using your own freedom and creativity in such a way that they serve the lives of people in the world and do not destroy them. If people try to be like God and take his place, disaster will ensue. Man lives on this fine line, this is what the biblical stories tell.

The apostle Paul also takes up these conflicts in his letters in the New Testament. He states: people know what is right and can do it. But people also always make mistakes, even though they know very well that they are doing the wrong thing. For Paul, however, there is an opportunity in this contradictory nature of human action: When people notice that they simply cannot do the right thing, they become open to God. It is a great gift to be able to trust in God in such situations and to be guided by God. This is the salvation that the Christian faith holds: By becoming man himself, God has given man a great “yes”. By trusting in his love people can know that they are known and wanted by God for what they are in their innermost being. On this basis, you can make important decisions, make mistakes or master difficult paths.

Further content and links

  • ask

    Why the detour? Why not God's Kingdom right away?

    Answer: God did not create a perfect world in the first place. He gave people freedom to shape their lives and the world. Freedom always includes being able to choose the wrong thing. A perfect world from the beginning would only work if people gave up their freedom. She is a gift. People can participate in the process of this world becoming. And the question remains whether even in the world that comes next, things don't continue to change and life goes on in an open form.

  • discussion

    The fact that people are God's creatures also means that they are not alone in control of their lives. You have the freedom to make something of your life. But when their life begins and when it ends, they are not supposed to decide, nor can they do it down to the last detail. In addition, human freedom is a given freedom: it was given to them by God together with the responsibility to respect and preserve life and creation. Based on this conviction, the churches in Germany take part in the debates on pre-implantation diagnostics and in the debate on euthanasia. They refuse to grow and manipulate large numbers of embryos and then to kill unwanted, surplus embryos. They also refuse to legalize the condition that organizations or doctors can help people commit suicide.


    The debate over pre-implantation diagnostics revolves around the possibilities associated with in vitro fertilization. Artificial insemination was developed, among other things, to fulfill a couple's desire to have children if they cannot become pregnant naturally. In the case of artificial insemination, the sperm and egg cells are brought together in a glass dish in the laboratory, which is why artificial insemination is also called "in vitro fertilization".

    In the best case scenario, artificial insemination creates embryos, which are then implanted in the woman's uterus. The law only allows a maximum of three embryos to be transplanted into the uterus to prevent multiple births. If more than three embryos are formed, the couple will be asked whether the excess eggs should be destroyed or frozen. However, this happens when the embryos have not yet reached their embryo status, in the so-called pronuclear stage.

    More recent research, especially genetic research, goes one step further: With its methods, people have the opportunity to examine how healthy the respective embryos are. You can choose the healthiest and selectively sort out and kill the sick embryos. The Embryo Protection Act in Germany currently prohibits the creation of an embryo reserve in order to be able to choose between as many embryos as possible.

    Theoretically, however, the option also exists with the permitted number of three embryos, namely when more than one embryo is formed. Even then, the embryos can be examined for health and, if necessary, sorted out. In this way it can be ensured that only healthy embryos are implanted or only "the healthiest" embryo. The others would then be killed in their embryo stage.

    According to the understanding of the Evangelical Church in Germany, an embryo is already a person and therefore already has human dignity. Therefore, in the opinion of the Church, embryos should neither be killed nor sorted out. The decision to specifically sort out embryos also amounts to a decision about life worth living and life unworthy of living. Every life is willed by God and must be protected. The Church firmly rejects the idea of ​​calling sick or handicapped people "unworthy" or looking at them.


    In the discussion about euthanasia, a fundamental distinction is made between active euthanasia and assisted suicide. It also plays an important role whether it is organized euthanasia or not.

    In the case of active euthanasia, the doctor, for example, gives the patient an injection or a liquid with the aim of causing the patient's death. In the case of assisted suicide, the doctor provides the patient with a lethal drug at the patient's request and prepares it so that the patient can take it himself: if he is physically impaired, for example with a straw. In the case of assisted suicide, however, the patient always has to take the drug himself, i.e. reach for the drug or move towards the drug. The doctor does not help with the last step. Organized euthanasia occurs when an institution offers euthanasia as a service. These can be euthanasia organizations such as those in Switzerland with “Exit” and “Dignitas”.

    The Evangelical Church in Germany rejects organized euthanasia and legalization of assisted suicide. In the case of organized euthanasia, the Church warns that euthanasia organizations, because they sell services, are compelled to make a profit and try to capitalize on dying. The church opposes the legalization of assisted suicide for two main reasons: First, it warns against attacking the professional ethos of doctors. If doctors in the future no longer only stand for saving lives, but also for killing people, this would permanently disrupt people's trust in doctors. Second, the Church warns that the legalization of assisted suicide could shift society's values ​​of death and disease. In difficult cases, dying with dignity would only mean suicide. At the same time, a life of illness or disability would be considered unworthy. In the eyes of many, people might then no longer have the right to be sick or in need of care.

  • Left
  • The basic text “Justification and Freedom. 500 years of the Reformation 2017 ”is the fruit of the inner-Protestant understanding and a further contribution to deepening it. The text explains essential theological insights of the Reformation period in the current context. You can read it online here.

    learn more
  • When a scribe asks Jesus about the highest commandment in the Bible, he answers with the double commandment of love. With this commandment he summarizes the Ten Commandments. Accordingly, love for God and love for one's neighbor are equally important.

    learn more
  • A new version of the Luther Bible was published for the Reformation anniversary in 2017. For ten years, a team of 70 scientists revised the text and revived many of Luther's original formulations. The Luther Bible 2017 sounds more like Luther again.

    learn more