Should a believer donate organs is a question that needs two answers. First, if the organ donation doesn’t involve death of the donor, I’d expect that answer should be yes. We should be willing to sacrifice for the lives of others. I know this coming verse is a figure of speech and we shouldn’t take it too far, but Paul applauds the Galatians for the depth of their love for him. He refers to it as a “blessing.” He writes in Chapter 4, verse 15, “What then has become of the blessing you felt? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.” James explains the principle of sacrificing for the welfare of others this way: If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17). These passage aren’t specifically addressing giving parts of one’s body to others, therefore, I’d argue it’s not sin to choose not to, yet it’s a power act of love to choose to do so. After all, Jesus gave His entire Body for our sins. No, greater love has any man, than to give up his life for another.

Should a believer donate his body parts after death is another question. Some argue that since the body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit” we should not do this. I think that adds to Paul’s intended meaning of that passage. Yet it’s clear that “thou shalt not kill.” What actually defines death is not universally agreed upon. A blanket living will might give permission to withhold or withdraw treatment under circumstances in which we would choose treatment for ourselves or our loved ones. I believe we can donate our organs to save the lives of others after we die as long as death has been determined by every criterion “including complete loss of brain function.”

Other believers argue for keeping the body intact in the grave as we look forward to the resurrection. But the scriptures make it clear that “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Jesus was the greatest example of self sacrifice for the welfare of others. He charged us with “loving others as we love ourselves.” He speaks of caring for those who can’t care for themselves and goes on to say “whatever you did for one of the least of these…you have done for me” (Matthew 25:40). Since organ donation is not specifically contradicted in Scripture it should be considered permissible and is a legitimate option for a true believer.

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31