In order to continue our discussion of the issue of abortion there are two basic questions that must be answered. As a matter of fact these two questions go hand in hand because the answer to one question supports and resolves the issue found in the second question. So tonight we are going to spend our time answering the first one: “When does human life begin?” We will attempt first to answer this critical question from a scientific, biological perspective because this seems to be the only perspective that proponents of abortion want to consider. Then we will answer the question from God’s perspective which is the only perspective that ultimately matters.
As we consider this question we can start by making a number of observations. First, if the unborn is growing, it must be alive. I’m not aware of anything that is dead that continues to grow. We know that from the moment of conception there is continual cellular reproduction and division that occurs with the fetus and growth is the result. It is also a well-known fact that the unborn fetus can react to external stimuli and internally metabolize food that creates energy. So it is obvious that what is growing inside a mother’s womb is certainly alive.
Now some would say all of that may be true but animals and plants are alive. Well, they certainly are but they were not conceived by human parents. We must remind ourselves we are talking about the beginning of human life not some animal or plant. The Biogenesis Law states that all living things reproduce after their own kind so therefore two human parents can only reproduce another human. And the DNA of the human fetus is undeniable proof that this is so.
There is another argument raised that goes something like this. Although the fetus is human tissue and DNA it is no different from the sperm or the egg that also contains DNA. What a weak position this is. It is true, of course, that both the sperm and the egg contain human tissue and DNA. However, they are not a whole human organism because neither can function or even survive alone. We know that at the moment of fertilization the sperm nor the egg continue to exist and a new and unique human organism begins to exist. In addition there is no more essential material or DNA required to be added for the fetus to develop.
I think we all can agree that at the moment of conception a new human being is created and will continue to grow and develop if allowed to do so. Biologically speaking, the human fetus is a growing human being. Therefore, there should be no doubt in any rational thinking person’s mind that life begins at conception.
Now that we have answered the question from the biological perspective let’s move on to the perspective that counts. God’s perspective. And to get His perspective we must turn to His word, the Bible, and see what God has to say about when life begins. There are numerous biblical passages that prove that God sees unborn babies as human beings. There is no mistaking this. The word “children” that is used for unborn babies is the same word that is used for young infants and young children in both the Old and New Testaments. Examples include Exodus 21:22, Luke 1:41, and Luke 1:44. The word used for child or baby in these passages certainly indicate that the unborn is alive.
The Bible also states that the unborn are created by God Himself. Psalm 139:13 says ” for You formed my inward parts, You wove me in my mother’s womb.” And in Genesis 1:27 it is very plain that we (man) are created in the very image of God. If you read further in Psalm 139 it becomes obvious in verses 15 and 16 that the unborn are known intimately and personally by God just like He knows those already born. This same revelation was given to the prophet Jeremiah which can be found in chapter 1, verse 5 of his book.
In Luke 1:44 we see that unborn babies can have personal emotions such as joy which is an emotion that is unique to humans. In Matthew 1:20-21 the Bible uses personal pronouns to describe the unborn as if the child has already been born. The previous passage in Jeremiah also uses personal pronouns. Over and over again in His word we see the undeniable proof that life begins at conception. David in Psalm 51:5 describes himself as being alive at the moment of conception when he writes “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. And in sin my mother conceived me.” This is God’s perspective and He never changes.
It seems to me that we have answered the first question I posed both from the biological perspective and from God’s perspective. And as we have previously stated, the truth is that the only thing that matters in any issue is what God says. The truth revealed in His word holds the key to the answer to any question. His word is absolute. His word is the standard to live and die by.
With all this said, next week we will address the second question. And I think we will all agree that the answer to the first makes the answer to the second a slam dunk. But you will have to wait until next week for the rest of the story.