In response to last week’s post “Praying for Those Who Fight for Abortion,” some commenters suggested
the Bible doesn’t give us a definitive word on abortion. They raised the
question of whether a fetus is really a person. One commenter brought up the
fact that many Christians even support a woman’s right to choose. This simply
is not a biblical position. Here are a few of the strongest biblical reasons God
1. The Bible describes God as active in creating human beings
from the moment of conception, as Psalm 139 says:
For you formed my inward parts; you
knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My
frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately
woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your
book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as
yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13-16).
This Psalm describes God’s active, creative work within the
womb. Conception and pregnancy are not merely complicated biological processes,
but a work God has designed and is presently involved in. The Psalmist worships
God as active Creator every time a person is conceived. If you are
pregnant, God is knitting together a person in your womb.
2. Jesus Christ was incarnated through conception. It is
fascinating that Jesus Christ first came to this world as a zygote. He could
have arrived as a baby, child or even as a fully grown adult, but God ordained
that He would come through conception. Jesus Christ existed as a zygote,
embryo and fetus before He was born. When Jesus’ mother visited Elizabeth, the
unborn John the Baptist leapt in her womb. In a fascinating scene, the unborn
Jesus causes the unborn John to act in a way that sparked His mother Elisabeth,
filled with the Holy Spirit, to cry out:
Blessed are you among women, and
blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the
mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your
greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy (Luke 1:42-44).
Elizabeth describes the unborn Jesus as her Lord. Not only
was He already a person, He was already her Lord. Charles Scobie said it
well, “The Bible depicts the fetus as the work of God and the object of his
knowledge, love, and care, and hence its destruction must be considered
contrary to the will of God.”
3. God demonstrates personal knowledge and calling of the unborn.
The Lord says to the Prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew
you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to
the nations” (1:5). Before he was born, God knew Jeremiah, consecrated him and
appointed him as a prophet of the nations. God set apart Jeremiah from the womb.
For God, who a person will become is never something that remains to be seen.
God knows who a person will be and what a person will do. It
follows, then, that a person is a person as soon as God knows them; at
conception and not a second later.
4. The Old Testament Law significantly protected the unborn.
In the Old Testament, God provided several moral, civic and ceremonial laws to
govern the people of Israel. These laws showed the people how they ought to
handle judicial disputes and punish those who violate God’s laws. In Exodus, the Lord
specifically addresses the unborn:
When men strive together and hit a
pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one
who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him,
and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall
pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exodus 21:22-25).
Causing a pregnant woman to prematurely give birth was to be
punished with a fine. Causing harm to that unborn child was a crime punishable
by death. In this command, God’s law clearly puts the same value on the unborn
and on the born.
5. Children are consistently described as a blessing from
God. In fact, Jesus was so counter-cultural in His acceptance of small
children, even the disciples were caught off guard:
And they were bringing children to
him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus
saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not
hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you,
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them (Mark
The disciples assumed Jesus didn’t have time for or interest
in children, but Jesus not only affirmed their value, but regarded them as
closer to the kingdom than the adults present. In a sense, Jesus said you
need to become like these children in the way you relate to God. Psalm 127 also
demonstrates the same value of children:
Behold, children are a heritage
from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a
warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his
quiver with them! (Psalm 127:3-5)
Many in our culture have begun to think of children as a nuisance
or an inconvenience. The Bible
consistently calls them a blessing and reward from God, describing the mothers
and fathers of many children as richly blessed by God.
One thing is clear from God’s Word: God creates and
loves every human life and never authorizes the killing of the preborn. Many
debate whether abortion should be legal, but a more important question is
whether it’s offensive to the Creator. From this short list, we must conclude,
it certainly is. In fact, abortion destroys what Scripture tells us God is
presently knitting together.
I realize many have been deceived on this issue, had
abortions, and continue to struggle with the pain, guilt and shame of that
mistake. The good news is that Jesus Christ died to pay for the sin of abortion.
The Bible tells us Jesus “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put
away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
Jesus wants every person to come to Him for forgiveness and freedom
from sin. He doesn’t want us to get hung up on our sin, but rather believe that
His death and resurrection was powerful enough to take it all away. In fact,
the Bible promises that Jesus will ultimately put an end to all sin. As John
wrote, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the
devil” (1 John 3:8).
I write as one who has received this forgiveness. Christ has
forgiven my sins and given me a new heart. As a result, I increasingly love
righteousness and hate sin. When I write about abortion, it’s not in a spirit of judgment or condemnation, but with the sincere hope that
those who are deceived would enjoy the same forgiveness and freedom I do. I want all to know the sweetness of forgiveness.
If you support abortion, know that I’m praying for you, not primarily that you
would change your mind on this particular issue, but that God would change your
heart and draw you into a saving knowledge of himself.