God States Life Exists at Conception

When does life begin? We Christians often speak of life in the womb, yet fail to justify our position. It doesn’t hurt to review why Scripture has convinced us that life exists at conception.

The first point to make is that God declares that human life is an absolute. This means he doesn’t show a different respect for different levels or quality of human life. The Bible is full of examples of Christ’s love for the poor and rich, unhealthy and healthy, the lame and the whole. We have the clear directive not to measure life comparatively, with favoritism (Acts 10:34).

Secondly, God speaks of life in the womb. The Old Testament treats the event of conceiving and giving birth as a unit concept (Genesis 4:1; 1 Samuel 1:20,27). The prophet Jeremiah spoke of his own existence as a person in the womb (Jeremiah 1:6) and David did the same (Psalm 139:13-16). Luke saw no essential distinction between the babies being brought to Jesus (Luke 18:15) and the baby leaping in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 1:41) when he used the same Greek word, brephos, to describe both.

Finally, we know that God holds people accountable for sin, not parts of their body or blobs of flesh. That is why Psalm 51:5 is so significant. David acknowledged his own accountability before God, not only from the point of his birth, but also from the point of his conception. We should note that the Hebrew word for conceive is related to the word heat and the passion between a husband and wife that results in conception. God ties the beginning of life with the reproductive act.

None of this denies the apparent illogic. It is hard for us to understand how a child can sin or be accountable for sin while in its most microscopic stages. It is hard to imagine why we can’t exercise some authority of life and death over unborn life if we act before it can experience the life it has. Christians however, are not bound by logic, but by God’s Word and faith (1 Corinthians 1:25).

As the Creator of life God certainly knows the biological process of early life. He inspired the Bible’s writers to state clearly that life begins at conception.

Life in the womb, then, deserves the protection belonging to all life. While we can argue biological facts and states of development, God’s Word has already answered the question…life exists at conception.

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