Why Is Abortion a Sin Against God?

You know why they call it birth control? Because it’s meant to stop a birth from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins (Peggy Noonan).

In John Piper’s excellent work entitled Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, he admonishes those in the pastorate to blow the trumpet for the unborn. In that chapter, he gives nine reasons why those who are pro-choice know that they are taking a life when they abort a child. He then tells the story of how he sat down with an abortionist one day and went through all nine points. The abortionist agreed with all of them. In other words, the abortionist knew that he was taking the lives of children.

The reason the abortionist committed these atrocities is because he felt that the rights of the mother outweighed the rights of the child.

As Christians, I believe we should always battle for the life of the unborn. Yes, it is good to know the science and legality of life as our society does, but that is not our weapon. Our weapon in this fight must always be the Bible.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Since this is true, then, we need to fight with our best tool in the fight for the unborn. Let us use His word, because only in God’s word do we have any moral authority since that is where the basis of morality comes from. It is there that we find out that killing of the innocent is wrong, and that God takes a special interest in those who cannot defend themselves.

Therefore, we need to return to Scripture for this fight. Otherwise we are laying down the best tool that God has given us. Where do we start?

First by realizing that at the earliest stage of life, the moment of conception, the child is made in the image of God. He/she is immediately an image bearer.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28).

I included the following verses as well, because I want us to see that not only are humans made in His image, we also have the command to be fruitful and multiply. This command has never been rescinded.

The point is that every child, unborn or not, every human, both bad and good, have been separated from the rest of creation by the mere fact that we are made in God’s image. We are different and special to God because of that.

For this reason, every man, woman, and child has intrinsic worth and are far more valuable than the beasts of the field. We are image bearers of God. He did not give His image to any other creatures or any other part of the creation, only to humans. Therefore the unborn have value at the moment of their conception. They are image bearers and are worthy of being protected and given rights. To murder them is to take the life of an innocent image bearer, and to sin against God. (And abortion is murdering the child.)

How do we know this? Two ways. First in Genesis 9:5-7, we have the giving of capital punishment by God. In verse 5, we are told the value of the life blood of man.

Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man (Genesis 9:5).

God demands a reckoning of the lifeblood that was shed. This is not a request or a suggestion, but strong language showing what He has a right to demand. The Hebrew verb that is used for the phrase “I will require” literally means “to pursue relentlessly,” or “to seek diligently.” God is serious about the death penalty for those who have murdered the innocent.

This is where we get our justification for the death penalty, and why it is rebellion against God to not have and use a death penalty. God demands justice for the shed blood of the innocent.

In giving this injunction against taking of human life, God even extends the injunction to that of beasts. If an animal kills a man, that animal is to be killed because of the image that the man bears (Exodus 21:28).

God is setting the stage for what many call the sanctity of life. Life is precious and given to us by the Lord, therefore it is a sin to take the life of someone who is innocent. Those who do so are to be dealt with by the government because of the image that they have in them.

God goes on to say through Moses:

“ Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God
He made man

Verse 6 gives us the reasoning for taking the murderer’s life: he has sinned against God, by shedding blood and destroying the image of God. While we may not place a high value on being image bearers, God does. It is special to Him because it represents Him. When we ponder the image of God, we realize how seriously He takes it by the fact that He requires the shedding of blood by those who destroy an image bearer.

This is not something to be taken lightly, but a sin that is grievous and heinous. It is why godly people institute the death penalty. They are not being cold-hearted, or mean spirited, but they respect what God has done in creation and in man.

God is so concerned about life and His image, that He not only mandates the death penalty, but restates the requirement for man to be fruitful.

And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Bring forth abundantly in the earth, And multiply in it (Genesis 9:6).

He commands us to have children and fill the earth with those who bear His image. This is not something that has been repealed. God still expects us to fill the earth and He designed the earth to handle the population, whatever that population may be.

The overall point is that God’s image is worth protecting…therefore we should protect that image in the unborn child, and allow for the addition of more unborn children.

Now when it comes to the death penalty, some might ask: what about the sixth commandment? You shall not murder? Or “kill” as some translations read.

I know it may seem odd that on the one hand we say that life should be taken because of the image of God in that person, and saved in the other. But we must realize that the Sixth Commandment is tied to both the death penalty, and the preservation of the life of the unborn.

The death penalty given in Genesis 9, is the remedy for those who have violated the Sixth Commandment found in Exodus 20. The commandment that is given is not against a government carrying out the death penalty on those who break the commandment. The commandment is against the murder of those who are innocent. Some translations read: Thou shall not kill. But a better translation would read: You shall not murder, because the Hebrew word in this case indicates the killing of an innocent person.

Therefore the Sixth Commandment is not negating capital punishment because the one put to death in that situation is not innocent. It also strengthens the case against abortion because the child in the womb is innocent. The Sixth Commandment is forbidding the death of the child.

Notice, that nowhere in this, does it say: except if someone’s life is inconvenient to others. Which is what those who are pro-abortion are saying.

Not only is abortion sin against God because it is destroying one made in the image of God, but it is also sin against God because it is breaking God’s Law.

We also see that it is sinning against God because abortion destroys the work of God.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[a]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them
(Psalm 139:13-16).

Everyone admits the miracle of birth, but this shows that God’s hand is active in every conception. He is the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb. It’s His work, not ours. To destroy an unborn child, is to destroy God’s handiwork, sin against Him and against the child, and destroy another image bearer. This is why we are to fight against abortion.