God’s view of persons with ID
The Bible teaches that every person, with and without disabilities, is made in the image of God and is therefore extremely valuable to him. God formed each one of us in the womb and knows us personally and intimately. Moreover, contrary to what many in the world believe, persons with ID are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by a sovereign God who makes no mistakes (Psalm 139: 13-16). Our friends with intellectual disabilities (ID) bear God’s divine image and are incredibly valuable to him.
God’s heart for persons with ID
Throughout the Bible, we see God’s heart and compassion for the poor, needy and disabled (e.g. Deuteronomy 27: 18-19, Psalm 146: 9). Jesus’ ministry also had a striking focus on the deaf, mute, lame, blind and the broader community they represent (see especially Luke’s gospel). God also calls his people to care for those who are vulnerable and marginalised.
God’s gospel for persons with ID
The Bible declares that all humanity, including persons with ID, are equal in our problem of sin (Rom 3: 23) which separates us from God. God’s gift of salvation is also equally available to all through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 3: 22). Persons with ID need to hear the gospel like everyone else so that they too may trust in Jesus and be saved.
God’s church includes persons with ID
All who are united to Christ through faith are part of his church. Christians of different ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and by extension, intellectual ability – we’re all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3: 26b-28). As such, persons with ID, who are marginalised in every society, must find in the church a place where they are valued as equal members of Christ’s body.
ID and their God-given gifts!
In God’s church, every member has a part to play. Everyone who trusts in Jesus is entrusted a gift from the Spirit for the common good (1 Corinthians 12: 7). The church is therefore poorer off if it excludes persons with ID and their God-given abilities to build up the church.
See here for further general information on intellectual disability.