40 Days of Life
I. Why I Am Here With You
I am here with you today primarily because I want to be an encouragement to you in the fight against the evil practice of the murder of unborn babies. Many of us who are here have different and very important disagreements about theology, and some of us even disagree about what it means to be a Christian, and I would love to talk to you about that afterward. Tonight I want to encourage you with the gospel.
God loves children, and it is by God’s common grace that many of us do too. God has chosen the weak things in this world to shame the strong (1 Cor. 1:27), and it is for this reason that God displays His glory through the mouths of children and nursing infants. By the cries of infants He also silences his enemies (Psalm 8:2).
Satan hates children, so there’s no surprise that most harmful issues of the day are being played out in regard to children, namely whether or not they live or die, or in regard to what they are taught.
There is one God who exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. There are three persons, who make up the one true and living God. It is this God who created all the things that have ever existed out of nothing for His own glory. He was not needy, but He created all things out of His joy.
There has been a spiritual battle ever since the time that God created all things and that spiritual battle intensified toward us when God put His image in mankind. The day that God created the human race He stamped His claim on us, and it was also that day that His enemy set his sights upon mankind. It is as if God put His fingerprint on mankind. The question is then, “If God’s enemy and all of His enemies seek to destroy mankind because of the image of God, whom would be the most logical target?” The clearest answer would have to be the weakest, and who could be weaker than a baby being carried by his or her mother? The early church recognized this. This isn’t from Scripture, but the 1st century teaching of the apostolic church clearly interpreted the 6th commandment, “thou shall not murder,” as forbidding the act of abortion and infanticide for believers in the Didache.1
II. Who We Are Fighting Against
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” As we enter these 40 days we do it peacefully and with respect to those affected by abortion industry and in regard to laws that govern our community. We must wage this battle with the spiritual weapons of prayer and counseling with God’s Word.
Friends, we also must hold in balance the fact that we are all sinners. Even a righteous cause like seeking to end abortion will not save us from the wrath of God. We are not by nature more righteous than the doctors or the families coming for abortions. Friends, we have to remember this and be driven by it. Only God can change hearts and minds. This is why prayer is so important. Especially gospel-centered prayers. The gospel must fuel our prayers.
III. Fight this Battle with Gospel-Centered Prayer and Counsel
This is the gospel or the good news. First, there is a God who is perfectly holy, perfectly just, and who has been content in perfect fellowship with Himself in the Trinity from eternity past. This is the God that we sang about earlier in hymn Holy, Holy, Holy. He created all things out of nothing and He purposed to make the pinnacle of His creation in Adam and Eve, our first parents. He made a covenant with them that if they would obey His commands that they would dwell with each other in God’s joy and pleasure.
This brings us to the second point. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. They did what they wanted to do instead of what God would have them do. They chose to try to bring the glory that is due to God alone to them. They chose to try and make themselves to be gods. This is what is called sin. This is what we are all guilty of. And this is the bad news, we are all sinners, we fell into sin in these our first parents. And because our sin is against God’s eternal nature we deserve His wrath for eternity in hell. This indeed is terrible news.
But, God has made a way that we could be restored to live in His pleasure for eternity through Jesus Christ. He sent the second person of the Trinity to become a man. Jesus Christ was fully man, and fully God. He came to live a perfect life, to die a substitutionary death, and to rise again three days later from the grave. This is the good news, namely that we can be saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. If we would repent or turn from our sin and believe in this gospel then we can be saved.
Friends as we pray and counsel others with the gospel we must do so in humility as well. This reminds me of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. Please listen as I read:
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me—a sinner! ‘ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
Let’s embark on this season of prayer in humility. The apostle Paul also warns us that, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Gal. 6:3)
Friends, be encouraged as you set out to pray and counsel those affected by the abortion industry. First, I plead with you to consider Christ and repent from your sin and believe in the gospel, then hold out the only thing that has the power to change people as you pray and counsel.
1. Holmes, Michael W. The Apostolic Fathers, Greek Texts and English Translations, Third Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 347. The text says in 2:1, “The second commandment of the teaching is: You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not corrupt children; you shall not be sexually immoral; you shall not steal; you shall not practice magic; you shall not engage in sorcery; you shall not abort a child or commit infanticide. You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions.”