January 22, 2008, marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which lies at the core of our national debate about abortion. In those 35 years, more than 47 million infants have been legally murdered by residents of this nation alone. The Supreme Court, seeking to protect a woman’s right to privacy from government interference, neglected to protect the rights of the unborn in what seems to many a monstrous parody of ‘justice’.
On Sunday our pastor spoke about what the Bible says about three pertinent questions:
- When does life begin?
- What about a person’s choice?
- What about forgiveness?
It was an excellent, courageous, insightful and straightforward discussion which left no room for doubt that:
- The Bible clearly indicates that human life begins in the womb, and that God values in utero life in no way less than an adult human.
- A woman’s choice for her body is subject to God’s control and will, and (as a child of God) her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. As with any person, her body is to be offered to God to do works of righteousness; this does not include murder.
- God’s forgiveness is offered freely to all who sin and the blood of Jesus is more than enough to forgive even the vilest of crimes.
Our pastor is a very kind man, and his sermon was delivered in such a way that people would really have to work to be offended — yet he didn’t pull any punches in laying out what the Bible says. I was proud of him and delighted to sit under the teaching of such a man.
The verses our pastor cited are as follows:
The unborn are created and known by God: Psalm 139:13-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
The unborn are called babies: Luke 1:41 (John the Baptist), Genesis 25:22 (Jacob and Esau). (The same Greek/Hebrew word is used in the scripture for the unborn as for infants.)
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
The unborn are protected as persons: Exodus 21:22-23
“If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
The unborn are called by God: Isaiah 49:1, Galatians 1:15
Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased …
Our pastor went on to list several specific applications, ranging from political to personal:
- We are fortunate to live in a nation that allows us to vote, and we should apply that vote in support of a candidate who values human life as God does.
- We must not grow weary in praying for justice for the unborn; rather we ought to be praying more and more fervently.
- We are surrounded by many opportunities to show love to those who find themselves with unwanted pregnancies; in our own community there is CareNet, which offers ultra-sound services and counseling to thousands of women each year.
I John 1:9 — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Thanks be to God that He is able and willing to forgive any and all of our sin, whether public or private.