LIFE: A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
Compelled by the Gospel, PPL equips Presbyterians to champion human life at every stage
It is not uncommon to hear a Christian abortion-rights advocate comment, "The Bible doesn't say anything about abortion," or "A 2,000-year-old book doesn't have anything to say to us about science or modern social issues like abortion." Nothing could be further from the truth - when Scripture is taken in its whole context, clear themes emerge:
Who is the creator of all life? Who created each of us?
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Job 10:8-12 "Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Psalm 8:4,5 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
Psalm 95:6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
Psalm 100:3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 119:73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Acts 17:24,25 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
GOD, THE UNBORN AND THE WOMB
Is God involved in our development within the womb?
Job 31:15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
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.
Isaiah 44:2 This is what the LORD says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
Isaiah 44:24 This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: "I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself."
Is God concerned about us in our unborn (fetal) state or only after birth? Do we have an identity prior to our birth? our conception? Does God have a relationship with the unborn?
Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 49:1 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.
Isaiah 49:16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
Psalm 22:9,10 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
Luke 1:41,44 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby* leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. ... As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby* in my womb leaped for joy. *The biblical writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, used the Greek word "brephos," here translated as baby, referring to the unborn child. Brephos is also found in I Peter 2:2 translated as "newborn babies" and II Timothy 3:15 as "infancy."
Galatians 1:15,16 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man
Ephesians 1:3,4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Is the fetus a human being?
John 16:21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby* is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. (*Baby" is translated from the Greek word, "anthropos," which literally means man or human being.)
What is God's relationship to children?
Psalm 71:6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.
Psalm 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
LIFE OR DEATH: THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE
Does God give us a choice between life and death? What is His choice for us? (When a pregnancy has been "terminated," what has happened?)
Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder. (See also Exodus 20:1, Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Romans 1:29, James 2:11, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 22:15)
Have we been given the "right" to choose death for the unborn?
Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
Jeremiah 7:6 If you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm. (See also Jeremiah 22:3,17)
Exodus 23:7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
Deuteronomy 27:24,25 "Cursed is the man who kills his neighbor secretly." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"
Proverbs 6:16,17 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.
Amos 1:13,14 This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Ammon, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to extend his borders, I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah that will consume her fortresses amid war cries on the day of battle, amid violent winds on a stormy day.
EVERY WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CONTROL HER OWN BODY - A RIGHT TO CHOOSE?
Does every woman have the right to control her own body? Is it her own body? (Does the definition of "every woman" include the female fetus?)
Ezekiel 18:4 For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son --both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Psalm 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
I Corinthians 6:19,20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God --this is your spiritual act of worship.
Is the "freedom to choose" the primary consideration in the abortion issue? Can freedom be abused? (Consider the fact that the freedom we are talking about is the freedom to choose to abort.)
I Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
THE HARD CASES: THE HANDICAPPED, RAPE AND INCEST
Who is the creator of the "unwanted," "unlovable," "handicapped," "mistake"? Are these cases justifiable reasons for abortion? (Refer also to Scriptures under "OUR CREATOR")
Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Isaiah 45:9-11 "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, `What are you making?' Does your work say, `He has no hands'? Woe to him who says to his father, `What have you begotten?' or to his mother, `What have you brought to birth?' "This is what the LORD says-- the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?
Romans 9:20,21 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
I Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Should the innocent pay for the sins of others? Who are the innocent in a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, and is abortion acceptable in these cases?
Deuteronomy 24:16 Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE UNBORN, THE WOMAN IN CRISIS AND OUR GOD
Is abortion the solution to crisis pregnancies?
Isaiah 49:15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Do we have a responsibility to God?
Genesis 9:1,5 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth... And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
Isaiah 58:10 ...and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Matthew 25:34-36,40-43,45 Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."... The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."...He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
What is our responsibility as Christians to those who are handicapped, unwanted, unloved?
Proverbs 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Proverbs 24:11,12 Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE INVOLVED IN THE DISCUSSION?
What are our responsibilities as Christians in influencing our nation's policy on abortion? Should we be concerned about "pushing our morality" on others in trying to establish a pro-life policy?
Matthew. 5:13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Romans. 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Acts 4:18-20 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Exodus 23:2 "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd."
Must the church take a stand?
Revelation 3:15,16 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm --neither hot nor cold --I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
When those involved in abortion feel convicted by their actions, what should they do? Who do they need?
Does God forgive those who have had abortions?
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
Proverbs. 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
I Peter 4:15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
I John 3:15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
Jeremiah 22:17 But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.
Proverbs 8:36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.
I John 2:1,2,12 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense --Jesus Christ, the Righteous One ... He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world...I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
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