What Does God Say About the Sanctity of Life

// January 22nd, 2019 // Sermons

Most would agree that one of the biggest errors people make is to…  You can listen online or download it and listen later…What Does God Say About the Sanctity of Life…address the peripheral issues but not the deeper stuff.  This happens in almost every area of life; one such area is the Sanctity of Human Life.

We talk about sexual sin and sexual purity, which is important.  We discuss pro-life and pro-abortion.  We discuss euthanasia or prolonging life through life support systems.  But what we should be asking is, “How does God feel about the sanctity of life?”  It’s not about how we feel about this – because nowhere in the Bible do we find God being accountable to people, but there are many verses that speak of people having to answer to God.

I read recently of a major league baseball player – he hit the ball deep into left field.  The bases were loaded and when the runner from 2nd base ran to home plate, he collided with the catcher.  The batting team started to yell, “He’s safe, he’s safe, he’s safe.”  And the other team yelled, “He’s out, he’s out, he’s out”.  The umpire calmly announced, “He ain’t nothing til I call him.”

The same with the Sanctity of Human Life – it really isn’t about how you and I feel about these things, but how does God feel about these things.  It’s not how you and I call it, but it’s how God calls it.  And, we need to be sure and not misunderstand how God feels about the sanctity of life.  I want us to consider six statements relating to the sanctity of life.  #1…

  1. The sanctity of life was instituted by God because only humans reflect the glory of God.

Gen. 1:27-28 read, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

God didn’t create man because he was disappointed in the animal kingdom; He created man because He intended man to reflect His glory.

We are created in His image – we can live, talk, and have fellowship with our Creator.  He placed human beings on earth to represent His Sovereignty and to reign over all that He had made.  We are a living image of our Creator God, created in His likeness, made to reflect His majesty on the earth.

God’s creation gives glory back to God.  We love the mountains, the oceans, the flowers, the animals and so much more.  The sun, moon, stars and the universe capture the attention of scientists who are continually amazed by them.  Although all of these give glory to God they were not created in His image.  The sanctity of life was instituted by God because only humans reflect the glory of God.  Statement #2…

  1. At conception God starts to develop a child.

I love Ps. 139 – listen to v. 13-16, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

“Intricately woven” is an interesting phrase because the development of the fetus was quite a mystery to ancient people.  To them, it was as though the fetus was being developed in the middle of the earth.  The phrase, “in your book”, has the idea that the structure and meaning of the person’s life, was all established from the beginning by God and it was done in the womb.  God starts at conception to develop a child.

Listen to Jer. 1:4-5, “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’”

Jeremiah was keenly aware that God’s call on his life had been predetermined by God before conception.  He quoted God as saying, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”  God called him to perform a critical mission at a critical point in the history of the nation of Israel.  Jeremiah was to be a prophet to the nation of Judah and a messenger of God to all nations.  God starts at conception to develop a child.

I love the story of the boy sitting on his father’s lap as they were looking into a mirror. The boy asked, “Dad, who made me?”

“Well, son, God made you.”  Then the boy said, “Dad, who made you?” “God made me, son.”

“Dad, who made granddad?” “God made him, son.  Why do you ask?”

The boy took one look back in the mirror and said, “Well it just seems to me he’s getting better at it!”

The third statement, speaks about the time in the womb, how God feels about children born with special needs.

III. Even when people are not perfect God acknowledges the fact that the one in the womb belongs to Him.

Ps. 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.”  Children are God’s gift.  In OT times, children were a symbol of strength, like an arrow.  This was particularly true in an agricultural economy since the extra number of children increased the productivity of the farm.

Even if people are not perfect, God acknowledges the fact that the one in the womb belonged to Him.  In Ex. 4:10-11, Moses is intimidated by God asking him to be His method of delivering His children from Pharaoh in Egypt.  V. 10 reads, “But Moses pleaded with the LORD, ‘O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.’”

In v. 11, God’s answers, “Then the LORD asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth?  Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see?  Is it not I, the LORD?’”

God reminded Moses that it was He who made Moses’ mouth.  He promised to instruct Moses of what to say as he went to Pharaoh.  God is saying, “I’m able to help those who are lacking and those who are imperfect.”  Even when people are not perfect, God acknowledges the fact that the one in the womb belongs to Him.

Human imperfection is the result of being part of a fallen world.  We’re all born imperfect.  Not a single person is born without a physical flaw and that’s why from the time we’re born we’re on the path to death.

I love the way one poet expressed this when he said, “My father’s ways may twist and turn.  My heart may throb and ache. But within my soul I’m glad to know He makes no mistakes.”   Statement #4…

  1. What God decides to start, He doesn’t give us the liberty to end.

In Gen. 1:27, we read, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  In Ex. 20:13 we’re told, “You shall not murder.”  That reveals the kind of value God placed on a human life.

In Ex. 21:22-25 it says, “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, eye for eye, tooth for tooth…” and so on.

What God starts He does not give us the liberty to decide when to end. According to LifeNews, data compiled by Worldometers – 42 million abortions took place worldwide in 2018.  Those numbers exceed deaths related to cancer, HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents, and suicide.

Each of those 42 million abortions represents a living human being whose life was violently destroyed in their mother’s womb.  Each unborn baby already had their own unique DNA, making them distinct from their mother.  That DNA indicated if the child was a boy or girl, their eye and hair color, their height, possible genetic disorders and much more.

In the US about 1 million babies were aborted and in Canada, about 100,000.  It is estimated that since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 about 60 million babies have been aborted.

Think what you will about President Trump, but his administration has taken some strong stands with the World Health Organization to reverse the use of abortion as birth or population control.  All the while our Prime Minister has publicly stated that you cannot run as a Liberal candidate if you are Pro-Life.

It’s interesting that former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said that in his 35 years in medicine he has “never seen one case where abortion was necessary to save a woman’s life.”  President Ronald Reagan once read an article in the Washington Post about a young woman named Victoria.  She was with child and said, “In this society we save whales, we save timber wolves, bald eagles, and coke bottles.  Yet everyone wanted me to throw away my baby.”

I want to make something very clear:  If you’ve had an abortion please understand that with God there is forgiveness.  Also, with God, sin is sin.  God abhors all sin.  One person has unkind thoughts, another has a bitter tongue – both activities dishonor our God.  But when you confess your sin, God forgives.

What God decides to start, He doesn’t give us the liberty to terminate.  Statement #5…

  1. Even though we are born sinners, He loves what He sees in the womb.

Ps. 51:5 says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”  David recognizes as an unborn child he was a sinner – he relates his sinfulness back to conception.  Ps. 58:3 – “The wicked are born sinners; even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.”

When sperm and egg unite, you have a human…a living human being.  This has all sorts of implications.

1) First, we should marvel at God’s detailed working of life. As I said, Ps. 139 does a fantastic job of unravelling this truth.  We should marvel at what God has designed.

2) Second, as believers in Christ, we should put a high value on human life…all human life…pre-born babies, the handicapped and disabled, the seniors…all are “precious in His sight”.

3) Third, this should affect our worldview – and particularly, how we view the social issues relating to abortion.  This isn’t political.

Abortion is a biblical, ethical, spiritual issue that, to our shame, few have been moved to take action.

Consider these facts…

By eight weeks…that’s not even the first trimester… at eight weeks, babies can suck their thumbs, respond to sound, recoil from pain and all major organs are already functioning.  They have a nervous system that’s developed, a brain that receives signals, the heart is pumping blood, the liver is making blood cells, the kidneys are clearing fluids, and they have a fingerprint.

By 21 weeks, a baby, with a little bit of help can live outside the womb.  Statistically speaking, the majority of abortions are not taking place because of the woman’s life is in danger or because there was some horrific rape.  It is purely around convenience.  Murder for the sake of convenience.

On Jan. 23/13, a strong pro-choice advocate, Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote an article – here’s the title of her article: “So What If Abortion Ends Life?”  She wrote:  “I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me.  I believe that’s what a fetus is:  a human life.  And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.”

Do you want to hear her rationale?  She wrote, “All life is not equal…a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides.  She’s the boss.  Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.”

That’s shocking!  Who chooses whose life has the most value?  Who gets that power?  Isn’t that what Hitler attempted?  Who decides this? “Well, it’s the woman’s body.”  The baby might be in the woman’s body, but the baby is not the woman’s body.

It has its own DNA, its own genetic code, its own blood type, its own functioning brain, its own functioning kidneys, its own functioning lungs, its own dreams.  It’s not the woman’s body.  It’s in the woman’s body.

Statement #6 tells us just how much God loves life…

  1. God so loves life He wants everyone on earth to live with Him.

One of the best known verses in the Bible is John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

We’re sinners from the day we’re born, and yet God loves us!  Because we are sinners we deserve to die, but Jesus, the perfect Son of God came into the world and died in our place.  He was our substitute.  He saved us by dying for us.  He took the punishment for our sin, died in our place and rose again.  All God now asks us to do is to receive His salvation as a free gift by trusting Christ to save us.

John 6:47 says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”  To believe means to trust, depend and rely on.

If you want to know how God feels about the sanctity of life, look at three things; conception — the cradle — the cross.

  • At conception, God made it possible for life to start.
  • At the cradle God made it possible for life to be seen.
  • At the cross God made it possible for a life to be saved.

We must not misunderstand how God feels about the sanctity of life.  It can be captured in one sentence. God loves people so much that what starts out as a cell He wants as a child.

Colonel James Irving is a former astronaut who was part of the crew that made a successful moonwalk.  He experienced the thrill of leaving this planet and seeing it shrink in size.  He thought he was so privileged to be a member of that unique crew.

He was humbled by the awesome goodness of God and he made this observation:  “As I was returning to earth I realized I was a servant, not a celebrity.  So I’m here as God’s servant on planet earth to share what I’ve experienced that others might know the glory of God.”

When it comes to the sanctity of life, God is the celebrity and we are simply His servants.  He wants us to honor Him by celebrating what He celebrates.  God so loves people that what starts out as a cell He wants as a child.

  • For that reason when the cell is conceived, we need to applaud God.
  • As the child develops in the embryo, let’s applaud God.
  • When that child is born, let’s applaud God.
  • As the good news of Christ is told to that child, let’s applaud God.
  • And when that person becomes a child of God, let’s applaud God.

If we understand the sanctity of life as God presents it in scripture, from the time a person is a cell to when that person becomes a child of God – it’s all about God!

Future generations are depending on us to do the right thing today.  A fair question to ask is…What can we do?  I have four suggestions on how we can engage:

#1) Repent.  “Of what?” you ask.  Our indifference.  Remember Mary Elizabeth Williams – “Yeah, abortion ends life. So what?”  The abortion statistics in our world should drive us to fall on our knees before God.

#2) We need to pray.  We need to pray because it is painfully obvious this is no longer a rational act.  This is a spiritual issue more than anything else right now – we are dealing with a seared conscience that makes arguments that are no longer rational.

You want to see how bizarre things are?  If you kill a puppy, you could go to jail; but kill a baby, and you’re fine.  In much of North America, if you are pregnant and on your way to the abortion clinic, and a drunk driver hits your car and kills your baby, he is charged with homicide…involuntary manslaughter.  But if you make it to the abortion clinic, for a fee, a doctor can kill and abort that baby with zero consequence.  That’s a seared conscience a rationale that doesn’t make sense.  We need to pray, pray and pray some more.

#3) This is an election year…this should inform us on how we vote.  I’m not talking Conservative, Liberal or NDP.  We need to find out where our candidates stand on these issues and vote accordingly.  And, then,

#4) We need to get off the sideline, and get involved.  What does that mean? There are many ways we can get involved.  Contact the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre and ask what you can do to help.  There are brochures on the B.B. table.

I asked Cindy Palin for some info – this is what she wrote:  We are a faith based organization.  We are very intentional with our language.  We do not refer for abortions, but we do welcome and love those who have had them in hopes to offer them programming, which can lead to future healing.

Our organization does not use any ‘shaming’ tactics and we do not participate in political protests.  We would appreciate prayer as we continue to reach out to our community.  

We have a specific module we cover in our volunteer training on the Sanctity of Life, based on the Bible.  All of our volunteers sign a statement of faith before they can proceed.  We also require that all our volunteers take another program called Steps to Sexual Health, which ensures we are analyzing our sexual integrity before we enter the client advocate role.  I mention this because people can decide that there are specific sins that are worse than others.  It is important that we understand we have all fallen short of the Glory of God, and we all need to keep a close account of our actions. 

We welcome everyone to the Centre and give them information and education so they can make a well informed choice.  The choice they make is their choice, and we choose to love them no matter what choice they make.  We don’t condone, but we choose to love and there is a very real difference.

Getting involved is not shaking your fist at the darkness but rather being a light in the darkness.  To call abortion murder is calling it what it is, but it doesn’t fix the problem.  The church and the people of the church must be bring hope and light for women in difficult circumstances.

So, will we sit on the sideline and just hope this works itself out, or will we get involved?  We have to get to the point of saying, “Not on our watch!”  The unborn can’t do it, so we need to be their voice.  May God help us…

Let’s pray…

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