A. 1John 5:12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
B. At the start of 2019 I said that about once a month we would be taking a break from our series on 2Corinthians. This morning is one of those weeks. I’m going to speak on being Biblically Pro-life.
C. Now the pulpit is not for the expression of political opinions, but for the proclamation of God’s word. However there are times when God’s word speaks clearly about a matter of political debate.
1. When this is the case, there can be a reticence to proclaim God’s word because we do not want to be misunderstood as getting involved in political discourse, or to offend those who may have a different political opinion.
2. We must always be willing to bring God’s word to bear not only on the topics which are non-controversial, but also on topics which ignite strong feelings.
3. Though we must strive to be at peace with all men (Romans 12:18), but we must never compromise the truth in order to do so.
4. We must also be very careful about using Scripture for the purposes of political debate. We must not make something out to be a Biblical issue if indeed the Scriptures really do not address it.
D. But in the case of abortion, the Scriptures do seem to speak clearly, without ever addressing the subject directly. The thinking goes something like this:
1. God made all things, including people with souls — made in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27).
a. And He’s told us to treat other people as made in His image.
b. 6th commandment: “You shall not kill.”
2. Just as, in the past, slavery was rationalized by denying the personhood of the slaves, so, today, the personhood of the unborn has been questioned.
3. So let’s address the question of whether the unborn are fully human. Are people people before they’re born?
4. Even though the Bible doesn’t directly answer this, it gives us a sufficient number of indicators. So, what is the status of the unborn according to the Bible?
a. Psalm 139:13–16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made...15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 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.
b. Ps.51:5 In sin did my mother conceive me. (Means not that his parents were in sin when they conceived, but that he was a sinner from the moment of conception.) If a sinner, then a person.
c. Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.
(1) He was a baby, though still in the womb.
d. Luke 1:44 When the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
(1) Capable of joy, spiritually alive (to discern the Lord) – spoken in/by the Spirit (Luke 1:41)
E. And so, as Bible Christians, we are pro-life. We oppose abortion, except with an ectopic pregnancy.
II. Now I am going to make a statement which might shock you: I think it’s possible to be too pro-life.
A. Now hear me out. There is another kind of pro-life which is greater than being pro-life with regard to abortion. And this is when we turn to our passage.
B. 1John 5:12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
C. When we hear the word life, we usually think of earthly life. But there is another kind of life which Christ is and which Christ gives. The life one has when He has Christ is a different kind of life.
1. John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
2. Jn.5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
3. John 10:10 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
4. John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
D. I don’t want to minimize the abortion problem. If it truly is the taking of human life as we believe, it is a great evil. If human life truly is in the image of God, abortion is an attack on God Himself.
E. But the fact is, for the Christian, being pro-life must not be number one priority for a Christian.
1. Ultimately, abortion takes away earthly life, it does not take away eternal life. And abortion doesn’t prevent a baby from enjoying eternal life.
2. “Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ.” (WCF 10:3)
3. And being pro-life does not give you eternal life.
4. Even if you stop abortion and save all future unborn babies, you will perish like the rest if you are without Christ.
5. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” – Matthew 16:26
F. As important as it is, being pro-life is secondary. Everything must be secondary to God’s place.
1. Family first? No! Family second. Safety first? Nope. Safety second. Everything second.
2. Seek first the Kingdom. First we are pro-Life (capital L). Then we are pro-life.*
G. In the movie, Separate But Equal, two men are driving in 1954 hear the news on the radio about Brown v. Board of Education. They stop the car and get out and kneel on the grass and thank God.
1. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade I will pull over and get out of the car and get down on my knees and thank the Lord (though I will also fear civil war).
2. But that’s not what we live for, because we know that even if that happens, there will be plenty of other realities to grieve over.
3. Coming to church each week is like pulling over and getting on our knees and thanking God that there is something bigger than all the difficulties & losses & injustices in this world, thanking God that we’ve been delivered from all this, thanking God that there’s a day coming when everything won’t be broken any more, and people won’t hurt each other, and when we won’t sin any more.
H. So we are pro-life because of Christ, and we want to be pro-life in the way Christ tells us to be pro-life. We need to be Biblically pro-life.
III. Being Biblically pro-life means a number of things.
A. Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
1. If we are going to be Biblically pro-life, we need to have the same attitude as Jesus.
2. The fact is, partly because of abortion, we live in a society of broken people, carrying around a deep sense of shame. Some of those folks are here this morning.
3. So many broken, hurting people, who have no place to turn for hope, for healing, for grace, for meaning, for forgiveness. It is actually a day of great opportunity – so many are ripe for Christ.
4. But we need to be very sensitive about the way we interact with them. We need to be very careful about how we talk about abortion. There are people for whom this is a very sensitive subject.
5. Tragically, it is not difficult to find, in the midst of the Christian community, the same spirit that we are condemning in the abortionist, the same disregard of the sanctity of human life that we criticize them for.
6. Enormous damage has been done by careless comments coming out of Christian mouths.
7. Just like every other sin, we should not talk about abortion without talking about the gospel.
8. What’s the answer to abortion? It’s the same as the answer to all other sin: salvation in Christ.
9. I’ve heard so many precious stories of lives broken by abortion saved by the grace of Christ, almost always through some person who showed them the love of Christ.
10. The gospel is for the sinners. It’s for the women who have had an abortion. It’s for the parents and the men who pressured those women into an abortion.
11. The gospel is not for the good. The great physician didn’t come to heal the healthy, but the sick.
12. No one is too dirty for the gospel. The gospel is for the dirty.
13. Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
14. Pro-life is about saving babies, pro-Life is about saving souls.
15. When Jesus saw the harassed and helpless crowds His stomach turned inside Him.
16. If we can’t feel for people, we’ll never reach them.
17. We need to pray for hurting people. We need to show concern for them. We need to treat them with gentleness and kindness. We need to show them our love for life by the way we treat them.
18. We need to convey the blessing of forgiveness in the way we speak about it.
19. When it comes to abortion, outrage isn’t enough. Outrage doesn’t change hearts.
B. And not just compassion, but humility
1. We are capable of the same sin as every person. All of us do the same kinds of things.
2. We should look at the sin of abortion and see ourselves.
3. It’s hard to say yes to another when it means saying no to yourself.
4. It’s so easy to spend someone else’s money, or be careless with someone else’s stuff, or hurt someone else’s feelings, or waste someone else’s time, or create work someone else has to do, all in the pursuit of our own happiness and pleasure.
a. It’s so easy to be a big spender when it comes to us, and a big miser when it comes to others.
5. We abuse power too, and use it for self instead of for others.
6. We are willing to steal little bits of others’ lives in order to enhance our own, in order to protect our pleasures or obtain our ambitions.
7. We do this every time we make a mess and let others clean it up, or drive recklessly for fun or to show off in front of our friends.
8. Every time we put our convenience over someone else’s welfare, we’ve committed the same sin. And also everytime we look at someone lustfully, or at a picture or a video.
a. We commit the same sin every time we make choices based not on faith but on how we feel,
b. every time we disregard another person, every time we think of them as worthless, disposable, every time we have disdain for them, every time we throw them into the trash can in our minds,
(1) and this applies not only to individuals, but to categories of people: old people, parents, little kids, people of another political persuasion, people of another country, the sexually immoral, the insane, loudmouths, know-it-alls, bureaucrats, fans of our rival team, etc.
9. People can smell disdain a mile away. And you know what else they can smell a mile away? A sense of superiority.
10. Isn’t it interesting that history’s greatest Christian called himself the chief of sinners? –1Tim.1:15
11. It is only in Jesus that real sinners – like you and me – can find hope and healing.
a. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear
b. It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear
c. It makes the wounded spirit whole, it calms the troubled breast
d. ‘Tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary rest
12. Col. 4:6 "Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person."
*This is how we answer the question about being consistently pro-life. You know the accusation: pro-life Christians should be consistently pro-life. They should oppose capital punishment too. The answer to this is that for us, being pro-life isn’t ultimate. Ultimately, we are pro-Christ, and pro life-in-Christ. Whatever Christ tells us in His word, we will follow. Capital punishment is clearly taught in Genesis 9:5-6 (“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”), and reaffirmed in the NT by Paul’s reference to how God has given the state the power of the sword (Romans 13:1-4). (Now it must be carried out justly and even-handedly, but principially it is appropriate in the case of murder.)