Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

"Fearfully And Wonderfully Made"

Bryan Matthew Dockens

Since resuming secular work last month, I have prayed consistently that I provide adequately for myself (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and my family (1 Timothy 5:8), that I demonstrate proper respect for my supervisors (Colossians 3:22-24), and that by my influence I may win others to Christ (Matthew 5:16). To some degree, my influence is effective.

When I arrived for work last Tuesday, my co-worker informed me he was depressed because his wife was planning to abort their unborn child. When I asked, he confirmed that she believes in the Bible and readily accepted my offer to share scriptures relevant to the subject. When I came to work the next day, I brought the notes I prepared the night before and by Friday morning he told me they worked. His wife was persuaded by the power of God's word not to kill her child.

Allow me to share with you the same scriptures that convinced my co-worker's wife.

The occupant of the womb is identified prior to birth as a child, not a fetus, an embryo, or some lifeless mass of tissue. Concerning Rebekah's twin sons Jacob and Esau, it is written, "The children struggled together within her" (Genesis 25:1-2). The word here translated "children" is no different than the one used to describe those already born. Elizabeth said of her son John the baptist, "The babe leaped in my womb" (Luke 1:44). Prior to birth, he was as much a babe as he was after being born.

God is the one who forms the child within the womb and His work is beyond our comprehension. "As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything" (Ecclesiastes 11:5). God told Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..." (Jeremiah 1:4-5) and David remarked, "O Lord, You have searched me and known me... For You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 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 139:1, 13-16).

Those who harm the unborn deserve to be punished. Abominable in the sight of God are "hands that shed innocent blood" (Proverbs 6:16-17). Under the old law, He commanded, "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" (Exodus 21:22-25).

Children should be regarded as blessings from God. "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3). Jesus said, "A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world" (John 16:21). Why would any woman carelessly discard what others pray so intensely for (1 Samuel 1:1-2:11)?

Anyone who accepts that the scriptures are the product of God's inspiration should readily recognize the truth that abortion is contrary to His will insomuch as it destroys life He has created, rejects His blessings, and demands punishment. Thank God this woman learned the truth and spared the life of her child. May all have hearts so soft.

God's Image

Shane Williams, adapted

Marcus Terentius Varro (116-27 B.C.) is described in the Encyclopedia Britannica as "Rome's greatest scholar". Among his writings is this statement: "They who first introduced images of the gods removed fear and added error".

This thoughtful statement helps us understand even more why Moses reminded Israel at Sinai of God's form. "You saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire" (Deuteronomy 4:15). It also highlights the reason behind God's command prohibiting any physical depictions of Him "lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure" (Deuteronomy 4:16; cf.Exodus 20:4).

We cannot love and serve the Lord in an acceptable manner unless we have an accurate understanding of His character. Any physical portrayal, however, distorts our awareness of His true character and lessens a healthy respect for His awesome holiness and power.

If we knew what God really looked like, we would inevitably make an image and seek to understand Him through that image, instead of through what is revealed in His Word.

If Rome's greatest worldly scholar could see the dangers of misrepresenting deity, how much more should we who have God's Word, which makes us complete for every good work, understand the danger.

Our desire must be to have a proper respect for God and to grow in our knowledge of Him. We are made in the image of God; let us not make Him in our image.

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