The sixth commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
The Larger Catechism covers this command in questions 134-136:
Q. 135: What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavours, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; by just defence thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of God, quietness of mind, cheerfulness of spirit; a sober use of meat, drink, physic, sleep, labour, and recreations; by charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness; peaceable, mild and courteous speeches and behaviour; forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; comforting and succouring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.
Q. 136: What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defence; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge; all excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labour, and recreations; provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.
Dr. Morecraft starts us out with expounding on the wording of the command itself:
This commandment is concerned with unlawful killing, the unjust taking of the life of a human being, “killing that violates justice.” 1. J. Douma, The Ten Commandments: Manual for the Christian Life, trans.by Nelson D. Kloosteman (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishers, 1996), 214. (630)
Unlawful killing is a better translation of rasah than murder, which usually refers to the intentional, premeditated and unjust taking of human life. (630)
Here [Gen. 9:5-7] we find the divine establishment of capital punishment for the unlawful killing of human beings. Human life is to be protected by the civil government because it is the image of God. The unlawful killing of a human being is so heinous that it deserves capital punishment precisely because it is a direct assault on the image of God in man, and therefore, an assault on God Himself....Man is not free to do as he wishes. His life must be regulated by the Law of God and that Law must be enforced by the civil government (Rom. 13:1–7). (632)
"Saying no to death means saying yes to life. And this yes is just as radical as our no. We have not arrived if we simply avoid killing or hating our neighbor, for the opposite of these is that we must love our neighbor." 9 Douma, The Ten Commandments, 231. (634)
All Careful Studies and Lawful Endeavors to Preserve the Life of Ourselves:
Obeying the Sixth Commandment includes taking care of ourselves physically, doing what we can to stay in good health.
"This includes every form of human research and planning directed toward the preservation of life. For example, it includes such varied matters as scientific investigation of the causes and prevention of diseases, studies in chemistry directed
toward discovering drugs which will save life or prevent suffering, plans for preventing traffic accidents on the highways…agricultural research by which the productivity of the soil can be increased, and development of swift and efficient means of communication by which quick relief can be brought to the suffering in time of disaster such as earthquake, fire, or flood." 10. Johannes Vos, The Westminster Larger Catechism: A Commentary, ed. by G. I. Williamson (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing Co., 2002), 362. (635)
All Careful Studies and Lawful Endeavors to Preserves the Life of Others:
(I Kings 18:3-4) At the risk of his own life, and motivated by an appreciation of the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah “hid them by fifties in a cave, and provided them
with bread and water.” (636)
Resisting all Thoughts and Purposes Which Tend Toward Unjust Taking of Life:
The Sixth Commandment gets down to the root of the matter, the cause of all unlawful killing: wrong, unloving attitudes, desires and goals in the heart. As a person thinks in his heart, so is he. (636)
Subduing all Passions Which Tend Toward Unjust Taking of Life:
These three interrelated exhortations are based on four assumptions. (1) Not all anger is sinful (Mark 3:5). (2) Sinful anger in the heart is a murderous emotion (Matt. 5:21–26). (3) Sin is ambitious. It always attempts to go as far as it can and turn every sinful thought into a sinful action. (4) Satan is always seeking someone to devour....Because anger, if left alone and un-dealt-with, easily and quickly degenerates. Anger, resentment, hatred, envy are fully capable of expressing themselves in murder. (637-638)
Avoiding all Occasions Which Tend Toward Unjust Taking of Life:
This law of God, which is a practical application of the Sixth Commandment, presupposes a general liability principle that demands safety in building construction. The point is that “[a] property owner [has]…a general responsibility to remove occasions of hurt to legitimate persons on his land or in his home.” 12. Rousas J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law (The Craig Press, 1973), 252. (638)
Avoiding Temptations and Practices Which Tend Toward Unjust Taking of Life:
We learned from Larger Catechism Q. 99 that under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto. This means that any thought or choice on our part that leads to an overt transgression of a commandment is a transgression of the commandment, e.g., if immorality is sinful,
then entering a pornography store is also. The same is true of succumbing to temptations or placing temptations in the paths of others that would lead to or tend toward the unjust taking of life or the diminishing of life. (639)
Just Defense Against Violence:
...God calls upon us to redress and rectify wrongs and injustices committed against the defenseless by those who oppress the disadvantaged, whether they are thugs, vandals, landlords, politicians or judges. In fact, we are commanded to do what is necessary and what is Biblical to “rescue” and “deliver” them from their oppressors,
literally, “to carry away safe” and “to cause to escape.” This is particularly the function of the civil government, i.e., to protect, defend and do justice to the defenseless. (640)
The laws of the liability of the bystander, which is a practical application of the Sixth Commandment, reinforces this duty (Deut. 22:1–4, 24; Luke 10:29–37). These laws, along with Proverbs 24:11–12, give citizens a measure of police power.
(Of course, this God-given police power of the citizenry must not be misused, nor used in a rash, impatient or unbiblical fashion.)
Patient Bearing of the Hand of God:
Impatience with and complaining against God’s providence can bring down on our lives His judgment. Furthermore, impatience with God’s hand, rooted in unbelief and self-love, produces bitterness, anxiety and worry, which in turn lead to stress-related illnesses and the shortening or diminishing of health and life, hence a transgression of the Sixth Commandment. (642)
Quietness of Mind:
Making it our ambition to lead a quiet life attending to our callings and working with our hands to the glory of God as believers enables us to live a quiet life with quietness of mind. Such a life of tranquility, quietness, peace, godliness and dignity enhances life and therefore is our duty under the Sixth Commandment. (642)
It is only when we are resting in the Lord in faith, trusting His promises and persevering in obeying His Word that we are able to keep from fretting over prosperous evil-doers...These soul destroying attitudes are also body-destroying if they are left to simmer and boil within us. They have the potential of destroying spiritual and physical life. (643)
Cheerfulness of Spirit:
The body of a human being is influenced by his state of mind, therefore, we can speak of psychosomatic illnesses. Many people who are physically sick have made themselves sick by their sinful attitudes....spiritual joy often has a healing effect on
the body; whereas “a broken spirit dries up the bones,” i.e., has a life diminishing
effect on the body. (643-644)
Sober Use of Meat, Drink, and Physick:
Proverbs 25:16 is telling us that moderation in eating is important to our health. Ephesians 5:18 forbids drunkenness because it dissipates and squanders our physical and mental health. And in Isaiah 38:21, God shows Hezekiah the means by which he will be healed of his illness. Medicine and treatment alone could not have cured Hezekiah. (644)
Sober Use of Sleep:
Good sleep is important to clear minds and healthy bodies. It is directly related to believing and resting in the strength, wisdom and protection of the Lord concerning our days, nights and tomorrows. The sleep of such a person can be truly restful and refreshing.
In other words, we are not to oversleep. Know how much sleep you need, get it and do not overindulge yourself. Furthermore, this kind of sleep comes with diligent and satisfying work during the day (Ps. 127:2), with living orderly, disciplined, and scheduled lives (Eccl. 5:12), and with believing God’s promises concerning sleep (Ps. 121:4—while you are asleep, God will not be asleep), and God keeps on blessing you
while you are asleep (Ps. 127:4). (645)
Sober Use of Labor:
Hard, meaningful work in a calling is good for a person’s mental, spiritual, physical and emotional health....Meaningful work in a calling is virtuous; and idleness and laziness are contemptuous. (645)
But, if work is to be godly and life-enhancing, it must be sober, i.e., it must be within the confines of our gifts and limitations and moderated with rest. Workaholics are sinning against God. This is especially true when this excessive work is motivated by the excessive craving for wealth without moderation. (646)
Sober Use of Recreation:
Recreations, vacations and play are important aspects of life and are pleasing to God, when used soberly, according to His Word and for His glory. (646)
A kind and charitable attitude toward others is required of us by the Sixth Commandment because an unkind, uncharitable, unloving, bitter attitude toward others will sooner or later have a harmful effect on ourselves and on others—physically and spiritually. (648)
The essence of love is self-giving—the giving of itself for the welfare and happiness of another person. Love delights in its object, which prevents us from injuring those we love. Therefore love seeks to do all that the law of God requires of us, because it requires nothing that is not conducive to the best interests of others (13:9). (648)
Showing compassion to people in need or misery enhances life....Jehovah of the Old
Testament is a God of compassion: “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him” (Ps. 103:13–14). Because Israel was the covenant people of God, they were to reflect God-like compassion in their daily relationships: “If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;
but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks” (Deut. 15:7–8). (649)
As Jehovah incarnate, Jesus’ life was characterized by compassion: “When Jesus went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34). Jesus also taught His disciples that Christ-like compassion should
be extended to everybody. (649)
The Greek word for showing compassion is an interesting one. It is based on the Greek noun meaning “the upper viscera, lungs, heart and liver.” It denotes therefore “warm and tender affections and emotions.” (649)
What was it in people that drew out compassion from Jesus for them? Whether they were distressed, harassed, downcast, leaderless and shepherdless (Matt. 9:36); sick (Matt. 14:14); hungry and ignorant (Matt. 15:32); blind (Matt. 20:34); leprous (Mark 1:41); demon possessed (Mark 9:22); in debt (Matt. 18:27); grieving
(Luke 7:13); bankrupt, sorrowful, guilt-ridden, self-abused (Luke 15:20); or lacking in material needs (1 John 3:17), Jesus had compassion on them.
Therefore, we can draw two conclusions: (1) It was human suffering caused by human sin that drew out Jesus’ compassion; (2) His compassion moved him to action—to do what He could to relieve their need. Feeling without action is not compassion (James 2:14–17; Amos 1:11).
So then, compassion is rooted in: a proper view of sin; a genuine concern for the welfare and destiny of people; a desire to be one with Christ in compassion, to be more conformed to His image; a self-less, self-denying, neighbor-loving, servant-spirit; and a desire to see God glorified in the salvation of sinners (2 Cor. 5:17–20). (650)
Meekness, Gentleness, Kindness:
Meekness is life-enhancing.
"[T]o be meek is to be as tender as a mole and as soft as silk, so that it is a delight to have dealings with such a person. It is to have a quiet and dispassionate disposition, and to manifest this by the enduring of wrong, by maintaining a
consistently tender disposition, by forgiving wrongdoing as if it had not been committed, and by rendering good for evil—all this so that everyone may be convinced of their wrongdoing and cease doing wrong against us. A meek person
is as a smooth beach upon which tempestuous waves break and then gently flow away, interacting, so to speak, in a playful manner with it. "17. Wilhelmus á Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, 4 vols., trans. by Bartel Elshout (Ligonier, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1993), 3:203. (651)
The Greek word for “kindness” in this text can be translated “kindness,” “good-heartedness,” “graciousness,” “benevolence,” “considerateness,” “friendliness.” This kindness is a perfection in God that finds expression in the saving work of Christ (Rom. 11:22). It is almost an equivalent to “grace.” (651)
This Greek word means “mild and gentle friendliness.”...Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit and it enables the believer to correct others without arrogance. (652)
Peaceable Speeches and Behavior:
Our love for life means that we will strive for the establishment and preservation of peace: “being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). We are to “seek peace and pursue it” (Ps. 34:14). And Paul exhorts us: “If possible, as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18). (653)
Mild and Courteous Speeches and Behavior:
This Proverb [15:1] is also a practical application of the Sixth Commandment for it teaches us that mild and courteous speech can have a positive effect on an angry person, calming his anger; and that harsh words can have a negative effect on a person, stirring up strife between friends. (653)
Forbearance, Readiness to be Reconciled, Patient Bearing and Forgiving Injuries, and Requiting Good for Evil:
Forbearance is the willingness to suffer being wronged rather than standing up for our rights. Readiness to be reconciled is the willingness, and even eagerness, to be reconciled with those who have offended us or with those whom we have offended, as quickly as possible, because by the grace of God in Christ, we have been reconciled with God, although we did not deserve to be reconciled. Patient bearing and forgiving of injuries is possible for the believer because God has freely forgiven him of all his sins against Him and is patient with Him everyday. Gratitude to God makes him patient and forgiving with others. Requiting good for evil is refusing to repay or return evil for evil, i.e., to refuse to treat or react to another person in the same evil way that he or she has treated you. We are never to return evil for evil. We are always to return good for evil. (654-655)
"It may sometimes be our duty, as well as our right, to seek justice from the constituted authorities of church or state.… Especially when the rights of God and
truth of God are at stake, it is our duty to stand up courageously for truth and righteousness, without respect of persons. Kindness to men must never induce us to become lukewarm in defense of God’s truth." 19. Vos, The Westminster Larger Catechism: A Commentary, 366. (655)
Comforting and Succoring the Distressed and Protecting and Defending the Innocent:
The Sixth Commandment demands of the Christian that he give comfort and succor to the distressed. The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that our extension of mercy to those in need by trying to meet their needs is not based on the merit or worth of the needy person. It is especially our duty to try to relieve the sufferings
of our fellow Christians anywhere in the world.
We are also called upon by the Sixth Commandment to protect and defend the innocent. The innocent are those who are suffering unjustly for no fault in them, or who are being treated as guilty persons, when they are not. It is always our responsibility to protect and defend others against unjust treatment so far as it is in our power and place to do so. The individual, the family, the church and the state all have this duty in their distinct spheres and according to their divinely-assigned functions, authority and jurisdiction. (656)
All Taking Away the Life of Ourselves or Other:
As we have seen above, the Sixth Commandment forbids all unlawful killing of human beings, which includes suicide. (657)
Except in Cases of Public Justice or Lawful War:
The God-appointed function of civil government is to terrorize evil doers and to punish them by enforcing the Laws of God. To make the civil government effective in its responsibility, God has placed “the sword” in the hands of the civil magistrate to protect law-abiding citizens by administering God’s “wrath” on the criminal
law-breaker. Romans 12:19 tells us clearly that vengeance belongs to God, but to the civil magistrate God has given the authority to administer His vengeance: “it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.” When a civil government justly punishes a criminal, it is God acting through that government. (658)
The purpose of “the sword” can be defined in three ways:
First, its purpose is to enable the civil magistrate to protect the church and law-abiding citizens from the lawless and the criminal. If the civil government is going to provide this protection, it must have strength superior to that of the lawless. The godly state must be of superior strength to evil men and nations.
Second, a Christian civil government with a sword in its hand is a holy terror to evil-doers.
Third, the power of the sword is to be used to administer God’s justice, to make sure that God’s order is maintained, and that restitution is made whenever God’s Law is broken. When crimes are committed against God’s Law, restitution must be made to God, to society, and to the victim, or his family, in order for peace and order to continue[.] (659-660)
God has given the civil government the authority to use deadly and coercive force, when necessary, to preserve justice in the domestic relationships within a nation. This includes the legitimacy of capital punishment. (660)
There are three fundamental reasons why capital punishment is essential to public justice.
First, the holy character of God is the basis of capital punishment.
Second, the holy command of God is the basis of capital punishment.
Third, the sanctity of the image of God in man and the importance of the family comprise the basis for capital punishment.
God has given the state the power of the sword in international affairs to protect the citizens of that nation from lawless invaders or terrorists from outside its boundaries. This is the national defense of a nation’s families. (663)
Neglecting or Withdrawing the Lawful and Necessary Means of Preservation of Life
Anger that arises when God’s honor is defamed is righteous anger. Emotions are God-given, and are constructive, when governed and used in accordance with Biblical principles. They become destructive when they are unrestrained or when we fail to express them in harmony with Biblical principles. (670)
Jay Adams,in his books The Christian Counselor’s Manual and Competent to Counsel, shows us how anger becomes sinful in two ways: By the ventilation of anger, or “blowing up,” and by the internalization of anger or “clamming up.” (671)
First, believe that, as a Christian, you have the power to control your anger (Rom. 6:11–12).
Second, settle daily all emotional issues between yourself and others, rather than allowing the matter to fester and abscess.
Third, learn to redirect your anger, making it solution-oriented rather than problem-oriented. Understand that anger is a God-given emotion “designed to mobilize force to tear something apart,” (Jay Adams), e.g., a problem by solving it.
Fourth, avoid people who are dominated by anger: “Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself” (Prov. 22:24–25).
Fifth, determine to be angry only at sin. The holier we become, the more anger we will feel against sin and the less anger for each other (Ps. 139:21–24).
Sixth, learn to love each other in terms of 1 Corinthians 13.
Seventh, do not try to play God. Submit under His mighty hand, casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for His own.
Eighth, meditate on the reality, nature and objects of God’s anger (Rom. 1:18; Ps. 7:11; Ex. 22:24; Eph. 4:26, 27; Ps. 4:4; Rev. 6:15–17). His wrath is severe and final (2 Thess. 1:7f); but it is also slow (Ps. 103:8).
Hatred is deadly because it is a deep-seated anger. One will harbor this within himself until an opportunity arises in which he can avenge himself. (672)
Therefore, since no contradiction can exist between the ethics of the Old Testament and the ethics of the New Testament, then no contradiction exists between Jesu’s command to love our enemies and the declarations of the Bible that we are to hate God’s enemies. On the one hand, we are to obey the law of God from the heart with
reference to other people generally, and to our enemies in particular (Rom. 13:10); and, on the other hand, being repulsed and angered by their blasphemy of the Name of God, their audacious assaults on His Kingdom and their blatant disobedience to His revealed will, we are to hate God’s enemies by separating ourselves from their goals and behavior, and work to resist, expose and overcome their efforts for evil. Furthermore, we are never to use our resources or show compassion in such a way as to subsidize and encourage the continuation of a life of rebellion against God (Prov. 28:17), or the vicious assault on the people of God (2 Chron. 19:2). We also must be wise in the nature of our relations with others, sensitive to the fact that, as we love our enemies, we must not allow ourselves to be
corrupted by their evil (Prov. 22:10, 24). (674)
Envy is a manifestation of a murderous disposition of heart.
Envy is destructive to a peaceful social order.
Desire of Revenge:
Revenge is also murderous. It is
"the inclination to retaliate against someone for a wrong actually committed or an imaginary wrong—yes, they are not satisfied with a retribution of a similar degree, but the least wrong which has been done to them is deserving of death in their eyes." 36. á Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, 3:201. (678)
All Excessive Passions:
Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander and malice are all intimately related sinful attitudes and passions. “Bitterness” denotes disagreeableness, pungent to the taste and poisonous. Figuratively it refers to any excessive and unrestrained passion that corrodes and “acts on the mind as poison does on the body, or on the minds of others as venom does on their bodies.… The command, therefore, to lay aside all bitterness, is a command to lay aside everything which corrodes our own minds or wounds the feelings of others.”38 This would include “wrath,” i.e., the mind burning with passion; “anger,” i.e., outward excessive expressions of that wrath; “clamor,” i.e., sinful expressions of wrath in speech and conversation; “slander,” i.e., any form of speech aimed at wounding or injuring other people; and “all malice,” i.e., the desire to injure and all forms of malevolence. In the place of all excessive passions, “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). 38. Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., n.d.), 275–76. (679)
Worry for the Christian is absurd and irrational....Filling each day with worry, anxiety and distracting cares about the future are destructive of joy, peace and life itself, filling it with fear and stress. (680)
Immoderate Use of Meat, Drink, Labour, and Recreation:
Doing injury to yourself by overindulgence in eating, drinking, sleeping, and pleasure-seeking is suicidal, because if left unchecked these sins lead to death. Furthermore, the immoderate use of meat, drink, labour and recreations “weighs down” the heart with “the worries of this life” (Luke 21:34) making us insensitive to and unprepared for the crises of life, like the fall of Jerusalem, prophesied in Luke 21. (681)
All the good things we enjoy in life are gifts from God. If they are to be used properly and joyfully, they must be received and understood as coming from God’s gracious hand. (682)
Words can kill. Sarcastic, slanderous and biting language, that reveals a heart full of anger, and which provokes others to anger or discourages others from faithfulness is murderous. They are like “the thrusts of the sword.” (683)
A look can kill.
Ministers kill people in their congregations by their words or lack thereof, i.e., by not warning the ungodly of the evil of their ways (Ezek. 13:18, 22). (684)
Oppression is repeatedly condemned in the Bible as a sin particularly heinous in the sight of God, e.g., the treatment of Israel by the Egyptian Pharaoh....All forms of oppression are forbidden—by fraud or by violence, in all spheres of life—family, politics, economics, commerce, business, etc. (684-685)
The metaphorical condemnation of quarreling in Galatians 5:15 makes clear the point that quarreling breaks the Sixth Commandment, because it is destructive and murderous speech toward our neighbor. Love serves others, and if we serve one another we will not “kill” each other in malicious talk, gossip, and slander. (686)
Striking and Wounding:
Although much more can obviously be said about this text, suffice it to say that this provision in the Mosaic Law calls us to great carefulness with human life. (687)
Whatever Else Tends to the Destruction of the Life of Any:
The Bible does not allow us to use force to solve disputes between each other, except for the legal force of the civil magistrate, when necessary. We are required to submit our arguments to arbitration....In an escalating dispute, the person who initiates the escalation to physical violence, bringing injury to his opponent, is the guilty party. Self-defense is allowable. (688)
Indentured servants and their owners both have rights before the Law. The owner may flog his servant for just causes (Deut. 23:15); but if he maims him by abusive treatment, the servant is set free (Lev. 24:17). Murder is murder, even in the case of a slave. This law assumes that, if the slave did not die immediately, the owner did not intend the murder. If he dies later on, as a result of the flogging, unintentionally
caused, then the owner has lost the value of his labor. It also assumes the servant, in this case, to be deserving of severe flogging. (688)
Therefore, if accidentally and prematurely induced abortions are to be treated as murder, how much more so are deliberate abortions. (690)
If an owner beats his slave too severely and unjustly, permanently damaging or maiming him, and the slave recovers, the servant is freed in fair compensation and restitution. (691)
(1) Animals as well as men are liable for murder charges (Gen. 9:5). The owner of an animal that kills a person is not guilty or liable for punishment, if the animal has no previous record of unprovoked violence. But the animal must die. If the animal did have a record of violence, then the irresponsible owner is liable for murder charges and capital punishment. .... (2) If a man’s animal kills the child of
his neighbor, he is to be dealt with and not his children (Deut. 24:16). (691)
God made man and woman in His image (Gen. 1:27), to reflect His character and glory. Jesus Christ came to restore that image which had been marred by sin (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). This gives all human life sanctity, in other words, a sacred inviolability defined by God’s Word. (692)
The question of the hour is this: Is the unborn child covered by God’s special protection? Is the unborn child a human person in God’s image?
The Bible is clear in its answers to these crucial questions. It leaves no doubt about the continuity of personhood which includes the unborn child. In other words, the Bible teaches that at conception, (more accurately, at fertilization), the unborn child is a human person in the image of God, and therefore, under His special protection. This point is made in a variety of convincing ways:
(1). The express statement on the beginning of human life (Job 3:3).
(2). The continuity of personhood from conception through adulthood (Ps. 139:13-16).
(3). The continuity of sinfulness from conception through adulthood (Ps. 51:5).
(4). The continuity of human experiences from conception through adulthood (Luke 1:15, 41, 44).
(5). The nature of conception as a gracious act of God (1 Sam. 1:19), etc.
(6). The case-law governing abortion (Ex. 21:22-25).