Intro: One vital truth that we all recognize without reservation: God is the source of all things. God is the source of life. The biblical description of creation in Genesis is fascinating. The text depicts the most phenomenal transformation imaginable. From nothing to everything; from a formless void to a world teeming with vibrance and life. After creating the planets and the stars of the universe, and the earth, both the dry land the massive seas, the Bible says this… Read Gen. 1:2-2:7.
I. God is the Life-Giver: Genesis 1 & 2 is a story of life. God made the earth and the heavens in order to sustain life, and He created life as the finishing touch. Life was everywhere. And He breathed life into the nostrils of man in order be the crowning event of this life-creating work. The creation of human life was the consummation of everything God did in those 6 days. When God looked on it and He said, “It is very good.” (on the heels of the almost universal acceptance of the evolutionary dogma, has come the devaluing of human life.)
II. The Uniqueness of Human Life: Human life was, and is, different from other forms of life. “Let us make man in our image…” This is life that was designed to replicate God Himself (as a picture of the reality). There may be more than one element of our being created in the image of God.
- Just as God is a Spirit, so humans also have a spiritual component.
- Just as God, humans are moral beings, able to make distinction between what is right and wrong – moral decisions. They can activate their will based on a consciousness of an inner moral code (conscience).
- Just as God, humans have an eternal, or immortal existence. The soul of a person will live forever, either with God, or in Hell. There is no biblical evidence that this applies to other living creatures.
- Being created in the image of God also points to our purpose as humans. We are to point the world to One who created us. (statue of Lincoln in the Lincoln memorial – it was made in the image of Lincoln to make you reflect on Lincoln himself.) This is the point that the scriptures draw for us. We are here so that we show God to the world around us. 3:8-10 – “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (ESV)
- Thus, when God breathed into Adam the breath of life, something magnificent happened. Human life began.
A. But that process did not end with Adam. God continued to create life, through the process of natural birth. Notice that Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”Then Gen 5:3 says… And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. This indicates that the likeness (or image) of God is passed on from generation to generation, as children are born into the world. All humans have this superior quality of life. Then in Genesis 9:6, Noah is warned by God, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Even after all the wickedness, which was punished by the flood, the image of God is retained in man.
1. Notice how James references this in James 3:8-10– but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (ESV) Wherever we find human life, we find the image or likeness of the Creator. Ps 8:3-9– When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen — Even the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. 9 O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
2. What reverence we must have for every human life. Every time a child is born, the image of God.
III. The Truth About Life in the Womb: (This is not political speech. Those who have listened to me for a while know that I do not often discuss politics from the pulpit. And what I am saying today is not primarily designed to influence your vote at the ballot box. But there are politicized issues that have moral or spiritual implications for Christians. On these we must be willing to speak God’s words. That is my intention today. The murder of innocent children in the womb is a moral issue, and I stand opposed to it based on what God says in His word, not the platform of any particular political party. The recent legislation in NY (and proposed in Virginia) that removed all legal protection for unborn children even up to the time of birth, should cause every sound-minded person to take notice. How does God look on this?
A. A Scientific view of the womb: Back in 1973 when Roe v. Wade became the law of the land there was no such thing as 3D sonograms. We could not see into the womb as we can today. What do we know about what is happening there?
1. At 8 weeks of a pregnancy babies are…
• sucking their thumbs
• responding to sound (some evidence that suggests the baby is dreaming)
• recoiling from pain (when blood is drawn with a needle the baby can be seen pull its heel from needles – it hurts) – story out of Europe – lobster feel pain when we put them in boiling water – outrage ensued.)
• all the major organs are functioning (heart is beating, liver is making blood cells, The kidneys are clearing fluids, the nervous system is sending signals to the brain. There is even a unique fingerprint!
2. At 21 weeks with just a little help the child can live outside the womb. Now know this… nearly all of the 1 million abortions performed last year in the western world took place after this 21 weeks.
3. Such scientific evidence of activity in the womb has led to legal protection for the unborn infant in criminal law. An assault that causes the miscarriage of an unborn child can bring manslaughter charges. (A woman on the way to the abortion clinic is hit by a careless driver, and the child is killed. Charges result in jail time for the driver, but if she has been able to complete her trip to the abortion clinic, no crime would have been committed.)
B. A Biblical view of the womb: Luke 1 gives us some help in honoring the place of God’s work in the womb of a mother. Two cousins, Elizabeth and Mary, have both been given a child by God. Elizabeth will give birth to John, The Baptist, and Mary will give birth to Jesus.
• Verse 24 tells us that after Elizabeth conceived, she hid herself for 5 months. Then in verse 26, Luke tells us that in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus. So when Mary becomes pregnant Elizabeth is about 24 weeks along in her pregnancy. Luke 1:36-37– Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” Being encouraged, Mary takes off for Elizabeth’s house.
• Luke 1:39-44– 39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. This is not a text about abortion. But this text does give a view of the unborn child. A view that has shaped the way Christians have considered the unborn for centuries. Notice two things:
1. The babe in the womb… – the word translated as “babe” (brefos) in v. 41 and 44 is not a distinctive word for an unborn child. It is the general word for a baby. It has not connotation of an embryo or a fetus. This becomes clearer when we notice its appearance in Luke 2:16 – “And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby (brefos) lying in a manger.” What stage of development was Jesus in the manger? The same word that describes John in the womb describes Jesus in the manger. What they were in the womb, is what they were outside the womb.
2. The person in the womb… We also notice that the text treats the unborn child of Elizabeth as a person.
• Verse 41: “When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.”
• Then in verse 44, Elizabeth interprets that leap like this: “Behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” The text would seem to indicate that Elizabeth know this was a leap of Joy because she was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prompted her to this conclusion.
• Earlier Zacharias (Elizabeth’s husband) had been told: Luke 1:14–15, …“And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”
a. Only people can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Not animals, or tissue, or part of a body. The text treats the child in the womb as a person. It is a baby who feels joy and leaps
C. God is at work in the womb:Job 31:13-15 – If I have dismissed the case of my male or female servants when they made a complaint against me,14 what could I do when God stands up to judge? How should I answer Him when He calls me to account?15 Did not the One who made me in the womb also make them? Did not the same God form us both in the womb? (HCSB)
1. Job contemplates how he would answer God if he had dismissed the rights of his slave. What defense could he give? He implies that he would stand condemned before God for mistreating his servant. But why? On what basis would he be wrong? V. 15 – both he and his slave were formed in the womb by the same God.
• He traces the rights of his slave back to the womb.
• He even stresses an equality between him and his slave that began in the womb (it was not granted by a gov’t, or culture.)
• He tells us that God was at work in the womb. A birth is not just a natural development. God is forming the person in the womb. Abortion is wrong because it is an assault on God’s work. It is not just about the woman, the man, or even the child. It is about God. Psalm 139:13-14– For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. The Psalmist declares that God is at work in the womb – knitting together the person.
D. Is choice the issue? One of the dominant arguments in favor of abortion has been that the child in not a person, but rather a part of the woman’s body – and no one has a right to tell another person what they can do with their body.
1. First, what we have just viewed from the scientific standpoint does not support this assertion. The child is not a part of the woman’s body but a separate functioning person. (“the bat is part of the hands” – did it become a bat when I threw it down? Was it at anytime just a part of my hands?)
2. Second, this notion that no one can tell another person what they can do with their body is simply false. Society restricts what I can do with my body (cannot use my body (fist) to harm another person). Certainly the Christian must recognize that God restricts the use of my body. Paul tells us that our bodies do not belong to us – they belong to God. He commands us to use our bodies as a living sacrifice for God, doing good for others. 1 Cor 6:20 – For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
3. Life-saving surgery on infants is pretty common. But not while the child is still in the womb. Children’s hospital of Philadelphia is becoming well known for such surgeries. Little Juan Cella had a tumor on his heart (a heart the size of a peanut). At 21 weeks, the doctors removed the tumor while the child was in the womb. The doctor stated that they had two patients to be concerned about – the mother and the child. The same society that seeks to save the life in the womb, also allows for it to be snuffed out. What is the difference?
The difference is becoming more apparent. It is simply a matter of the convenience and desire of the mother.
Conclusion: What is the answer to the plague of abortion in our country? How can we confront it? I pray for the day when political decisions are made that will make the murder of innocent unborn children illegal in this country and around the world. But the answer to sin – all sin – is the atoning blood of Jesus. If you have made the choice to abort your child – know this. Our purpose today has not been to cast blame or shame you for that decision. We know God loves you and we hope you know that too. We are all sinners and the forgiveness he offers through Christ is sure for everyone who repents and turns back to him. You need to be a child of God. You need the life He gives.
The goal of the grace of God was revealed to us in the coming of Jesus. As the apostle describes it for us he says Jesus… has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Tim 1:10)