Sanctity of Human Life: How the Gospel Compels Us to Take Action

On Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we pause to remember the intrinsic value of every person and call the church to action to take up the cause of life. We must take action because the gospel compels us to action. The gospel is the good news of Jesus which speaks of the kingdom of God, the rule of Christ over the cosmos, and the restoration of this broken world. The gospel ushers in a new resurrection-reality that brings redemption, forgiveness, and love to sinners. The good news fuels our motivation to care for the fatherless, particularly the unborn. Foetus-435110

The scriptures tell us that we are orphans. The Scriptures speak of God’s love as a loving father who adopts us and brings us into his family. Spiritually, everyone of us is an orphan, abandoned to our sins, exposed in eternal suffering, and hungry for love and family. As the lamenter Jeremiah said, “We have become orphans, fatherless” (Lam 5:3).

Though we are poor orphans, God cares for the marginalized. He sees us in our lowly estate; he sees our suffering; he sees our hunger, and he chooses to adopt us as his children. He sent Jesus, his own son, to purchase us and bring us into his family. Our salvation tells one beautiful story of adoption. The story of the Bible describes a loving Father who sacrificed everything to love his children. He spared no expense, even if it meant the sacrifice of his only-begotten son.

Yet, even though Jesus has been raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father, God did not abandon us like orphans. Rather, now we have the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18, ESV). He gives us a helper, the Holy Spirit until Christ returns for us.

These glorious Gospel truths amazes us. If you are a Christian, you’ve received the adopting love of God. How amazing it is that God’s love would descend to choose broken, unwanted orphans like us. Though you may feel unwanted, good for nothing, and worthless, God the Father declares: “I love you. I want you. Become my child, and let me become your father. Come enjoy the warmth of my embrace and enjoy your inheritance as my son or daughter.” You want that kind of love. I want that kind of love. If you want to become a son or daughter of God, he invites you into his family today. He calls you to turn from your sin and trust in his son Jesus Christ for your salvation. Come to the Father through the son, and enjoy the privileges of being a child of God.

So when we become a child of God, we are called to action. We spread the kingdom of God and share in our Father’s care for the orphan. As Paul would write in Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV). James write, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22, ESV). James tells us that one of the ways we prove to be a part of the family of God, is that we obey God. Disobedience to the command of God indicates spiritual deception. Our obedience proves our son-ship.

As we think about the sacredness of human life, how does the Gospel compels us to do something? What motivates us to action? Let me suggest five ways.

First, we are compelled by gratitude. As we think about all that God has done for us, we cannot help but be grateful, and that gratefulness leads us to obedience.

Second, we are compelled by love. We want to imitate God, be like him in his care for the least of these. As God has loved us, we love others. Children are like their fathers, and the church should by like God. We share in the care of God for the least of these. Indeed, we are an extension of the love of God.

Third, we are compelled by God’s Kingdom. The kingdom of God speaks to our individual salvation on a micro level, but on a macro level it speaks to the restoration of the cosmos. God will renew all things and restore all things before sins corroding influence on the world. As citizens of God’s kingdom and members of his family, we are compelled to see his kingdom advance.

Fourth, we are compelled by the Great Commission. We do justice and serve the least of these as a part of our Great Commission work to make disciples. Social justice goes awry, when we forget that people need Jesus. Out of love and compassion, let us care for the marginalized, but let us also take the Gospel message with us, inviting all people to trust Christ as the savior and king.

Fifth, we are compelled by God’s glory. At the end of the day, this is the ultimate motivation for all we do. We want to make God’s name famous through all the earth. We want his rule to spread, his kingdom to come. We want the nations to be glad and sing for joy, as all of the cosmos sings in climatic praise to God!

You Knit Me Together in My Mother's Womb

20120828-064824.jpg The picture above, is a picture of my own son. A week ago, my wife Kaitlyn and I had the joy of seeing our son through the wonderful technology of ultrasound. The whole thing was absolutely breath taking because not only is their a little baby in there, the baby moves around and looks like a human being.

In the silent holocaust of abortion, it blows my mind that we have depersonalized that little person in the womb. We call it a fetus or a mass of cells all in order to ease our minds as we slaughter the child on the alter of our comfort and ease. The amazing thing is that at the picture of that ultrasound Kaitlyn was only 16 weeks pregnant. Even then you can see his hands move. You can see his feet squirm. You can see his heart and his spine. No matter who you are, you can't deny that there is a little human being in there. Not just a mass of cells, not just a potential human, but a real person.

The amazing thing is that in my own state, NC, you can get an abortion up to 20 weeks in pregnancy. That is absolutely mind blowing to me, because every little baby is created in the image of God. Every little baby has the right to life.

"For you formed me in my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb" - Psalm 139:13

The Fight Against Abortion is Nothing New

The issue of abortion is a huge moral debate in our culture.  Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortions have risen from 775,000 to 1.6 million annually.  Abortion has increased to the point that abortion is the second most common surgical procedure in the US.  In the United States, one in four pregnancies are terminated by abortion.  That means 1/4 of the next generation is being destroyed in the womb.  In response to this, many Christians have rallied to fight the decision of Roe vs Wade arguing that life is precious, even in the womb.  Christians argue that all of humanity is created in the image of God and that as a result human life should not be killed, even in the womb.  For Christians, abortion is murder.  Now my goal in this blog isn't to argue for the pro life position from the Bible, but to show that Christians fighting for the cause of life is nothing new.  Even from the beginning of Christianity, Christians were known for protecting the defenseless and helping the helpless.  
When Christians first arrived on the scene, the culture of the day had a hard time figuring them out.  They were so counter cultural that the Roman Empire thought that they were just bizarre.  The culture just thought they were weird.  Here is an excerpt from a testimony of a Roman writing about what the Christians were like in the 2nd century:
"They marry, like everyone else, and they beget children, but they do not cast out their offspring. They share their board with each other, but not their marriage bed....They busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven....They love all men, and by all men are persecuted....To put in simply: What the soul is in the body, Christians are in the world.”—Letter to Diognetus (2nd century).
In the Roman era, there was a common practice of casting out unwanted children after birth.  If you had a child and you didn't want the responsibility of taking care of the child, you would simply toss them out with the rest of the garbage.  It was no big deal and culturally acceptable.  You can see in this excerpt that the early Christians were known for not casting out their children.  The culture thought they were weird for not committing infanticide.  In fact the early Christians were often called "Baby Lovers", because the early Christians would actually go to garbage heaps, get the cast out infants, take them into their homes, and care for them.  Throughout church history it was the Christians who would take care of the orphans and provide a voice for the voiceless.  
You see, the issue of abortion is not a new issue that Christians are facing.  Christians have been fighting for the cause of life since their beginning.  The question for us is this: Are we going to stand in the long line of historical Christianity and defend life?  You see Jesus himself came to save the forgotten and despised of this world.  That includes those of us who have been saved by grace through faith.  In response to the amazing grace we have been shown, we must be compelled to imitate our savior and defend the cause of the unborn.  The fight will be difficult and persecution is sure to follow, but just like the early Christians may we seem bizarre to our culture because of our love and concern for the unwanted.  May we be the ones who support ministries like the Wilson Pregnancy Center.  May we be the ones who volunteer to adopt these children rejected by the world.  May we be the ones who help the helpless and provide a voice for the voiceless.  This means fighting against the silent holocaust of abortion and being a voice for the 50 million souls in the US who had their lives taken in the womb.