Sanctity of Human Life: Key Scripture Passages
Creation: The Sanctity of Human Life Is Established
A) God is the source and summary of life.
1) As the living God, He is eternal life.
2) His people are sustained by His life. (Joshua 3:10; I Sam.17:26, 36; 2 Kings 19: 4,16)
B) God is the Giver of life.
1) God created animal life. (Gen. 1:11-13, 20-25)
2) God created human life in His image.
(Gen. 1:1, 26-28; 2:7; 5:13; 25:21; 33:5; Job 10:8-12; 33:4; Ps.127:3)
Man was created to know God and to resemble Him as our Heavenly Father. To this end we have been endowed with moral and spiritual capacities, creativity and aesthetic sensitivities. This image is not limited to some part of our being, but what we are in our totality, including our physical lives.
(I Cor. 6:19) As humans, our value or worth is not based on what we do,
but on who we are before God.
The Fall: The Sanctity of Human Life Denied
A) Even before the giving of the Law, murder was considered the most heinous of crimes. (Gen. 4:8-16; 9:46) Violence and evil provoke God's judgment as seen in the Flood.
B) God is the protector of life. The Law imposed a positive obligation on
people to respect human life.
1) Old Testament (Ex. 20:13)
The Sixth Commandment ("Thou shall not murder") is not merely a prohibition of murder, but is also a positive injunction to respect all of human life.
2) New Testament (Matt. 5:21-26)
This passage reveals that not only should we do no physical harm to our neighbors, but even violent thoughts and emotions are prohibited. The prohibition of murder is repeated and intensified in the New Testament. (Matt. 15:19; 19:17-18; Rom.1:29; Rev. 22:15) The NT conjoins the injunction to love our neighbor with the concept of life, so that love is the law of life, hatred the law of death.
(I John 3:14-15)
Redemption: The Sanctity of Human Life Restored
A) Jesus Christ is our Life.
(John 1:4; 5:26; 14:6; Acts 17:25)
B) Jesus Christ reinstalls us as His children.
The language of adoption is used. Thus, God's original purpose in creating us
is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. (John 1:12 -13; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 4:47)
C) Jesus Christ recreates us in His image and we come to resemble God as our Father.
(Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.)
D) The continued sanctity of human life is due to the grace of God. Human nature,
though fallen, is sacred because it continues in God's image.
1) That there is no direct prohibition of abortion in the Old Testament indicates
that it was completely foreign to the Jewish mind.
2) Fertility was regarded as the most wonderful of blessings and barrenness as a most dreadful curse, not because of a patriarchal or agrarian ethic, but because it was the means whereby God gathered His people.
(Gen. 21:1ff; I Sam. 1:1-20; Ps. 127:35)
3) The death of an unborn child is explicitly identified as a curse (Hos. 9:14), and
live birth as a blessing. (Ex. 23:26)
4) Even accidental abortion was punishable under Mosaic Law. (Ex. 21:22ff)
The Sanctity of Unborn Human Life
1) God creates and fashions life in the womb. (Gen. 29:31; Job 31:15; Is. 44:2,24; 49:1,5; Jer.1:5)
2) Conception marks the beginning of an individual's life (1 Sam. 11:5; I Chron.7:23; Luke 1:36)
3) The unborn are treated as persons in the womb.
(Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Luke 1:41-44; Ps. 139:13-16)
4) God's purpose for each is operative before birth. (Is. 49: 1, Jer. 1:5...set apart for service; Lk.1:15...filled with the Holy Spirit; Gal. 1:15...consecrated)
5) The entity in the womb is a baby.
a) Luke 1 :41-44; 2:5. (Pregnancy is described as being "with child".)
b) The Greek word for babe is brephos. It is used interchangeably in the New Testament for a baby in Lk. 2:12,16, an infant in Luke 18:15, and a child in 2 Tim. 3:15. In these passages there is no distinction made between born
and unborn children.
6) It is unnatural not to love the life in one's womb. (Is. 49:15)
7) The Incarnation demonstrates God's total identification with us from conception to death.
a) Unique as He was, Jesus Christ was made like us in every way.
(Heb. 2:17; Lk. 1:31)
b) Jesus was a person in the womb. (John 1:1,14; Lk. 41-44; 2:21)
God's Truth Is the Way of Life.
1) Obedience to God brings life.(Ps. 36:9; Prov. 3:1-2; 4:22-23;
6:23;12:28; 13:14; Ezek. 33:14-15)
2) Disobedience to God brings death.
(Deut. 30:19-20; Rom. 8:5,7; Eph.4:18)
3) God judges those who shed innocent blood and is not complacent towards violence. (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 20:13; Num. 35:33; Prov. 24:10,12)
The Sanctity of Human Life and Implications.
1) The abuse of children is an abomination to God.
(2 Kings 17:16¬-20; Lev. 20:1-5; Jer. 32:35; Amos 1:13; Jer.7:6; 22:3,17;
Ex. 23:7; Prov. 6:16-17;
Gen. 9:6; Ex.20:13; Matt. 5:19,21; 18:10; 19:18; Rom. 1:29; Rev. 21:8; 22:15)
2) We do not have an unqualified "right" to our own bodies. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
3) God has a special concern for the unfortunate, the infirm, and the deformed.
(Is. 45:9-10; 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 12:7-¬9; Eph. 2:10; 5:20)
4) As with all sin, God forgives those who have been involved in abortion when they receive salvation through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on their behalf.
(I John 1:9; Rom. 6:1¬2; Gal. 6:1)
5) Jesus Christ expects men to walk as He walked. He was confronted by many desperate situations, yet not once did He solve the problem by eliminating the person, or by suggesting that he or she should not have been born. (Matt. 5:14; 22:36-40; 25:37-40; John 8:31-32; 10:10; Rom.12:2;
I John 2:4-6)
God's concern extends to the unfortunate, the poor, and the disenfranchised, born and unborn. (Ex. 22: 22-24; Deut. 27:19; Ps. 10:17-18; 41:1-2; 72: 1-4; 140:12; Prov. 15:25; 17:5; 19:17; Eccles. 4:1; Ezek. 16:48-50; Lk. 6:20-25; and many more.)