Sanctity Of Human Life Day 2023

In 1984 President Ronald Regan declared Sunday, January 22, to be Sanctity of Human life Day. His proclamation begins as follows:

The values and freedoms we cherish as Americans rest on our fundamental commitment to the sanctity of human life. The first of the “unalienable rights” affirmed by our Declaration of Independence is the right to life itself, a right the Declaration states has been endowed by our Creator on all human beings—whether young or old, weak or strong, healthy or handicapped.

Since 1973, however, more than 15 million unborn children have died in legalized abortions—a tragedy of stunning dimensions that stands in sad contrast to our belief that each life is sacred. These children, over tenfold the number of Americans lost in all our Nation’s wars, will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss.

We are poorer not simply for lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for the erosion of our sense of the worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all. Slavery, which treated Blacks as something less than human, to be bought and sold if convenient, cheapened human life and mocked our dedication to the freedom and equality of all men and women. Can we say that abortion—which treats the unborn as something less than human, to be destroyed if convenient—will be less corrosive to the values we hold dear?

In 1984, the number of abortions in the U.S. alone was 15 million. As of 2020, Right To Life Michigan, has the number of estimated abortions totaling over 60 million. What a profoundly large number of lives ended. Our brains fail to comprehend the deaths of over 60 million people. This cataclysmic destruction of human life continues daily around our country, to lives when they are most vulnerable.

Today, almost 40 years after this original proclamation, abortion is sadly still a hotly debated topic. Even among those who follow and worship the Lord, there is still debate over the philosophical, medical, and psychological aspects of abortion. Why is that? Part of the reason is we get lost in the extreme arguments. We find ourselves arguing about rare and difficult “what-ifs”, while forgetting the core truth of this issue. Many find themselves confused with all the competing talking points and different sets of facts. So in this confusion we forget the core truth of the debate.

This core truth is found in the final question at the end of Ronald Regan’s statement. Are the unborn something less than human? The answer to this question will inform our answers to everything else involving abortion. It is also one of the primary points that differentiates a biblical pro-life position and a cultural pro-choice one.

Time does not allow me today to go through every scripture, let alone all the philosophical and medical arguments, for a pro-life position. For answers from medical science and philosophy I can point you to the excellent book, The Case For Life by Scott Klusendorf, along with many other excellent books.

But I am not addressing just anyone today. Our service is for those who are disciples of the one true God and those interested in becoming one. If we claim to be disciples of the Lord, then we must seek our answers from His Word. There are many places we can go to for our answer to the question if the unborn are human beings but this morning We will be looking at one passage from Psalm 139:13-16.

This passage, and all of God’s word, makes it completely clear that life begins in the womb at conception. Also, that very human life has tremendous worth being made in the image of our Creator.

In this psalm of King David, we have declared for us the realities of the Lord and of our relationship to Him. In these verses we see King David communicate clear timeless truth found from just observing creation, specifically the creation of human beings. We begin in verse 13.

For you created my inmost being;

  you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

The Lord is the creator of all things, including human beings. Each of us was formed in our mother’s womb. Modern science has allowed us to see this amazing process in detail and understand how we are physically created. Even viewed through our fallen state it is an amazing testament to the intelligent design of the Lord. King David never saw an ultrasound and still understood that this was an amazing work of Adonai. The forming of human beings is more than just some mechanical processes. We are more than a random collection of cells on a randomly created planet. King David understood we were a product of an intelligent designer. Which leads him to praise the Lord.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

  your works are wonderful,

  I know that full well.

King David praises the Lord that he is unique and made in a way that produces awe. We read in Genesis 1 that we are different than all of creation, we are made in the image of the Lord. In a very special and unique way every single human being reflects the Lord. In our fallen state this image has become corrupted but can still be seen and understood. All of God’s works are unique, but only humanity is made in His image. Each of us therefore have incredible worth and value. Our value is not from our accomplishments or how we look. It is also not from whether we are wanted by others. Our self-worth comes from being a creation of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The same creator who has arranged every night sky, every beautiful sunset, every breathtaking landscape, has made us as well. Every human life is a wonderful priceless work of art.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

The secret place and depths of the Earth are another way to describe the womb. Every baby is hidden away in their mother’s womb. We are not able to see constantly as a child develops and grows. I think this is part of the reason it is so easy to dehumanize an unborn child. Because they are not visible in the same way a child is after they are born. But just because we cannot see them does not mean they are not alive and real.

The Lord, who sees all things, sees and weaves us together in the womb. Each of us was also created for the Lord’s purposes even if we cannot always see that purpose clearly. These purposes are described as preordained as we read in our final verse.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

  all the days ordained for me were written in your book

  before one of them came to be.

The Lord not only sees our bodies as they are formed but all our days are written in His book. The Lord knows the end from the beginning and that every life has purpose and meaning.

We often only assign worth to a person after they are born. When we see what they do and do not do, their accomplishments and their failures. The Lord knows all these things before they happen.

It is easy to discard someone we think has no purpose or one we do not like. But I think Ronald Reagan was right when he said we are infinitely poorer for the loss of those babies who have been aborted. Who are we to try and end or interfere with God’s purposes? Is there any higher form of pride than to choose as a society to legalize the right to kill innocent children because of our needs and desires?

You do not need a theological degree to understand the simple meaning of this passage and others throughout God’s Word. We may use terms like zygote and fetus to medically describe an unborn child in a clinical sense. But it is clear from God’s Word that there is an unborn human being inside a mother’s womb. Therefore, to paraphrase Francis Schaeffer, if we claim to be followers of God, we cannot affirm a “right” to abortion without denying the authority and truth of Scripture in our lives.

Despite Roe V. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court this battle against murder and dehumanization is far from over. Like in all areas of life, disciples of Messiah Yeshua must bring the light of Scripture to a culture in deep confusion from spiritual darkness. We must educate ourselves on this issue, which is made easier by the vast amount of great teachings in print and video. We must also make our voice heard in the electorate by voting for life and encouraging others to do so as well.

But we must also be willing to have hard honest conversations with those around us on this issue. To bring it back to the truth that abortion is the murder of innocent children. All other issues and debates around this topic must start from this place. Acknowledging that a baby in a mother’s womb is not just a clump of cells or an object to be tossed aside. Instead, within that hidden place is all that is necessary for a human life to come into this world.

We need to affirm the Lord has made each one of us in His image and that we have infinite worth from being fearfully and wonderfully made. We also must affirm that it is the Lord who numbers our days and not ourselves. We have no place taking away an innocent child’s right to life.

These are not minor issues we can disagree on. To believe that a “right” to abortion exists means that there are parts of God’s Word that are not true. We cannot call ourselves followers of the Lord and ignore His teachings when they go against society. We cannot undo the murder of 60 million human lives, and we cannot be complicit in adding to that incredible death toll.

It is my prayer this morning that the sin of abortion would come to a complete end in this country and throughout the world. That we would acknowledge the sanctity and sacredness of every human life. May each of us be convicted, comforted, and compelled to action as we wrestle with this crucial issue.