Life begins at the moment of conception. We know this to be true due to the unique genetic nature of every fetal human. I didn’t always accept this truth, however. In fact, for most of my life, I was pro-choice. I came to this realization about the nature of human life through a careful examination of embryology, rather than a careful reading of Scripture. The Bible does, however, affirm this truth. Every human being, according to Christian scripture, is a unique, intentional creation of God, even if he or she might appear to be an unplanned accident from our limited, human perspective. The Bible affirms our identity as unique, distinct human beings long before we were born.
God Had Plans for You Before You Were in the Womb
God had plans for you and I from the very beginning. This makes sense if we are us from the moment of conception. God knew us before we began our mortal existence, and we began it in the womb at the moment we were conceived:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
God Referred to You While You Were in the Womb
You have always been you, even from the earliest moments in the womb. Scripture uses this second person pronoun to describe fetal humans who are not yet born because our identity is already established even before we are fully developed:
Listen to me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named me.
God Created You While You Were in the Womb
The biological being forming in the womb is none other than you. You’ve always been you, even when you were much smaller, much less developed, and much more dependent than you are today:
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone….”
Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you, “Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”
God Had Plans for You While You Were in the Womb
The course and trajectory of your life began in the womb, because you began in the womb:
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles
You have been you from the moment of conception, even though your size, environment, level of development and degree of dependency have changed over the years. These attributes of you may change again in the future. But, you won’t cease being you. Your identity, according to science and the Bible, began the moment you were conceived.
For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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