I have come across teaching that says that humans have no intrinsic worth apart from the fact that as beings created in the image of God there is a sanctity to our lives. Even the bible says differing things about the value of human life. If it is true that we are valueless, why would Jesus die for us?
ESV - 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.
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Your point of Christ dying for our sins speaks volumes about how much God values about the worth of human lives (more so human souls) that He would sacrifice His most precious Son. But I think your question stems from a narrow reading of the verse rather than seeing in its proper context. This verse is a part of Paul's indictment against both the gentiles and the Jews are "under sin" in their natural state. Verses 10-18 is a combined OT charges of unregenerate souls. These OT verses were taken from some Prophets (Jeremiah & Isaiah) and Psalms 5, 31, 53 which are quite often emotionally charged and reflect God's anger at ungodliness. Keep in mind that in this world, there is no neutral ground. Every person, regardless of his/her awareness, either belongs to God or to the enemy. Before I was born-again, I was working for the enemy. While I still had the intrinsic value of being created in the image of God, I added to God's wrath against ungodliness. Until I was won over by God's grace, my life was "worthless" in the work of God's kingdom. He was obvious working in my life to bring me to Christ. Getting back to the passage, this is one of "the darkest point" of the Romans before Paul presents how God proves His righteousness despite human unrighteousness. The most glorious passage is 3:21-26 which transforms the way righteousness is defined. Hope this helps.
We were created to be loved by God and to love. Our life is precious to Him. He does not want one person to perish. We become worthless when we decide to follow the ways of the world and live ungodly. To live that way is meaningless it is to live to well.. die.
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