Summary: A message on the sanctity of human life.
THE BIBLE AND ABORTION
v. 3 is key verse
INTRO: Some have suggested the Bible does not specifically address the matter of sanctity of life or the abortion issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible is overflowing in its teaching regarding the sanctity of life and its obvious conclusion that the wanton destruction of life at any stage, either born or unborn, is a grave ill. “Thou shalt not kill” surely applies to the unborn baby as well at to the developing child or mature adult.
There are many serious questions relating to the abortion issue. Is the unborn baby a human being? Is the unborn a person? Is the unborn a soul? Is it wrong to terminate the life of an unborn child? These and other pertinent questions relating to abortion are explicitly addressed in the Word of God.
I. WHEN DOES LIFE BEGIN?
The fact is that human life began with Adam when God shaped man in His own image and breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). This life is transmitted from generation to generation in an unbroken chain that links Adam and Eve with every child that has ever been conceived in its mother’s womb. The developing fetus is a human life just as surely as a fully-developed adult.
II. IS THE UNBORN CHILD A HUMAN BEING?
Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines human as “having human form or attributes.” It further defines being “substance, nature, or essence of anything existent, one that exists.”
Can anyone rationally conclude the unborn child is not a human being? To suggest it is not a “being” is to suggest it doesn’t exist. Certainly, it does exist and it is, therefore, a “being.” Further, to suggest it is not a human being is to imply it must be some other kind of being. If it is some other kind of being, what kind is it? Is it a pig, a cow, or a duck? Is it a vegetable, or perhaps some inorganic thing? Surely, this developing child within the mother’s womb, from the moment of conception, is a human being with all the potential of an Einstein or a Billy Graham.
Obviously any time we terminate the life of an unborn child, we are, in fact, taking the life of a human being.
III. IS THE UNBORN CHILD A PERSON? (Psalm 139: 13-16).
Notice how often the psalmist refers to himself in his unborn condition with the personal pronoun “me” or “I”. In this short passage, the psalmist uses the personal pronoun ten times. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the psalmist openly declares his personhood even while yet in his mother’s womb and affirmed the sanctity of life of the unborn. (see also Jeremiah1:5).
These passages plainly indicate that in the mother’s womb God creates a new individual even as He created Adam in the beginning.
Consider the marvelous occasion when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, several months pregnant with John the Baptist. When the good news of the Messiah’s coming was declared, the Bible says: “The babe leaped in her womb...” (Luke 1:41,44). Luke further declares that John was “filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). The Holy Ghost only fills people, not tissue or cells.
The Greek word for baby is (βρεφος) brephos. It is the same word used here in this passage for the unborn baby in Elizabeth’s womb. The Thayer Greek Lexicon defines brephos as “embryo, fetus, newborn child, young child or nursing child.”
This same word is used to describe Jesus in the manger (Luke 2:16) and Timothy as a “child” learning the scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15).
ILLUS: In the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, the US Supreme Court concluded that the unborn child was not really human nor a person, therefore was not protected by the right to life assured “persons” by the US Constitution. The Supreme Court concluded that the unborn fetus was merely a part of the mother’s body, not a separate human individual. (This is reminiscent of the Dred Scott decision in which the Supreme Court concluded the black slaves were not really persons and therefore had no rights under the constitution.) Obviously, this reasoning flies in the face of the plain biblical teaching of the humanity and personhood of the unborn child.
It is interesting to note that most often, when someone is planning to terminate the life of the unborn, and destroy this miracle of God’s creation, they refer to the unborn as the “fetus” or the “embryo.” By contrast, when they plan to keep the child and cherish it, it is always known as “my baby” or “my child.” Did you ever hear anyone say “I’m going to have a little fetus?” Did you ever hear an abortionist say, “We’re going to kill the little baby?” Our respect for the unborn seems to be strangely affected by the circumstances.