Two Journeys Ministry
In-Depth Biblical Content by Pastor Andy Davis

Life in Christ

Life in Christ

January 17, 2016 | Andy Davis
John 1:1-21:25
Sanctity Of Human Life

Pastor Andy Davis preached at Sanctity of Human Life Sunday based on the Gospel of John.



 The book of 2 Corinthians 6:10 gives a phrase that is much on my mind in pastoral ministry, “sorrowful yet always rejoicing.” Sorrowful yet always rejoicing. And recently, I've thought to put in the word, sometimes sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. The reality of sin and death in this world will make the times of sorrow inevitable, but the victory of Jesus Christ at the cross and at the empty tomb is so incredible and infinite in its dimensions that we are told that it will swallow up all death and sin in victory. Jesus was, we are told in Isaiah 53, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering, and yet that same book of prophecy tells us that the coming of Jesus brings in an age of joy so unspeakable and so full of glory, it's akin, in Isaiah 9, to the time when people rejoice at the harvest, and as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. “For to us a child is born and to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” So the same book testifies of the same man that he is both a man of sorrows and also one who brings infinite joy. Sorrowful yet always rejoicing.

And so when I come to today's Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, I'm sorrowful and yet I'm rejoicing. Sorrowful that legalized abortion is still the law of the land, and has been now for 43 years, sorrowful about that, but rejoicing that someday the King of Kings will return and establish a righteous government in which all unjust laws will be gone forever. I'm sorrowful that over, well over a million babies were aborted in the United States of America last year, but I'm rejoicing that Christ has conquered death and that his resurrection from the dead gives the only silver lining there could ever be in the face of death.

I'm sorrowful that people, men and women, have been defiled by this issue, that their consciences have been defiled, that they are guilty, and that they have sinned in this crucial issue of the sanctity of human life. It makes me sorrowful. But I'm rejoicing that full forgiveness is available through faith in Christ, and that sinners can have their consciences cleansed, the Book of Hebrews tells us, from acts that lead to death so that we can serve the living God. I'm sorrowful that Planned Parenthood continues to operate and do its wicked things, but I'm rejoicing that they have been more fully exposed in 2015 than they've ever been before, and that people are able to see them for what they really are, the depths of their depravity. I'm sorrowful that we still have so far to go to see legalized abortion in our nation removed forever, but I am rejoicing that we have, through the Scripture and the indwelling Spirit, by the power of the Gospel, everything we need for life and godliness, and we are fully equipped for the role that we have to play in our country.

So we come to Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and I'm looking at the entire Gospel of John this morning. They asked me what the Scripture reading was going to be, and I said, "All right, why don't we read the entire Gospel of John?" But we couldn't do that, and so we looked at verses 1-14, and I'm not here to preach an expositional sermon on these 14 verses. Would love to do it. But what I wanna do is use the Gospel of John to think about life, to think about biological life and to think about eternal life, spiritual life. So that's what we're going to do. Now, when we talk about Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, what does that mean? Sanctity means holiness or sacredness. We believe that human life is special, it's set apart unto God. It's different than any other kind of life there is in the world. We get this from Genesis 1:27-28, where we're told that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created Him, male and female, he created them and God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, fill the Earth and subdue it.’”

So the sanctity of human life means that God has set apart human life unto himself as his own precious possession. Now, the key moment in his ministry, the Lord Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Now, there is a similarity between the love vertically that we are to offer to God and the love horizontally we are to offer to one another. We get that from Jesus's words, “the second is like it.” So what that means is all of the Law and the Prophets, all of the ethical behavior there is in life comes first and foremost from the commitment, the commandment we have to love God, Almighty God, and the understanding that every human being we ever meet is created in the image of God, and that to love them is a subset in the end of loving God with all of our heart. 

Now, this was established, re-established after the flood of Noah. We're told before the flood, the heart of sinners had become so wicked and depraved that their thoughts were only evil all the time, and it seems like one of the things that happened before the flood was a river of murder, a river of death in which humans were killing other humans. So one of the things that God did after the flood was established again the sanctity, the sacredness of human life. In Genesis 9:6, he said, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God, has God made man." So the law forbidding murder is linked to the fact that God has made man in his own image. To kill another human being is to attack the image of God. Now, in the New Testament, James extends this to even something as simple as insulting or cursing another human being. He says in James 3:9-10, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in God's likeness, out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

So we should not even speak harsh words about another person because they are made in the likeness of God. Now, why do we commemorate or focus on the sanctity of human life this Sunday in January? Well, it's to commemorate, I think, one of the darkest days in the history of our country. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down an infamous seven-to- two decision in the Roe vs. Wade case, making abortion legal throughout the nation. Since that time, it's estimated, we don't know the true numbers, but almost 60 million babies have been slaughtered, 60 million. It just boggles the mind. So, every year at FBC, we pause to reflect on this issue, and we do so with a sense of sorrow, of grief. Also a sense of repentance, a sense of resolve in prayer, and determination in action, and I hope, a sense of hopefulness about the future. 

So I like to stand every year and look back at this recent year, the year in review and in some ways the pro-life cause has made some wonderful gains. Lots of states passed more and more restrictive laws making it harder and harder to get abortions. We know, as I alluded to, these Planned Parenthood videos came out exposing the selling of body parts in relation to abortion for a certain price, which is really very staggering, and the reaction to that was encouraging in that people show their conscience and the fact that there's a sense of horror at the selling of body parts connected with abortion. So that's encouraging. 

Now, the key issue on abortion, and for me, it's just so important that we keep our mind focused on this, it has always been, it always will be the humanity, the personhood of the pre-born. We have to zero in on that and never lose sight of that. Pro-abortion forces have tried a variety of ways to obscure this, like saying that the baby is really a fetus, which is just the Latin word for “young one,” but it's dehumanizing or even worse, product of conception or “mass of tissue,” and that it depends, amazingly — and I just have a hard time ethically even understanding this — depends on the choice of the mother in terms of whether it's a person or not. So it's “ascribed personhood” based on the choice of the mother.

And it also engenders illogical, weird political slogans, like the one I've heard from a number of even presidential candidates, this one. I never fail to boggle at this one: abortion should be safe, legal, funded and rare. Just ponder, safe? Safe for who? And then rare. Why? Why should it be rare? If it's just a mass of tissues and there's nothing there, there should be no ethics concerning this. It’s because we know in our hearts we're suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. And why should Planned Parenthood shrink back from saying that they are selling these body parts, why would they try to twist it and spin it and hire PR firms and get the politicians to do double-speak on it? Because they know that they're suppressing the truth and unrighteous and their hearts are hard. In any case, this war against abortion continues to rage. But the truth of the matter is, it's still the law of the land, it's still legal to get abortion. And every year over, up, well over a million babies are aborted in this country, and so the battle has to be for our hearts and minds. We have to keep understanding biblical truth on this. We have a responsibility in this matter, and we have to win that battle.

I. The Gift of Physical Life in Christ Jesus

And so what I wanna do is, I wanna zero in on the Gospel of John, and I just want to celebrate life. I  wanna look at life. And at specifically Christ, Jesus Christ as the giver of life. So I wanna begin in verse 1, 1-4, if you look at it in your Bible or just listen. John 1:1-4 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made, and without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Well, the overall purpose of the Gospel of John is to portray, to proclaim Jesus as God, the deity of Christ. And secondly, that the readers of the Gospel might have life through faith in Christ. And then thirdly, I think, to show us what that life is like. What is the life like that Jesus came to give? So right from the beginning, we have the deity of Christ established, John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And then in verse 14, we have, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory.”

And then in verse 17, it says, “The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” So we're not left wondering who John is talking about. Jesus Christ is the Word who became flesh and in verse 1 it tells us that he was with God from the beginning, and he is God. But then it tells us in verse 3, “Through him all things were made, and without him nothing was made that has been made.” It's stunning in the book of Genesis, which I think John is thinking about when he says “In the beginning,” but in the book of Genesis, we have this statement of how God creates all things, he says, "Let there be," and there is. And so God speaks the creative word and then things pop up into existence. Well, John helps us to look deeper and more theologically, saying in effect, Jesus was the Word through which God the Father made everything. Now, I don't fully understand that. I just know that as the text says here, there is nothing in the universe that does not owe its existence to Jesus. All things were created by him, for him, through him. All things, and that especially focuses on human life, on life, John gets specific about the issue of life.

In verse 4, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” There is a vast difference between living and non-living things, creatures, living and non-living creation. Life itself is a vast complex mystery. It’s very, very difficult to define what is life, but from the beginning of the gospel, the apostle John makes it plain that God the Father has linked Jesus with life. There is no life apart from Christ. So, I mean biological life, and I also mean spiritual life. So let's speak biologically. What do we mean by life when we're talking about biological life? Well, websites and biology textbooks show how difficult it is to define life. Many just tend to list the characteristics of living things that non-living things don't have. So living things are made up of cells. Living things adapt to their environment so as to promote their own survival. Living things can reproduce organisms of the same type. Living things are capable of growth and development at some point over their lifespan. Living organisms obtain energy from their surrounding environment in creative and fascinating ways, plants, by photosynthesis and animal life, by eating. And Genesis 1 says that God created every living thing by the word of his power, God said, "Let there be," and there was. And so through Jesus, God made everything.

"From the beginning of the gospel, the apostle John makes it plain that God the Father has linked Jesus with life."

So when you think about plant life, vegetation, every blade of grass that's swaying out in South Dakota or Montana, in the grasslands out there, Jesus created them. They're created by him and for Him. Every mass of algae in a pond in the Smoky Mountains or a large amount of plankton out in the seas, or every coral reef that's teeming with tropical life, fish — all those things were created by Christ and for Christ. And that extends to animal life, insect life, but especially to human life. And there's a focus in the Gospel of John, as it is throughout the Scripture, on human life. Jesus is concerned about the sacredness of human life, and taking this idea from John 1, it means that every single human being derives his existence or her existence from Jesus Christ, whether they acknowledge him or not. It is through Christ that God knit them together in their mother's womb. As it says in Psalm 139:13, “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.” And so through Christ, every single person was creatively and intelligently and step-by- step knit together by the sovereign power of God through Christ. 

Now, the central issue in abortion always has been the humanity of the pre-born. This is a human person that should be protectable under the laws of our country. For me as a Christian, the clearest evidence of this always will come from Scripture. I don't need anything else than that. Now I know that the unbelieving world does not accept the testimony of Scripture. But if I can say to you, Christian brothers and sisters, as you go out in the world, that doesn't matter, speak Scripture anyway. Tell them the truth. Say, “the Bible says,” “the Bible says,” “the Bible says,” “the Bible says.” Say it with sweetness, say it with love, but say it with conviction, because that's the truth, and the Bible has the power for their conversion and salvation. Anyway, it's by believing Bible verses about Christ that they're going to be saved. Faith comes by hearing the Word and so speak the truth from the Scriptures. 

So, what Scriptures would I commend to you? Well, there are so many of them, but there are two in particular, I wanna commend to you. The first is in Psalm 51, in verse 5. There the psalmist David says this, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Meditate on that. He's saying he was sinful at conception, but sin is essentially human. We believe theologically, it's a weighty doctrine, but as Christians we believe in the doctrine of original sin, and that the entire human race was knit together genetically in Adam and spiritually represented by Adam at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and in Adam we sinned and died, and in Christ, we are righteous and live. And it's just a beautiful thing but basically, David was saying, “from the moment I was conceived, I was human and therefore sinful.” To me, I just think that's conclusive. Sinful from the moment of conception. But then you have this evidence, more anecdotally, from Luke chapter 1, which I always point to, and that is the time when Elizabeth, the pregnant mother of John the Baptist interacted with Mary, the pregnant mother of Jesus. And so you have two pre-born babies involved and their mothers and the way they interact, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, says this to Mary, “Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For as soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” 

Again, I think the humanity, the personhood of the pre-born is established by this. How could John leap for joy? Except that he's a person. And in some way, the Holy Spirit moved in him to start living out and expressing out what he would do in his life and ministry, and that is, get really excited about Jesus and proclaim Jesus to a lost world. But then even more significant, there's Mary just a few weeks after the conception of Jesus, already called by Elizabeth, “the mother of my Lord.” The humanity of the pre-born, I think, clearly established.

Then we have biological evidence, 18 days after conception, the baby's heart starts beating. Most mothers don't even know they're pregnant yet at this early stage. Ron Halbrooks, another good friend of mine, one of the elders and a medical physician, he says, you come into a room, two hearts are beating, how many people are alive in that room? It's just that simple. Just medically, that's just the way it's seen. There are two people alive. Twenty-one days, that's three weeks after conception, it pumps its own blood through separate circulatory system with its own blood type. At 28 days, eye, ear and respiratory systems begin to form. By 42 days, there are brainwaves recorded, skeleton complete, reflexes present. Seven weeks, there's a photo of a baby at seven weeks thumb-sucking. I have a picture on the door of my office, it's been there for years. I think about this issue year-round, think about this all the time, but it's of a baby inside his mother's womb, sucking his thumb, at seven weeks, that's capable of happening. At eight weeks, all bodily systems are present. By nine weeks, the baby squints, swallows, moves his tongue, makes a fist. By 11 weeks, spontaneous breathing movements, has fingernails, all body systems are working. By 23 weeks, there's a 15% chance of viability outside the womb.

That number just keeps going up by the way, as medical science does wonders. Talk about the schizophrenia. Of all of the work done to save a premature baby, and I've seen it with members of our church, amazing. And then abortion at the same time. At 24 weeks, that number rises to 56%, 56% of babies can survive outside of the womb, at 24 weeks. By 25 weeks, it's up to 79% viability. Amazing. Baby looks like a human, has a genetic make-up of a human, has all the organs of a human in proper place from, 12 weeks on. I love the fact that medical technology has given us these 4D ultrasounds in which women can see their babies in kind of real time moving and having facial expressions and all that, and women who are still struggling with whether they're going to get abortions or not, don't know what to do, often, just seeing the 4D ultrasound ends that discussion. 'Cause it's so obvious. 

II. The Gift of Eternal Life in Christ Jesus

So biological life is a gift from God through Jesus Christ, but dear friends, eternal life is an infinitely greater gift, and it's in the name of eternal life that I stand before you today. That is our hope, that is our joy, that's what Christ came to give. Jesus gives eternal life, He's the only one that can do it. It's the whole point of the Gospel of John. At the end of the Gospel of John, John said [John 20:30-31] “Jesus did many other miraculous signs which are not recorded in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” So the writing of the Gospel of John was given to feed faith. So dear reader, dear hearer of the Gospel of John, believe in Jesus and you'll have eternal life. That's what John is saying. Jesus entered the world to save us from sin. Sin comes to kill us. It has a killing power. The link between sin and death was made in the Garden of Eden by Almighty God as he commanded Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.” We're told in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And so Jesus came into the world, he took on flesh, that he might take our death, our sin and death on himself.

We were conceived in sin, and as soon as we understood right from wrong, as soon as we understood law and the existence of God — Paul says in Romans 7, “sin sprang to life and I died.” And so it says in Ephesians 2:1, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live.” Living dead, and Jesus came to take that death and that judgment on himself and to give us life. Jesus said in John 10:10, “Thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” So he does this by dying in our place. John 6:51, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Jesus said also in John 10:14-15, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me. Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.” 

But he also came to rise from the dead. Same chapter, John 10:17-18, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life, only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back up again. This command I receive from the Father.” And then he said in John 14:19, "Because I live, you also will live." And so Christ died in our place on the cross, shed his blood for sinners like you and me. And on the third day, God raised him from the dead physically, and he appeared to his disciples, and there they were in the upper room with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. And Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you," and they were overjoyed when they saw the Lord, and he showed them his hands and his side, and then he said, "Peace be with you." He linked the peace we have with God to his death by crucifixion. By faith in Christ, we can live forever. By faith in Christ, we can know full forgiveness of sins, and so sanctity of human life, I say the best way to celebrate it is to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. There's no better way to celebrate the sacredness of human life than to come to Christ.

III. The Nature of Eternal Life in Christ Jesus

Now, what is the nature of the life Jesus came to give? Well, there's so many answers to that, and I just wanna give you some pictures from the Gospel of John, and each one of these could be its own sermon. We don't have time for that, but I just wanna give you a sense of the beauty and fullness of this abundant life that Jesus came to give us. And we really need this, don't we? It's so discouraging to stare into a pit of darkness and death and look at this abortion issue and say, “is there any hope?” Yes, there's hope. The same God who raised Jesus from the dead can give life even in the midst of this sad and sorrowful situation.

So what is life like? The life that Jesus came to give us. Well, life is like being born again by the Spirit, it's such a radically new thing to become a Christian, that it's similar to being born physically, biologically. Jesus said this in John 3 to Nicodemus, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely, he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born." Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." So yeah, that's what happens in the womb, flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Holy Spirit has the power to transform a lost sinner, man or woman, boy or girl, and bring them over from death to life. From the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of life. He has the power to do that, and it's so radical, so much changes at that time that it's like being born again. “If anyone is in Christ, he's a new creation, the old is gone. Behold, everything is new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Secondly, it's like having a spring of living water inside you, which just bubbles up to eternal life. Jesus said that to the Samaritan woman in John 4. "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I give him will become, within him, a spring of water welling up to eternal life." There's a picture of refreshment, of life, of renewal, of cleansing and joy that comes from that, and it comes from the inside you by the power of the Spirit. Later in John's Gospel, in John 7, Jesus stands up. And on the last and greatest day of a Jewish feast, he said, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures said, streams of living water will flow from within you." 

He was talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit. Well, if you look at the Samaritan woman, she was in trouble, she had problems because of sin, and Jesus exposed her sin. He said, "Go call your husband and come here." "I have no husband," she said. Jesus said, "You're right in saying you have no husband. The fact is, you've had five husbands and the man you're living with now, he's not your husband. What you said is quite true." As I look at the abortion issue, I just see sin woven all the way through it. So many of the babies that are aborted are conceived through illicit sex through immoral sex, and so there's a yearning for sexual pleasure, there's a yearning for relationship and connection, there's a yearning for those things. And then as a result, a baby is conceived, what's known as an unwanted or crisis pregnancy, and that leads directly to abortion. 

And then on the other side of that comes a yearning for socioeconomic success, finances, and that fuels the industry, the selling of baby parts, but it also fuels an individual not wanting to be tied down or burdened with a baby because of the economic implications, ramifications, and all that's true, but that feeds this whole machine. Jesus is the only one who can deliver from sin, He's the only one that can cover past sins and cleanse our guilty consciences, and He's the only one that can give us power through the spirit to stop sinning and to live a righteous, godly, holy life. That's what this life is like, it's like the Bread of Life, Jesus said in John 6, where you can feed on Jesus, on his, in effect, his death and his resurrection, you can feed on it and receive nourishment and life from Christ, and it's delicious and it's a feast, and it gives energy to serve God, that's what this life is like.

John 8 and 9, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." The life that Jesus comes to give is like, suddenly, you see everything as it really is. Jesus said in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." And then in the very next chapter, as he's going along, he sees a man there who was blind from birth, and he links the concepts together. He said, "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Then he spits on the ground and makes mud from the saliva and puts it on the blind man's eyes, and he sends the man away to go wash in the Pool of Siloam, which John tells us the word means sent. And he washed, and then he could see, and I just wonder if I could have been with that man that day. You wanna talk to him and say, "What do you see?" It's like, how do you even put into words what a blue sky and a radiant sun and green trees and the world looks like for the first time? But the life that Jesus came to give, is like that spiritually, you can see into the spiritual realms. Almighty God on his throne and Christ at the right hand, interceding and a beautiful world that's coming, the new heaven and the new Earth where we will be eternally happy, a life beyond sin and death. You can see these things based on the Word of God. He is the light of the world. And you can see the physical world with new eyes too. You can see what's actually happening here. What's going on physically in the world. He is the light of the world.

And finally, he is the Good Shepherd. In John 10, “This The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil because the devil came to destroy the work of God. The devil was a murderer from the beginning and a liar. That's what he does, he murders and lies. But Jesus came instead to give us life, and that life is so full and rich, it's like having a good shepherd who knows what's best for you, and you're under his protective hand, and his rod and his staff comfort you, and he leads you and you come in and go out and find pasture. And you lie down in green pastures and you drink cool refreshing waters. And surely goodness and mercy will follow you, will actually hunt you down and seize you all the days of your life, that's your good shepherd. He's like, I'm not gonna let you be miserable, I'm gonna hunt you down and take hold of you until you are eternally happy. That's our Good Shepherd. Oh, how beautiful is this life Jesus came to give us.

IV. Living Under Grace

So how can we live under the grace of God in light of this? Well, if I can just stop right now and just speak if I can, a tender word to broken-hearted sinners. Every time I preach on this, I remember because of some things that happened early in my ministry, just please remember to preach grace and mercy to people who feel sinful and feel corrupted, and feel guilty and wanna know, is there any possible forgiveness for me? And the more I meditate on this abortion issue, the more I see it touches everybody, everybody.

Certainly, we immediately think about a woman who years ago or even recently got an abortion, just wants to know, they just can't, she can't shake it and can't stop feeling guilty, and can't stop crying. Others may be a little more hardened, but they still know something's there and they just can't shake it, and they're hearing this and they wanna know, can I be forgiven? The answer is, absolutely. The grace of God in Christ is infinitely greater than your sin, and he welcomes anyone who repents and trusts, and he will cleanse all of that sin. But it's not just the women, there are men. When I used to do abortion ministry, or pro-life ministry, outside clinics, I was always stunned by how hard the men were, who had arms around women who looked real scared and they're moving them through the line and going on to get in there 'cause they wanted the abortion more than she did, it seemed. And so there are men who have impregnated women or who should have provided and protected for daughters or others who didn't do it and who should feel guilty and perhaps do feel, “Is it possible for me to be forgiven?” The answer is yes.

"The grace of God in Christ is infinitely greater than your sin, and he welcomes anyone who repents and trusts, and he will cleanse all of that sin."

Or it could have to do with, you're a medical professional, unlike Walter, maybe up to this point, not been committed to life and you've actually been involved in abortions and you've seen it and you've actually put your hand to it and you wonder, “can there be any forgiveness for me?” Yes, there can be forgiveness for you. Or maybe you ran a clinic. I actually did some counseling this week with a woman whose sister runs an abortion clinic, and she was talking to me, “How do I witness? What do I say?” Tell her the Gospel, tell her the forgiveness that Christ can offer. So there's forgiveness for all of us.

And then there's all of us. We live, as I said earlier, in a country that's defined by the people, the government of the people, by the people, for the people, let's own up to our responsibilities. We have not done enough as a Christian nation, as Christians in this nation. Let's put it that way, to change the laws. The laws are still there, and all of us can feel guilty about that. We all feel we could have done more. Is there forgiveness for us? Yes, there's forgiveness for us. For all of us. So we'll start there. 

Secondly, let's just understand. There is a battle to fight. There is work to be done. Let's just be aware of it. I'm actually surprised — I did research — how few Americans were even aware of the Planned Parenthood videos. Apparently, I don't know that much about it, but some lion died at that time, and that became the dominant story in the news, and there was outrage over the death of this lion. Is that right? I don't know, it's something to do with some lion, and there was rage at the ones that killed the lion and all kinds of language that went after the ones that killed the lion, but I'm like, where is the outrage over Planned Parenthood? And some progress was made in Congress, but it got blocked in the end politically, by some spin and some other things. There's a battle to be fought, and we need to be aware of this, and we need to be willing to be soldiers, you need to be willing at the workplace or in family discussions or with people who don't agree on the college campuses, in dorm rooms. You need to be willing to speak up for life, we need to fight with truth and be willing to be courageous, have that conversation. Share the Scriptures I shared with you and others. Psalm 139, Psalm 51, Luke chapter 1, and let's win the battle for the mind.

When I was doing pro-life ministry early on, we did a ministry of persuasion. At that time, Operation Rescue was doing a ministry of blockade, they would like... blocking doors so people couldn't go get abortions, and they were mockingly called by the pro-abortion forces, “Operation Reschedule.” Until the hearts and minds are changed, nothing is gonna change. And we have in the Scripture everything we need to change hearts and minds, by the power of the Spirit, we have... By the power of the Spirit, everything we need.

Thirdly, let's be sexually pure. It's sad what the abortion stats are within the Evangelical Church, because they're similar to the immorality statistics in the Evangelical Church. Romans 13 says, “Let us walk in decency as in the daylight, not in carousing or drunkenness, not in sexual impurity and promiscuity, not in quarreling and jealousy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no plans to gratify the lustful desires.” Start there, be committed to purity, to sexual purity and holiness. 

And then fourthly, be active in the pro-life cause as you are gifted and called to do. And there's lots of ways to be involved in the sanctity of human life, lots of things. This bulletin insert — you can contact Anna Johnsen about this, April 9th. This is a support raiser for a crisis pregnancy center in Wake Forest. We have one also in Durham/Chapel Hill as well. They are doing really front-line work. Basically, crisis pregnancy women, they come in, they need counsel, that's where the battle gets fought and crisis pregnancy centers, Christian pregnancy centers all around the country are doing awesome work to transform people's minds and hearts. So if you wanna be part of that, pray for it, fund it, or walk in it, that would be awesome. 

But there are other things. Pretty soon, we're gonna have a BFL class coming up real soon, “Theology of Abortion Care” taught by Joshua Snyder. So go to that, the idea of adoption and care for orphans is connected, tied to this. Others will be led to get into more direct action politically. I know that there are some brothers and sisters in Christ that are directly involved in state government or perhaps federal government or other governmental levels. Let’s pray for those brothers and sisters, that they’d be like Daniel, giving counsel to unconverted leaders, godly counsel. And let's pray that God would raise up godly leaders in this country, and that we would see them elected. 

Nathan Mah, I was talking to him this morning, is involved in a refugee ministry, and I would love for you to talk to Nathan about that. One of the ways that we can just be involved in upholding the significance of life at every level, refugee — I also mentioned recently, undocumented aliens — this ministry is amazing. As I was listening to him in BFL class talking about, you can get involved, just one hour, go down to the airport and greet some people as they come, just say hello and be friendly and smile, if that's all you have time for. And on up, in terms of ever-increasing involvement with some of these refugees. So Nathan Mah is sitting right over there where you can contact him. He will give you all the information you need about getting involved in refugee ministry. And finally, be filled with hope. And this filled with hope. This is a sad topic, but I'm telling you, Jesus is gonna win, and in the end, we're gonna look back and we're gonna say, yes, Satan meant all of this for evil, but God meant it for good, to the glory of God and the salvation of souls. So be filled with hope as we confront this issue in our time.

Let’s close in prayer. Father, we thank you for the time we've had to look at the sanctity of human life and the things we've considered. And Lord, I pray that You would just give us boldness to speak the truth to people who need to hear it, to be winsome and to be loving, but along with that, to be courageous and unyielding, to be really strong in what we believe and to win life, and Lord, ultimately to proclaim the good news of faith in Jesus Christ, which is the only hope that we have. So we pray for these things, give us joy, give us energy, give us repentance where needed and a sense of Your forgiveness. All of this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Other Sermons in This Series

In Him Is Life

January 18, 2009

In Him Is Life

John 1:4-5

Andy Davis

Sanctity Of Human Life

Life in Christ

January 17, 2016

Life in Christ

John 1:1-21:25

Andy Davis

Sanctity Of Human Life