I. ALL HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED BECAUSE WE ALL BEAR THE IMAGE OF GOD: “Let us make man in Our image…” (Genesis 1:26-27)
A. The Bible does not leave us to speculate about the value of human life. This text in Genesis tells us that every human being bears the imprint of the divine image. Man is not merely a highly developed animal, but an entirely different order of creation from the other animals.
B. The image of God resides in the soul of man. This soul was breathed directly by God into the man (Genesis 2:7) and forever imparted to him a reflection of God’s image in his soul. Every man, woman and child reflects this divine image. There are no exceptions. And it is from this unique and divine quality that we derive the value of a human being. If we all have the image of God imprinted upon us, then every human life is sacred without exception. We have not been given the right to adjudge the value of a human life. Life that has been conceived under difficult circumstances (e.g. rape or incest) and life that is in a deformed body are still sacred. Those lives shall be viewed as precious and not as exceptions to the principle just described. When the mother’s life is endangered by the growth of the baby, there are two situations: (1) the baby cannot possibly go to term (e.g. ectopic pregnancy), in which case we recognize abortion as a medically necessary alternative, and (2) the baby can go to term, in which case we recognize the great difficulty of decision and make no statement.
II. THE UNBORN INFANT IS PROTECTED BY THE COMMANDMENT “THOU SHALL NOT KILL” FROM THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)
A. Logically speaking, there is no defensible point at which anyone can say that the baby developing in the mother’s womb is not a human being worth protecting. Is his life worth protecting five minutes before birth? How about twenty minutes? One month? Anyone who does not want to violate the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” has a responsibility to protect the life of an unborn child back to the point of conception.
B. The Biblical argument is more conclusive. If the unique value of human life is dependent upon the image of God in the soul of man, then we need to know when the soul enters the body. The text from Jeremiah quoted above clearly states that the personhood of Jeremiah existed even before his conception. At the point of his conception, Jeremiah’s soul was given by God to the fertilized ovum.
C. The developing child in the womb must have a soul back to the point of conception. Otherwise, that new creature, which has a different genetic code from the mother, would not grow and develop. If there were no soul, there would be no life. Since even the fertilized ovum has its own soul even at that early stage, it is protected by the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”
III. GOD CALLS EVERY BELIEVER TO DEFEND THE DEFENSELESS: “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.”
A. Scripture is replete with descriptions of the character of Almighty God as a defender of the defenseless. Widows, orphans, sojourners, children, the sick, the poor, the elderly, and the downtrodden are special objects of the Lord’s care. In imitation of His own divine nature, He calls us to “deliver the weak and the needy out of the hand of the wicked.” It is hard to think of any more defenseless person than a child in his mother’s womb. What was once the greatest place of safety and loving nurture is now a free-fire zone where an unborn child may be torn limb from limb on a momentary impulse of his own mother.
B. Our response to God’s command to defend the defenseless reflects our view of spirituality itself. Is the believer given the right to pick and choose among the Master’s commands the ones he is comfortable fulfilling? Absolutely not! In fact, Christ said, “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27) The only option given to the disciple is complete obedience to the Master.
C. Every believer has been called to imitate God by defending the defenseless. The most defenseless people in America today are the unborn babies whose precious lives are being wrenched from them for reasons of convenience and profit.