The Sanctity of Human Life

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January 20, 2017

Hello Church,

I pray this letter finds you walking in the joy of the Lord and resting in His all sufficient grace poured out upon us who believe in Christ alone.[1] This has been an historic week for our nation as we witnessed the 45th event that publically marked the transition of presidential power. I hope you are faithfully following the command of our Lord to pray for all those in high positions of leadership that God sovereignly places over us for our protection.[2] It is my hope that your political or partisan position does not prohibit you from honestly interceding on behalf of our governmental leaders. Yet, despite this important political celebration there is another event this weekend that I believe utterly surpasses the inauguration, as it declares a truth that is both universal in nature and global in impact. I am referencing the declaration of the sanctity of human life which we will nationally celebrate this Sunday. The biblical fact that every single human being is created in the image of God and thus retains unparalleled earthly value,[3] significance,[4] and importance[5] is a truth sadly denied by many across our world.

The Sanctity of Human Life

Pregnancy Clinic
Pregnancy Clinic

The sacredness of human life is no small or cursory topic in the Scriptures which emphatically declares that God is the divine creator, sustainer, and orchestrator of all life,[6] including the conception of life in the womb.[7] The Bible is clear that human life begins at conception and actually makes no real distinction between the value of life in or outside of the womb so that both must be seen as being human.[8] Moreover, Scripture makes it clear that God is actively involved in the process of creating human life that begins at conception.[9] God speaks of personally knowing people before and while they were in the womb.[10] John the Baptist demonstrates personality while in the womb[11] and is declared to have the Holy Spirit from the womb.[12] David speaks of having personality while in the womb when he declares that he was sinful from birth and then directly links this reality to what he was at conception,[13] and Paul was set apart and thus known by God before he was even born.[14] Additionally, the Bible makes it patent that children are a blessing from the Lord[15] and looks upon the killing of children as a particular horror and sin.[16] It is very interesting that God refers to these murdered children as His[17] and even speaks of protecting all life, including life in the womb, to the point of punishing those who would bring harm to a baby in the womb.[18]

Most importantly, the Scriptures make it clear that every human being is created in, and is innately endowed with the image of God, which is something man is in essence or structure despite what man does in his function or abilities.[19] Not only is this reality declared by God during creation as man is given God’s image before he does anything,[20] but it is also clearly implied in both the prohibitions to not murder or curse any man.[21] Notice how there are no limitations placed on either of these prohibitions because they spring out of what man is rather than what he does. Furthermore, this points to the universal nature of the image of God being part of man’s essence and internal makeup and stands as an integral part of what it means to be a human being. This helps us see the structural nature of the image of God in that it was not lost after the fall even though it was marred.[22]

Again, this strongly implies that the image of God is something innate within all humanity as both believer and unbeliever are created in the likeness of God. Thus, this structural reality demands that one seek to protect, preserve, and value all human life equally, no matter the race, age, sex, ability, religious affiliation, or personal social/economic makeup.[23] Therefore, I believe that abortion, apart from rare cases where both lives are in danger like with an ectopic pregnancy, is sin and should be seen as murder, which is specifically prohibited in the Bible.[24] However, I believe the sin of abortion can be and will be forgiven for all those guilty of this transgression who repent and trust in Christ for cleansing and forgiveness.[25] I believe God’s grace is willing and Christ’s death is sufficient to cover any and every sin, and that God’s rich mercy will triumph over deserved judgment for all repentant sinners.[26] This message of grace must be totally embodied and proclaimed by the church as the divisive results of abortion and other sins become an increasing reality within the church as God saves and sanctifies His own from the domain of darkness.[27]

I hope this theology of the sanctity of human life will be encouraging and helpful in preparing you for our celebration this Sunday as we will have the opportunity to hear more about the wonderful work that happens at the Pregnancy Clinic as they seek to support and defend life. Our very own Joy Hall will be giving us a personal update on what has been happening at the clinic and how we can be further involved in supporting them as they seek to bring the gospel to many hurting woman and families. We will also again return to our series in Ruth and consider a marriage worth waiting for as we further evaluate the faithfulness of God as seen through the faithful lives of Boaz and Ruth. I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday!

For His Glory and Future Generations,

Pastor Matt

[1] Rom 5:1-5
[2] Rom 13:1-7; 1 Tim 2:1-4; 1 Pet 2:13-14
[3] Mt 6:26; 12:12
[4] Js 3:9
[5] Ps 2
[6] Gen 1:1; Neh 9:6; Isa 42:5; Acts 17:24-29; Col 1:16
[7] Job 31:15; Ps 8; 22:9-10; 119:73; 127:3; 139:13-16; Eccl 11:5
[8] Gen 4:1; Ex 21:22-25; Job 3:3; 31:15; Ps 51:5; 139:13-16; Isa 49:1; Jer 1:4-5
[9] Gen 17:15-22; 21:1-7; 30:1-24; Ruth 4:13-17; 1Sam 1:19-20; Isa 49:5; Jer 1:4-5; Lk 1:13-25, 39-44
[10] Jer 1:5; Ps 139:13-16
[11] Lk 1:41-44
[12] Lk 1:15
[13] Ps 51:5
[14] Gal 1:15
[15] Ps 127:3-5; Mk10:13-16
[16] Ex 1:16-17,22; Lev 18:21; Jer 7:31-32; Ezek 16:20-21; Mic 6:7; Mt 2:16-18; Acts 7:19
[17] Ezek 16:21
[18] Ex 21:22-25
[19] Gen 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6; Js 3:9
[20] Gen 1:28-31
[21] Gen 9:6; Jas 3:9
[22] Gen 9:6; Ps 8:5; 1 Cor 11:7; Js 3:9
[23] Gen 9:6; Lev 19:32; Ex 21:22-25; Ps 139:13-16; Mt 6:26; 12:12; Js 3:9
[24] Gen 9:6; Ex 20:13; Rom 13:9; Jas 2:11
[25] Matt 12:31; 1 Jn 1:9; Rom 5:20
[26] Ps 32:1; 130:3-4; Isa 1:18; 55:7; Mic 7:18-19; Mt 26:28; Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; Col 2:13; Heb 8:12
[27] Col 1:13-14

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