My wife has been pregnant eleven times. Ten of those pregnancies resulted in the births of precious sons and daughters, all of whom we cherish. Do we love babies? That’s pretty obvious. I’ve loved babies for as long as I can remember. The same is true of my wife. In fact, that’s one of the qualities that drew me to her.
In light of this, you may be tempted to think we are pro-life because we love babies. And if you did, you would be mistaken…terribly mistaken. We are not pro-life because we love babies. We love babies because we are pro-life; we love babies because every human life is a priceless, divine image-bearer. We love babies because we believe God is the creator; He is the author and designer of all life. We love babies because we believe God’s creative beauty is displayed in–and His image uniquely stamped upon–every boy and girl conceived in the safety of the womb. We love babies because God’s glory is displayed in them. We love babies because Jesus Christ came into this world to reclaim and restore the glory and image of God in man. We love babies because we are Christians.
To be a Christian means to follow Christ, to be reclaimed by the Creator who became our Redeemer. To be a Christian means to be rescued from evil, our own evil. And when one is rescued from his own evil he longs to see the whole world rescued as well. So what are we to think about these things? Why should a Christian be pro-life? Here are 10 reasons we should pray for the end of legalized abortion.
1. Every human life is created by God.
The Bible gives to God exclusive credit for all human existence. The patriarch Job said to God, “Didst Thou not pour me out like milk, and curdle me like cheese; clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews? Thou hast granted me life (Job 10:10-12). David wrote, children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).
Every baby is a unique creation of God, a person. Even secular medical experts dare to use the word “miraculous.” Keith L. Moore, professor and chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, wrote in The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented-Embryology, a widely used medical textbook: “The processes by which a child develops from a single cell are miraculous….human development is a continuous process that begins when an ovum from a female is fertilized by a sperm from a male. Growth and differentiation transform the zygote, a single cell…into a multicellular adult human being. Even a single strand of DNA from a human cell contains information equivalent to a library of one thousand volumes. The complexity of the zygote itself, according to Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chief Geneticist at the Mayo Clinic, “is so great that it is beyond our comprehension.” In a short nine months’ time, one fertilized ovum grows into six thousand million cells that become a living, breathing person like you.
2. Human life is sacred because we are created in God’s image.
On the sixth day of the creation week, God said “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27). To be made in God’s image means that man resembles God in a way the rest of creation does not. We do not fully understand what this means, but it at least means that man possesses intellect, emotion, and will and is, therefore, a moral creature. These capacities make it possible for man to have spiritual fellowship with his Creator. This gives immense value to all human life.
After Noah’s flood, God established the death penalty for murder. At the heart of God’s reasoning was the fact that man is an image-bearer. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man” Genesis 9:6). To assault man is to assault God since man is made in His image. The image of God is what sets man apart as unique and infinitely more valuable than every other creature.
3. Human life begins at conception.
The phrase conceived and gave birth occurs repeatedly throughout the Scriptures. For example, it occurs four times alone in Genesis 29:32-35. King David asserted in Psalm 51:5, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” David acknowledged the fact that he was a sinner by nature from the very moment he came into existence, and his existence began at conception. Medical science supports what Scripture has always taught. The humanity of Jesus also began at conception. The Gospel of Luke records the angel’s message to Mary: “You will conceive in your womb” (Luke 1:31). Except for the absence of a sin nature, the humanity of Jesus was identical to ours (Hebrews 2:17) and began the moment the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary.
4. The unborn child is a person.
God consistently views the fetus as a real person regardless of its stage of development, and medical science has repeatedly proven this. Psalm 139:13-16 contains the most beautiful description of God’s handiwork in the womb: “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb…” I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well….Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance…”
Scripture acknowledges a difference in the baby’s appearance at various stages of human development, but always acknowledges it as fully human at every stage. Consider more examples of the unborn being treated as real persons (Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:15, 41). John Jefferson Davis writes, “Rather than saying that the unborn represent ‘potential human life,’ it is more accurate to say that the unborn represent actual human life with great potential.”
5. Babies with disabilities are created by God, and are equal in value.
When Moses tried to talk his way out of being God’s mouthpiece, the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11). God takes full responsibility for the creation of those with disabilities. For years, abortion rights advocates have used “quality of life” talk to advance their cause. It is critical to recognize that God makes no distinction between quality of life and life itself. All human life holds incredible value in the eyes of the Creator.
6. The life of the unborn child belongs to God, not the mother.
For decades we’ve heard about “the mother’s right to control her own body.” However, medical science has long proven that the baby in the womb is a completely separate person. It is not the mother’s body that we are talking about. The developing child is connected to the mother and dependent on her life, but a totally new creation. Evidence of this may be seen from three simple facts: many women carry babies whose blood type differs from their own; many women carry male children; and the child has its own brainwaves, fingerprints, and DNA. The mother’s body recognizes the baby as a foreign body. If it were not for the protection of the placenta, which is triggered into existence by the baby, the mother’s body would reject the fertilized egg. Knowledge like this only verifies what God has already said in His Word, “all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine” (Ezekiel 18:4).
7. The intentional taking of innocent human life is forbidden and cursed by God.
The 6th Commandment is “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Murder is the intentional, pre-meditated taking of innocent human life. If life begins at conception and abortion is the intentional ending of life prior to birth then abortion is murder. There is no way around this conclusion. To deny it we must willfully choose to ignore the obvious evidence. Exodus 23:7 warns, “do not kill the innocent or the righteous.” Proverbs 6:16-17 reads, “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.” Dietrich Bonhoffer, the Lutheran theologian who was executed by the Nazis for his opposition to Hitler, said the following of abortion: “The simple fact is that God intended to create a human being and…this human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”
8. Scripture even condemns the accidental causing of the death of an unborn child.
In Exodus 21:22-23, we find the following: “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.” If this is true in regard to the accidental death of the unborn, how much more serious is its intentional destruction?
9. Nations that slaughter the innocent will reap God’s judgment.
God warned Israel that murder pollutes a nation, “So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land” (Numbers 35:33). Abortion is a deplorable pollution to any nation. Over one hundred years ago, an Italian attorney, Raffaello Balestrini, warned: “Whenever abortion becomes a social custom, it is the external manifestation of a people’s decadence.” Abortion is an ungodly symptom of a nation that has willfully turned its back on God. No nation will get away with that for long.
10. God offers forgiveness to those who have taken innocent life when they come to Him through Jesus Christ–the Sin Bearer.
The Bible extends the offer of God’s forgiveness to those who repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24).
If you are a woman reading this and you have personally experienced the reality of abortion, please know that God’s forgiveness is offered to you in Jesus Christ. If you are a man who has ever influenced a woman to have an abortion, please know that God’s forgiveness is offered to you as well. If you confess this sin to God and turn away from it then God will truly cleanse you. He will set you free. Jesus died for all sin—even abortion. Place your faith in Him as the One who paid the penalty for your sin. In Christ, all sin may be washed away by God’s forgiving grace. The Lord promises, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
Let’s pray for God’s mercy upon our nation and for the true church’s obligation to the worldwide spread of the hope of forgiveness and new life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
[Originally posted January 2015]