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The Origins of Life and Personhood. 

Text.  Psalm 139:13-14  

Our question for this evening is a profound one.  When does human life begin?  It’s an important issue for today, for the answer to that question can determine our attitude to abortion rights, women’s issues, bodily integrity (The question of who owns your body). Etc etc.  Let’s just consider some of these modern statements:-

"A man has no right to tell a woman what to do with her body."
”My body - my choice”
“Abortion is healthcare.”
“It’s just a clump of cells.” 
“Against abortion? Don’t have one

All of these statements are used by people who think that human life does not exist before either birth – or before a certain stage in a pregnancy.  So what does the Bible say about PERSONHOOD and ABORTION?


1. When do we become a PERSON.

Now, when does personhood begin?  At conception? At birth? At 20 weeks gestation?  It’s important because a ‘PERSON’ has certain inalienable rights, including the right to life. Being a PERSON is very important indeed.  So, when to ‘PERSONHOOD’ begin in the Biblical viewpoint? READ: Jeremiah 1:5 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.   What was the relationship between God and the unborn baby called Jeremiah:

God k__ __ __ him. 

God s __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ him.

God o __ __ __ __ __ __ __ him.

According to that verse, God, who created us at first, certainly didn’t think of baby Jeremiah as a NON-PERSON, or a clump of cells.  In fact God was already working out his plan in Jeremiah’s life.

READ: Psalm 139:13-14  Just as much as God sees us in eternity to come he sees us and knows us before we are even born.   READ: Psalm 8:4-5  So, PERSONHOOD, dignity, respect and human rights begin at conception, in the womb, and continue until the very moment we take our final breath.  Two more issues arise from that…

WANT TO TALK? If you have concerns about the issues raised in the podcast, and want to talk, please email

2. What About Abortion?

What are the reasons sometimes given for a woman wanting to abort a baby?  Write down your answers in the space below…

Let’s see what the Bible says:-

  • Abortion is Murdering a PERSON.  Exodus 20:13, Thou shalt not kill.  Taking away the life of another human being is murder.  Taking away the life of a helpless person is a despicable murder.  The safest, warmest most loving place is your mother’s womb, and abortionists have no qualms about destroying a small person in that sanctuary.  
  • What about RAPE or incest?  What if a girl is viciously attacked and raped and becomes pregnant.   READ  Deuteronomy 24:16,  
  • It’s a woman’s right to choose.  We always have to be compassionate with someone who makes poor life choices.  But when we trot out the cliche that it is a woman’s right to dispose of a baby, we omit two things:
    • The choice was made when she and the man engaged in sexual intercourse.  Choose to remain chaste until marriage. READ Philippians 4:13,  

These are difficult issues, but the little life inside is a human being, a person, with the right to survive and flourish.  And there are many childless couples who would love the opportunity to give that little life a home and a family and love.

3. Is There Hope After Abortion?

Taking away an innocent life is an appalling sin.  And Christians are not exempt.  We need to always remind ourselves…

  • There is ALWAYS forgiveness in Christ for those who repent of their sin, and trust in Christ. READ Hebrews 7:25,  Isaiah 1:18, 
  • After a woman has had an abortion there are a number of emotional responses:
    • Guilt.  Some people have talked about the awful feeling of guilt that they just can’t shake off.  Remember that all of our guilt was laid upon Christ, when he anointed for our sins.
    • Hurt. Psalm 34:18  
    • Shame.  Jesus even takes our shame.  He died on the cross of shame for me, and for every sin that ever was committed.

So, while we deplore the taking of human life, there is always forgiveness for the sinner who truly repents, and so we do not shun such people, or deny them the comforts of Christ.  Rather we pray for them, show them compassion and the love of Christ and plead with them to be saved!

© Bob McEvoy January 2022

From → Christian Ethics

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