Session 13: When Does Life Begin?

Apologetics and the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  11:48
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Join us as we answer the question, when does life begin?

(Intro Music starts with first slide - read intro and move forward)
Welcome to Apologetics and the Gospel. My name is Pastor Jonathan White, and I am the Lead Pastor at CrossPointe Family Church in Hurricane, WV as well as a practicing Emergency Medicine Physician.

Question for Today: When Does Life Begin?

Our focus today will be on human life. There are different kinds of life - human life, animal life, plant life, and micro-organism life. An entire podcast and even a book could be written comparing and contrasting the different kinds of life on earth. But for our focus today, we will be focusing on human life.
Today’s question has become a politically polarizing question. Unfortunately, it should not be political. This is more of a scientific question than a political question. There was a time in the past when the science was not as clear. Arguments were made for various stages of development as to when life truly began. However, with the advances of embryology, ultrasound, and modern medicine, this answer has become crystal clear. Sadly, our world continues to deny the scientific truth of this obvious answer.
Today we are going to address this question like we always try to do. We will start scientifically and end Biblically.

What is Life?

This seems like a funny question. It seems like it should be easy to answer. But it is an important question in order for us to answer or question for today.
The definition of life uses the following terms:
Living things have a metabolism
Living things grow and move
Living things normally reproduce (not all must)
Living things respond to stimuli
With that in mind, let’s start to try to understand how human life is formed.
Without getting into graphic detail, a cell called an ovum from a female is combined with a sperm cell from a male in the female’s womb. These two cells fuse and both contain half of the DNA necessary for life. Once they combine, the new cell has 46 chromosomes which contain all of the DNA that this future baby will contain. No other genetic material will be gathered. All of the information needed to code for all of the organs and body parts of this baby are present in this so-called zygote.

Does This Zygote Meet the Criteria for the Definition of Life?

Does it have a metabolism? Yes.
Does it grow and move? Yes.
Does it reproduce? The cell will reproduce countless times and become a human baby.
Does it respond to stimuli? Yes.
So scientifically speaking. This zygote - or single-celled human cell is alive.
This zygote has everything needed to form a human baby. Apart from a miscarriage due to natural causes or an abortion caused by medications or medical intervention, this zygote will be implanted in the mother’s womb and grow into a baby. The natural progression for the zygote is to become a human being.

Why Do Pro-Abortion Individuals Deny This is Life?

I understand that many may not like the label pro-abortion and choose a more frankly deceptive and fuzzy term such as pro-choice instead. However, we must be true in our vocabulary.
We would not identify someone as pro-choice if they wanted to kill all Jewish persons, white persons, black persons or Asian persons. Yes, they would have made the choice to single out a certain group of persons to kill. But we would label such persons as Pro-genocide or pro-hate or pro-murder. We certainly wouldn’t say that we are pro-choice and that what they are doing is ok. We hopefully wouldn’t make the following statement that many make in regards to abortion - saying - I wouldn’t choose to kill someone because of the color of their skin, but I wouldn’t prevent others from doing it. That would be morally bankrupt to say such a thing. We would either support their view or be staunchly against their view - which I hope we would end up on the later camp!
Thus those who support abortion are pro-abortion. No matter how they wish to use different vocabulary - the outcome and end game of this idea is that abortions are performed and babies are killed. There is no other outcome for such a view.
Let’s address some of the common statements by those who deny that these zygotes are are alive.

#1 - They are too small to be life?

Do we judge the quality of life based on size? Am I more living than my wife because I am almost a foot taller and almost twice her weight? That is a ridiculous statement, correct? This argument is not logical.

#2 - They cannot make decisions.

This is a slippery slope. Are we going to say that severely mentally handicapped people are less life because they cannot make their own decisions? I sure hope not. That is unethical on so many levels.

#3 - They don’t look like babies.

Some persons are burnt so severely that they do not look like a normal human being. This doesn’t mean they aren’t still human.

#4 - They don’t have all the parts of a baby.

Some people are born without certain body parts. That doesn’t make them less human.
I know some may listen to these arguments and scoff at them. But the logic that I am presenting is hard to argue with.
The argument against life beginning at conception truly begins to unravels when we look at our justice system today as well. Our justice system agrees and disagrees that life begins at conception. We are a confused people. This is by far one of if not the most irrational thing going on in our nation today.

What Does Our Justice System Say?

I want us to listen to this logic and see if it makes sense.
Scenario #1 - A woman goes to an abortion clinic and has an abortion. There is no penalty for taking the life of this baby.
The arguments for abortion are numerous from the pro-abortion movement. We do not have the time to address all of these arguments including rape, incest, poverty, among others. But the question that is glaring that we must answer is - when does life begin? Those situations are certainly important and one must be gracious in helping those who have gone through terrible trials. But one’s situation does not define truth. Truth is truth. Right is right and wrong is wrong. And it is irrational to argue truth based on one’s experience or situation.
We see truth being played out specifically in our second scenario:
Scenario #2 - A man hits a woman in an altercation, and she loses the baby. He is arrested and charged with first degree murder of the baby.
Most of us - I would hope all of us - actually would celebrate this justice that has occured. This man killed a baby inside of a woman. He is being punished for his crime. And he should be.
Yet, the same outcome occured for the baby in both scenarios. The baby ended up dead. I am not here advocating for prosecution of mothers who have aborted their babies. But I do want us to answer the question for today honestly. When does life begin? If it begins at conception, the man in scenario #2 is justly punished. If it does not, can we truly say his punishment is just? I am sure that all of us listening to this understand that his punishment is, in fact, just.

Before we close today, what does the Bible say about all of this?

The Bible teaches a ton about life and the creation of life. Here are only a few of the many teachings in Scripture.
Genesis 1:27 ESV
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
First and foremost, we are all made in the image of God. Because of this, we have no right to take the life of another innocent human being.
Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Here we see that, in God’s eyes, life begins even before conception! How amazing is that. He knows us before He has even formed us.
Exodus 20:13 ESV
“You shall not murder.
Obviously we see that we should not take the life of an innocent human being.
My favorite Scripture regarding life is found in Psalm 139:13-16 as follows:
Psalm 139:13–16 ESV
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 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.
Here we see that God is forming a baby in his or her mother’s womb. This is such a beautiful picture for us to see. God is our creator - not nature or evolution. God fashions us together one by one.
And finally, we see that God is working even the lives of babies in the womb when we see John the Baptist leap in his mother’s womb when Mary comes in pregnant with Jesus:
Luke 1:41 ESV
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Here we see a baby in the womb filled with the Holy Spirit and leaping in his mother’s womb. How wonderful to see God working in the life of a baby while in utero!
I pray that today’s message has opened your eyes to when life truly begins. I also pray that you fight for the cause of those who cannot fight for themselves. They are counting on you. Each year over 620,000 babies in the US alone are counting on you as their lives are abruptly ended at the hands of abortion providers. For every 1000 babies born alive in the US - nearly 200 have their lives taken. May God convict our hearts and forgive our sinful ways and may we turn to Him in repentance as a nation.
(Slide Closing 1)
This presentation has been put together to strengthen the faith of believers and to challenge the unbelief of others. I pray that you have found this presentation helpful.
Also, please note that this 10-15 minute presentation cannot exhaustively address most issues. My prayer is that it stimulates you to personally research further, and I am assured that you will find the Word of God proven time and time again.
(Slide Closing 2 with outro music)
Feel free to email any ideas you would like to see addressed by emailing me at There are slides prepared for each of these presentations which can be accessed at our church website at and select ATG. God bless and have a blessed week.
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