The Sanctity of Human Life

Scripture treats human life as a divine gift and something for which humans are responsible. It is thus to be valued and respected. No human being has the right to take the life of another without Biblical justification.

For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (Psalm 139:13–16)

If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited. Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter. If you say, "But we didn't know about this," won't He who weighs hearts consider it? Won't He who protects your life know? Won't He repay a person according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:10–12)

1. Human life is a gift from God.

[God] Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist... being God's offspring...” (Acts 17:25–29)

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4)

But you have not glorified the God who holds your life-breath in His hand and who controls the whole course of your life.” (Daniel 5:23)

2. Human life is precious to God.

This is what the LORD says: ... 'Don't shed innocent blood in this place... But if you do not obey these words, then I swear by Myself' — this is the LORD's declaration —'that this house will become a ruin.'” (Jeremiah 22:3–5)

Don't you yourselves know that you are God's sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone destroys God's sanctuary, God will destroy him; for God's sanctuary is holy, and that is what you are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17)

3. God hates and prohibits the unlawful taking of life.

Do not murder.” (Exodus 20:13; Deut 5:17)

The LORD hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.” (Proverbs 6:16–17)

4. God punishes the unlawful taking of life.

I will require the life of every animal and every man for your life and your blood. I will require the life of each man's brother for a man's life. Whoever sheds man's blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in His image.” (Genesis 9:5–6)

Whoever strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death... If a person schemes and willfully acts against his neighbor to murder him, you must take him from My altar to be put to death.” (Exodus 21:12–14)

When men get in a fight and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born prematurely but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman's husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment. If there is an injury, then you must give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.” (Exodus 21:22–25)

Cursed is anyone who accepts payment to kill an innocent person.” (Deuteronomy 27:25)

The LORD says: I will not relent from punishing the Ammonites ... because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to enlarge their territory.” (Amos 1:13)

5. Children are the creation, formation and workmanship of God whether inside or outside the womb.

Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26–27)

Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

Did not the One who made me in the womb also make them? Did not the same God form us both in the womb?” (Job 31:15)

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.” (Psalm 22:9–10)

Your hands made me and formed me.” (Psalm 119:73)

And now, says the LORD, who formed me from the womb to be His Servant.” (Isaiah 49:5)

I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.” (Jeremiah 1:5, HCSB)

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5, ESV)

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

God set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace.” (Galatians 1:15)

6. Children are human beings from the moment of conception.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5)

Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:3–4)

And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God... In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: 'You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me!'” (Luke 1:36–44)

7. Children are precious in the sight of God.

Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the child of her womb? Even if these forget, yet I will not forget you. Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” (Isaiah 49:15–16)

But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea! Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes.” (Matthew 18:6–7)

Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” (Matthew 19:13–14)

8. Children are a blessing and reward from the Lord.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”(Psalm 127:3–5)

How happy is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways! ... Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons, like young olive trees around your table. In this very way the man who fears the LORD will be blessed.” (Psalm 128:1–4)

“The incarnation is the most compelling Christian apologetic for the sanctity of unborn human life. To argue that life does not begin at conception must lead one to assume that the human Christ was at one point a potentially human Christ. Those who say that life does not begin at conception are in direct opposition to the Apostles' Creed and in almost certain agreement with an early heresy, adoptionism which claimed that Jesus became God at some later point in life. The early church refuted this, and affirmed in the Apostles' Creed that the eternal Son became incarnate in Mary's womb, choosing the phrase, conceived by the Holy Ghost. That which was conceived by the Holy Ghost was not an it, a potential human, or a blob of tissue. It was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Life Issues Institute. PROLIFE: Scripture & the Sanctity of Life)

"Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality" (John MacArthur)