God creates life
Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV) 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Think of all the beauty of God's creation.
The Rocky Mountains
The Grand Canyon
The great Red Wood trees
The smallest form of cells and atoms
All of these point to God, point to a creator,
But only God's special creation, people, reflect the image of God.
We are God's greatest achievement, we are his crowning glory, we are made in His image and in His likeness, now there is great debate in the theological world as to what all that intells, but let me keep it simple this morning, we are like Him.
He did not say that of the great and majestic mountains, we are like Him
He did not say that of the great polar bears, we are like Him
He did not say that of the stars in the skies, we are like Him
He did not say that of any other of his creation, we are like Him
I don't know if we will ever define exactly how, but we are!
Jeremiah 1:4-7 (KJV) 4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
Stages of life of a child
At the moment of conception a unique human's DNA is created, DNA that has never existed before and will never be repeated.
At the moment of conception all of the babies physical features are determined, the sex of the child, hair color, eye color and so on.
A baby's heartbeat begins only 20 to 22 days after the moment of conception, before most women even know they are pregnant.
At week three you can begin to see the childs eyes and ears.
At week six the child has fingers and toes.
Between week 6 and week 11 the child will grow 5 times in size.
By the 11th week the child can frown and smile, wiggle their fingers and toes, and even such their thumb, as soon as thumb sucking begins the child will show a preference for either their right or left thumb.
At week 13 their ears begin to hear and they are comforted by the constant beat of their mothers heart.
After 6 months of pregnancy everything has developed and is functioning.
At week 38 to 42 she is born.
Genesis 29:31-32 (KJV) 31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.
Genesis 30:22 (KJV) 22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
Exodus 4:10-11 (KJV) 10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Job 31:15 (KJV) 15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
Psalm 127:3 (KJV) 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
John 1:3 (KJV) 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
God creates life
Therefore Life is Valuable
This is the heart of the argument for or against abortion. The question, how valuable is life.
Peter Albert David Singer AC (born 6 July 1946) is an Australian moral philosopher. He is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specialises in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, preference utilitarian perspective.
In 2004 he was recognised as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and in June 2012 was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to philosophy and bioethics. He serves on the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health, the NGO formed to develop the Health Impact Fund proposal. He was voted one of Australia's ten most influential public intellectuals in 2006.
In Chapter 4 we saw that the fact that a being is a human being, in the sense of a member of the species Homo sapiens, is not relevant to the wrongness of killing it; it is, rather, characteristics like rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness that make a difference. Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings, or any other self-conscious beings. This conclusion is not limited to infants who, because of irreversible intellectual disabilities, will never be rational, self-conscious beings. We saw in our discussion of abortion that the potential of a fetus to become a rational, self-conscious being cannot count against killing it at a stage when it lacks these characteristics - not, that is, unless we are also prepared to count the value of rational self-conscious life as a reason against contraception and celibacy. No infant - disabled or not - has as strong a claim to life as beings capable of seeing themselves as distinct entities, existing over time.
The difference between killing disabled and normal infants lies not in any supposed right to life that the latter has and the former lacks, but in other considerations about killing. Most obviously there is the difference that often exists in the attitudes of the parents. The birth of a child is usually a happy event for the parents. They have, nowadays, often planned for the child. The mother has carried it for nine months. From birth, a natural affection begins to bind the parents to it. So one important reason why it is normally a terrible thing to kill an infant is the effect the killing will have on its parents.
Infants are sentient beings who are neither rational nor self- conscious. So if we turn to consider the infants in themselves, independently of the attitudes of their parents, since their species is not relevant to their moral status, the principles that govern the wrongness of killing non-human animals who are sentient but not rational or self-conscious must apply here too.
Taking Life: Humans
Excerpted from Practical Ethics, 2nd edition, Cambridge, 1993, pp. 175-217
Judith Jarvis Thomson
Argues that even if the unborn entity is a person with a right to life, this does not mean a woman must donate her body to keep it alive.
Luke 12:6-7 (KJV) 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
God creates life
Therefore Life is Valuable
You can be forgiven
Psalm 51:1-19 (KJV) 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
Well let me share this with you.
There is all the difference in the world between being forgiven and being justified. Suppose a woman were to incur a debt at a branch store of a large company over and above her means to pay. If after hearing her case the store were to cancel her debt, that would be forgiveness.
Under these circumstances, the woman would be no longer liable for the account, but would always have a feeling of personal discomfort about the whole transaction.
If, on the other hand, the legal department of the company decided to press for payment, that would be justice. Suppose that while awaiting trial for her undischarged account the woman were to marry the wealthy son of the store owner who personally assumed responsibility for her account and paid it in full.
There would be no legal claim against her any more and in the unlikely event of her case ever getting to court, she could plead "not guilty" to all charges on the grounds that her debts had been fully paid by her husband. The court would say that she was justified in pleading "not guilty" and her case would be dismissed.
If a person is to be forgiven, he must plead "guilty" and sue for mercy.
If a person is to be justified, he must plead "not guilty" and show that the opposition has no case against him at all. Of course both forgiveness and justification enter into our salvation, but it is the higher truth of justification that Paul is presenting in Romans. The Lord Jesus has fully discharged all our obligations so that there is no legal ground for charges to be pressed against us anymore. Moreover, He has given us a perfect standing before God so that we are fully acceptable in His sight.
John Phillips Commentary Series, The - The John Phillips Commentary Series – Exploring Romans: An Expository Commentary.