Organ Transplants

Stewardship applies to many areas of life, but we mostly use it about money, time, and the environment. However, stewardship applies also to our bodies. The apostle Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20, ESV). What we do with our bodies should glorify the one who gave them to us—namely Jesus.

The issue of organ transplants is one of those where Scripture doesn’t offer explicit advice. However, the Bible does offer some good principles for consideration. Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). While natural causes or terrible tragedies may take our lives, our still-healthy organs may bring life to someone else. Countless people wait on long lists for corneas, healthy hearts, lungs, kidneys, and other organs to live. If our planning ahead before death can save someone else’s life, shouldn’t we, following Jesus’ example, save people when we have the opportunity?

Someone may object that our organs, or someone else’s, may go to someone who isn’t Christian—or even a good person. However, Paul tells us, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Grace isn’t something that we earn; it is an unmerited gift. An organ transplant may allow someone unrepentant more time to make their life right. An organ transplant may save someone’s soul as well as their life.

Finally, people may be concerned that if we donate organs, it may affect our status in the resurrection. People throughout history have worried about God not bringing people back who have been cremated. However, the Bible tells us God can make something from nothing (Gen. 1-2). We don’t need to be worried that He will be hindered by a lack of material when God raises the dead. That will be the least of our problems, or God’s—after all, He will make all things new! (Rev. 21:5).