“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
Life is truly amazing. Our world contains a wide variety of living organisms from the microscopic to the larger members of the reptile world. The animal kingdom consists of many creatures that fascinate us with beauty and unique characteristics. And of course, mankind stands apart from all other creatures. Mankind possesses a quality of life that is clearly superior to and quite different from all other life forms.
Over time the observation of life in its various forms gave rise to a well-established law in science. It is the law of biogenesis. This law states that living organisms develop only from other living organisms and not from nonliving matter. Anything that is alive came from something else that is alive. This law states that life did not come from dead chemicals. There is not one example from observational science of anything dead producing life of any kind. Random chemical processes do not produce life. The folly of macro-evolution is once again exposed by what we know to be true from observational science.
It follows if life cannot be explained in natural terms, then there remains only one other option. Life is the result of supernatural causes, or we might say life is a miracle that proceeds from an all wise Creator. I am glad to inform you the Bible reveals to us in detail the personality and power of the one true, living God who is Creator of all things. His name in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim meaning the all powerful One. Indeed, he is the all powerful One and nothing demonstrates His omnipotence more clearly than the vast universe He holds in his hand.
As well, He is known as Yahweh. This is the common Hebrew name for God in the Old Testament occurring over 5300 times. It is translated LORD (all capitals) in several English translations of the Bible. We first learn of this name in Exodus 3 when Moses asked God by what name He should be called. The Lord answered, “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Ex. 3:14). Yahweh is basically a shortened form of “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex. 3:15). This name of God conveys the idea of His eternal self-existence.
In a word, God possesses life in himself. He draws life from no outside source, rather He is the life. As Creator it is in his power to give life to non-living materials. God gave creatures shaped from non-living matter life.
In Genesis 1:20 we learn God created from the waters marine creatures and birds of the air after their kind. He shaped their unique bodies from dead elements and then gave them a certain level of consciousness, or life. The verse says, “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life.”
Likewise, we read in Genesis 1:24 that God created from the various earth elements the living creature after his kind. This included cattle, creeping things, and beasts like the various dinosaur kinds, etc. Again, God shaped their bodies from dead elements and then gave them a certain level of consciousness, or life.
All the sea creatures and land animals possess this aspect of life in contrast to plants. Plants have no nephesh (no consciousness and are not “alive” in that respect). However, the living creatures possess consciousness at various levels as determined by God’s design.
With that said, we come to the creation of mankind. The Bible makes a statement about mankind that is not true of the plants and the living creatures shaped from the sea and land. God said of mankind, “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” (Genesis 1:26-27).
No let’s establish a clear picture of God’s action when he created Adam the first man. The Bible says, “And the LORD God (Yahweh who has life in himself) formed man of the dust of the ground” (Gen. 2:7a). Now pause for a moment in your thinking.
The Lord formed Adam from the dust of the ground. Thus, you might say the Lord sculptured a body for Adam. However, he lay there lifeless. A full head of hair. Perfectly proportioned facial features. The appearance of muscle tone in his chest, arms, and legs. While he appears to be asleep, that is not the case at all. This man is not alive. He has a heart, but it is not beating. He has lungs, but he is not breathing. All his vital organs are ready, but something is missing. His body is fully prepared like a house to live in, but there is a vacancy sign on the front door. No one lives there yet!
Then the Bible says God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” In that moment Adam awoke bearing the image and likeness of the Lord God. He awoke with a consciousness designed to commune with His Creator. As the image bearer of God Almighty his life stood in contrast to that of all other living creatures. No plant or animal is made in the image of God or in His likeness. For this reason, human beings should be viewed as the crowning jewel of God’s creative activity.
Thus, mankind possesses a unique dignity as God’s image bearers. Like the Triune God of eternity, mankind is relational in nature. We possess the capacity for personal relationship with God and fellow human beings. As Dr. Corey Abney writes in his essay entitled The Image of God:
“People can know God, love God, and worship God. We can also think, reason, and choose between right and wrong. We have the capacity to look at the world and deduce that everything has a Creator (Romans 1:19-20). The image of God is the defining mark of humanity that sets us apart from animals, plants, and grains of sand. You can teach an animal tricks, but only man can learn truth. You can make an animal work, but it is man who can worship. Animals can see the sun, but man can glorify God for the beauty of a sunset. Mankind has a unique dignity that is seen primarily in the spiritual ability to fellowship with God and others. Both animals and man were created material and immaterial, but only man was created with a spiritual component as well.”
My friends, the God who possesses life in Himself is the life giver and He has created mankind in His own image.
At the beginning he made male and female and by his own design mankind would multiply and fill the earth
through the process of pro-creation. However, as illustrated by the formation of the first man, life is more than just a biological process. By design male and female provide the physical elements necessary for the formation of another human being, but only God can impart the living soul. Thus, in the natural order each descendent of Adam is formed by God in the secret place of a mother’s womb.
We should note the most famous passage in the Bible referring to the miracle of life in the womb is found in Psalm 139 where we read:
“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 139:13-16).
Brother Paul Taylor (respected Christian author amongst Biblical creationists) comments on these verses as follows:
“This is a pictorial account of the development of an unborn baby. It refers to the formation of flesh (covering), internal organs (inward parts), and bones (frame). None of these developments was hidden from God, though they were “secret” from people, indicating that we cannot directly see the formation of the unborn. The concept of the “lowest parts of the earth” is a euphemism for the female reproductive system. Even in this unborn state, it is clear that the baby is human, as God has already determined “the days fashioned” for the baby.”
This passage is one of many in Scripture that references the unborn. In each case the Bible speaks of the unborn as an actual person, a living human being already in existence. God considers the unborn as fully human, as a real individual whom He has formed in the womb. The formation of a new human being is a continuum with a beginning at the moment of fertilization, or conception.
Scientifically, we now know the blueprint for the house formed in the womb is settled at the moment of conception. However, life is not simply the union of an egg and sperm in a mother’s womb, no more than dust formed into a full-fledged body is human in and of itself. My friends, it is the impartation of the soul that constitutes human life in the image of God, and that must take place at the moment of conception when we are fearfully and wonderfully made. At the moment of conception, a miracle takes place as a new human being consisting of body, soul, and spirit is formed by our marvelous Creator.
So, the Scripture says in Psalm 139, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.” In continuance, that is, from the humble start of just a single cell containing all the DNA blueprint (God’s book) of the physical house to be fashioned for us, we eventually came to term and entered the world.
Now I must finish were I began. “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
I ask you: when did Jesus become a “person?” When was the eternal Word clothed with a human nature? Was it not in the moment when the power of the Highest overshadowed the virgin Mary and she conceived? My friends, there can be no doubt about this. Jesus did not become the Son of God the day of his birth, rather Jesus became the Son of God at the moment of his conception. In that moment the Father prepared for him a body. In that moment he was made a little lower than the angels so in time he could bear our sins in his body on the tree.
I close with this important truth: the procreation of every man and woman has a supernatural element in it as God gives life to a new human being. No man has the right to arbitrarily take that life.