". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


God Is Pro-Life: Why We Must Be as Well

October 24, 2022

We are pro-life because the Bible is pro-life. That is the animating conviction of the evangelical pro-life movement. We are not pro-life because it is a winning issue. We are not pro-life because we like the issue. We are not pro-life because we like the reputation it gives us. We are pro-life because the timeless and perfect Word of God compels us to be pro-life.

The Bible does this from cover to cover. In ancient days, if a woman gave birth due to a fight between men — being inadvertently struck — the condition of the born baby determined the penalty for the offending party. Exodus 21:23-25 leaves no room for viewing the baby’s harm as unimportant: “But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” There is no sense here that the baby’s life is of no value. There is no sense that the baby is merely an appendage of the woman. No one in ancient Israel could hear these words and think anything but that the life of the defenseless infant mattered greatly.

We hear the same affirmation ring out in Psalm 139:13-16, which is in truth a song of praise to the Creator for making the human person:

[13] For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
[14] I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
[15] My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
[16] Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Life has an exalted quality throughout the Bible. Life is not a dull and listless reality; life is a shining and shimmering gift. Nor is humanity a purposeless clump of cells as depicted here. To the contrary, the human person has been “formed” by God, “knitted … together,” and “intricately woven” (13, 15). Yes, this is poetic language, but as so often occurs in Scripture, poetry reflects reality. The Lord makes every person according to the order of creation.

The system of life God set in motion brings every person into being, with no exceptions. We cannot say, either, that God only provides the raw materials of personhood; he has “written” the length of days “formed” for each one of us. The same God who makes us is the God who directs us. He has ordained how long we will live. His sovereignty does not rob us of significance; God’s being in charge does no injury to our humanity. The opposite is true: we are people made by God. This means that every life has value, worth, and dignity.

This is true whether we were conceived in normal marital circumstances or not. The baby conceived in a difficult situation has just as much God-given dignity as any other child. Yes, some mothers will need much more care and help than others. But all children are made in the image of God. Every child is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (14). Some are not partially wonderful, while others are fully wonderful. The rankings system of modern America, where some babies have value and others do not, is alien to Scripture, and an offense to God.

The New Testament teaches the same. In fact, Luke 1:39-42 fills out our understanding of babies, showing that they can partake in good news of great joy. When the virgin Mary visits Elizabeth, who will give birth to John the Baptist, the following occurs: “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (41-42). The entire story here is one of God blessing humanity through the gift of conception. Nothing less than the salvation of sinners would come through a tiny child named Jesus — not an angelic army from heaven, or fire from the skies. Salvation came to us through childbirth.

We must remember these truths in contested days. We may have come to pro-life convictions for a variety of reasons. But ultimately, we are not pro-life because of any factor of our own. We who love God are pro-life because God is pro-life. He always will be. He never will change. He will not become a pro-choice being. He will never endorse a pro-abortion worldview. The God of the Bible hates abortion, and the God of the Bible loves life.

In whatever field and work we find ourselves today, let us remember these truths. In the public square, in political contests, in making and championing policy, in doing the dirty work necessary to promote what is good and true and beautiful, let us remember why we are pro-life. Our days are already written by God. While we still have them, let us use them to proclaim in a pro-death world that God loves life, and that every person is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Owen Strachan is Senior Fellow for FRC's Center for Biblical Worldview.