What Does God Say About the Beginning of Life? // Bible Study

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What Does God Say About the Beginning of Life? // Bible Study (Student’s Guide)


READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES:

A. Life Comes from God

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

Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.”

B. Life Exists Before Birth — In the Womb

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 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, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Luke 1:41-44 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

Isaiah 44:24 “This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: ‘I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.'”

C. God’s Purpose for Each Person Exists While They Are in the Womb

Isaiah 49:5 And now the LORD says — he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

D. Conception and Birth Are Often Treated as a Unit Event

Genesis 38:4 She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan.

1 Samuel 1:20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

See also: Isaiah 8:3; Hosea 1:3

E. There is a Unique Accountability for Sin at Conception

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


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. According to the Genesis 2:7 passage, we learn that in the beginning, God created human life. What does the Deuteronomy 32:39 passage say about subsequent lives?

2. If a couple is practicing some form of family planning, how does that practice harmonize with these two passages?

3. What is God’s view of life in the womb?

4. What modern medical practices illustrate that what is in the womb is human life?

5. What practical reasons are there for not holding funerals for miscarried children?

6. What kind of purposes did God establish for Isaiah and Jeremiah while they were still in the womb?

7. Do you think you have to necessarily know what God’s specific “mission” is for you in order to be considered to have a “mission”?

8. When Scripture frequently references conception and birth as a unit concept, how do you think that is to be understood?

9. What are some of the names advocates of abortion use to describe what is in the womb after conception?

10. In what way does accountability for sin prescribe humanity and personhood to the unborn child?

Prayer:

Dear Lord of Life, forgive us for forgetting your authorship of life. Teach us to see in every pregnancy your handiwork of creating and sustaining human life. Guide us and all people to treat the unborn human life with respect and dignity as your blessing to us. May we then use that gift of human life as a time of grace you have given to share the message of salvation through Christ. In his name we pray, Amen.

What Does God Say About the Beginning of Life? // Bible Study (Leader’s Guide)

ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. According to the Genesis 2:7 passage we learn that in the beginning, God created human life. What does the Deuteronomy 32:39 passage say about subsequent lives?
As God created the first life, he continues to be the author of all human life.

2. If a couple is practicing some form of family planning, how does that practice harmonize with these two passages?
Practicing family planning is a stewardship activity. We manage the blessing of procreation but it is still God who blesses. It is the same as when we establish a family budget. We may work for the income and balance the expenditures, but it is still God who blesses those efforts and provides us with our “daily bread.”

3. What is God’s view of life in the womb?
Psalm 139 reflects God’s view that life exists in the womb. Because Psalm 51:5 ascribes accountability for sin beginning at conception, it is therefore deduced that life exists at conception, according to God.

4. What modern medical practices illustrate that what is in the womb is human life?
Fetal scopes pick up the unborn child’s heartbeat. Ultrasound and fiber optic technology has allowed us to view into the womb and see that child growing and alive. Surgery can be and has been performed on the child in the womb. In a very practical way, an unborn child is treated as a second patient under a doctor’s care.

5. What practical reasons are there for not holding funerals for miscarried children?
We should first realize that sometimes funerals are held for children lost in a miscarriage. Remember, funerals are held for the benefit of the survivors. Nevertheless, a funeral for a child lost through miscarriage is more the exception than the rule. Practical reasons for that are that miscarriages often take place so early in a pregnancy that it is either not known a miscarriage has taken place or little is left to bury. Additionally, because miscarriages occur early in pregnancy the bonding with that child is not always as significant.

6. What kind of purposes did God establish for Isaiah and Jeremiah while they were still in the womb?
Both men were given the purpose of sharing God’s Word with his people as prophets.

7. Do you think you have to necessarily know what God’s specific “mission” is for you in order to be considered to have a “mission?”
In a general way, God has assigned missions to everyone. They are to serve God, spread the Gospel, and reflect His love to all people. Specifically many people have not tried to uncover their purpose in life. Yet, under these general purposes, their specific niche exists. A failure to discover it, seek it out or acknowledge it does not nullify it.

8. When Scripture frequently references conception and birth as a unit concept, how do you think that is to be understood?
The controversy over abortion inaugurated a relatively recent practice of breaking down a pregnancy into its smallest components. While the medical profession found it useful to do this as it cared for the unborn child and the mother, society, in general, saw conception through delivery as just a unit process of “having a baby.”

9. What are some of the names advocates of abortion use to describe what is in the womb after conception?
Embryo, fetus, products of conception, contraceptive failure, blobs of tissue, a part of the mother’s body.

10. In what way does accountability for sin prescribe humanity and personhood to the unborn child?
God holds people accountable for sin. He does not hold blobs of tissue or parts of a woman’s body accountable for sin. He holds people accountable for sin.

The Word of God clearly teaches that life is present at conception. The unique accountability that human beings have for sin is there at conception. The other references all point to a presumption that human life is a continuum that is present at conception and that birth is just one milestone in the life process.

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