Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
Forgiveness through Repentance
A Bible Study for Living in Forgiveness
Forgiveness in Repentance
You have just read three precious stories of people that tell how each was affected by their choice to have an abortion. In all three cases, that decision compelled each one to face their desperate need for a Savior to relieve the guilt and shame of their sin. For Amy to face her need it took acknowledging her responsibility for her abortions, recognizing how she had made a mess of her life, and turning to God who loved her despite the heinousness of her sin. In Cindys life, it took the near break-up of her marriage for her to admit her need – she cried out, I cant do it anymore. In Eddies life it took much tragedy and seeing how his pastor faced tragedy to see his need for a Savior.
Even though you may be involved in a church, you may not be aware of how desperately each of us needs a Savior. Every one of us is deserving of death as the just punishment for our sin (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Only God is holy; God never sinned; only God could die for someone elses sin, and so He did. By becoming a man, God in the person of Jesus Christ paid the penalty for the sins of all those who recognize their desperate need and call upon Him for His mercy and His forgiveness. God does not call us to a religion, but He does call us into a love relationship through His Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sin. (I Peter 3:18; Romans 5:6, 8) God has initiated this love relationship and demonstrated His love for us by dying in our place (Romans 5:8). The only reasonable response to such sacrificial love is to be devoted to Him, love Him, and obey what His Word says to do. The Bible says, And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
You may be thinking, I am a good person; I am better than most people I know; I know God will give me credit for all the good things I have done. But no amount of good can take away the guilt and shame for the sins you have done. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we all fall short of Gods standard and that There is none righteous, not even one. (Romans 3:10)
Lets take a look at where it all began in the book of Genesis and see the first woman who was deceived into believing that what she was doing was right. Lets look at the story of Adam and Eve. In studying this passage, there is much we can glean as post-abortive women by looking at Eve and what she wanted. This account in Genesis will help you understand how your desires make you susceptible to the deceptiveness of sinful choices.
The Creators command
Read Genesis Chapters 2 and 3 in one sitting.
1. In Genesis 2:9, what two specific trees were in the garden? 1)___________________________ 2)________________________________
2. Reread Genesis 2:15-17. What command did God give to Adam in verse 17 and what was the consequence for disobeying that command?
3. What did God do for Adam in Genesis 2:18? Why did He do it?
4. Because Adam and Eve had not sinned, they were in total communion with God who is pure and holy. It says in Genesis 2:25 that they were both _______________ and not ________________. What is the cause of shame?
5. What do you learn about God from Genesis 2?
His care for His creation?
His standard for human behavior?
His judgment for sin (disobedience)?
The Creator Questioned
1. Picture the scene in Genesis 3:1-3. Compare what Eve told the serpent that God said with what God actually said. Genesis 2:16-17; 3:2-3
What did Eve add?
Why was that wrong?
What was the consequence for eating the forbidden fruit?
2. Read Genesis 3:4-7. What lies did the serpent tell Eve?
Verse 4: You shall surely not _____________.
Verse 5: Your _________will be opened, and you will be like ____________, knowing _________ and __________.
3. From verse 6, what made Satans lies believable? How did Eve rationalize her decision to eat the fruit? Whom did she choose to believe?
Many women today have been deceived by the lies about abortion. The lie that the fetus is only unwanted tissue to be disposed goes counter to Gods involvement in forming life in the mothers womb. Look up Psalm 139:13-16. The lie keeps women from seeing abortion as going against what God has ordained. Women are told they have the right to choose. Who gives them that right? The Bible says that God, our creator, is the giver of life and He determines how many days are ordained for each person.
What lies did you believe would take care of your problem at the time of your abortion? How did believing those lies deceive you when you chose to violate a right that belongs only to God? Look up Deuteronomy 32:39 and write out what right belongs to God alone.
4. Why do you think Adam also ate the fruit? Did he know it was wrong? What relationship did it violate and what relationship did it keep? (Isaiah 59:2) How did Adams desire for human companionship affect his choice to disobey God?
5. Read James 1:14-15. What were Eves desires or lusts that led her to sin against Gods command? ` As you look back to the time of your abortion, what did you desire that enticed you to disobey Gods command?
6. Write a brief definition of sin using James 1:14-15, Romans 3:23, 8:7.
Hang in there with me – you will be so blessed!
Consequences of Disobeying the Creator
Read Genesis 3:8-13.
1. What did Adam and Eve fear when they heard God call to them in the garden?
2. List 4 reasons why it is wise to fear God. Look Up: Proverbs 3:12; 9:10; Matthew 10:28; Roman 6:23
So the wise person who fears the Lord will seek to be holy and keep her heart pure.
II Corinthians 7:1 says, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves of all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Holiness means to be set apart for God by keeping His commands. Adam and Eves sin separated them from God and His holiness.
3. In what way are Adam and Eve, and all sinners since them, accountable to God for their sin? (Hebrews 9:27; Romans 14:12)
- What did Adam do that made his guilt obvious in verse 10? How does this illustrate his and our exposure before an all-knowing God? Is there anywhere we can hide from God? Psalm 139:7-12
- Since God knows everything, what is the result of hiding ones sin? Psalm 32:3-4; Proverbs 28:13
All sin has consequences, whether we acknowledge it or not. How can you relate to the suffering the Psalmist described in Psalm 32? What mental torment due to your guilt and shame have you experienced since your abortion?
Guilt and shame are part of the natural consequences to a conscience that has been exposed to Gods law. Look up Romans 7:7. Over time unresolved guilt and shame can lead to depression.
Ezra 9:6 expresses the guilt and shame the post-abortive woman feels. It says, “ and I said, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to Thee, my God, for our iniquities have risen about our heads, and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.
When the post-abortive woman struggles with guilt, she is really responding to two accusations from her conscience. First, she has aborted her child and secondly she has overruled her mothering instincts to care for her child. God has given us a conscience in order that we might experience guilt to drive us to repentance and salvation. Look up 2 Corinthians 7: 9-10. The truly repentant heart can then experience the joy of no longer living under the condemnation of their sin. Look up Romans 8:1. When accusations or depression return to your mind after repentance, the post-abortive woman must be fortified with Gods promise of no condemnation. It will take time and diligence to replace the old ways of thinking about your abortion with the reality of Gods mercy. Memorize Romans 8:1 and any other verses that help you combat your old patterns of thinking such as:
· Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you.
· Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
· Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free.
- How did Adam and Eve try to avoid taking responsibility for their sin in verses 12 and 13? Look at Genesis 3:16-19 to see if God held them both responsible for their sin.
One of the hardest things for post-abortive women is to have other people know about our sin. We, as post abortive women, attempt to shift the blame, to hide our sin, and to make excuses. Just like Adam, we are attempting to maintain an untainted image and avoid responsibility.
First of all, pride is sin against a holy God. It also affects our relationship with others.
Have you seen how pride has affected the honesty in your relationships?
- How do you think blaming Eve for his sin affected their marriage? What would Adam need to do to restore his relationship with both God and Eve? Write out Proverbs 28:13.
Read Genesis 3:15. Commentators tell us that this is the first reference to the good news of Gods plan and remedy for the consequence of sin. The womans seed (Christ) would deal the serpents seed (Satan) a fatal blow on the head by defeating death, the wage for sin, on the Cross. Christ was wounded on the heel only to rise again from death. PENALTY PAID!
Read Genesis 3:14-21
1. What were the immediate consequences of sin for the serpent? For Eve? For Adam?
2. What was the ultimate promised consequence (wage) for sin? Genesis 2:17; 3:3; Romans 6:23
3. Since Adam and Eve were spiritually alive in relationship to God prior to sin and died to that relationship, yet did not immediately die physically, what kind of death is characterized by separation from God? Romans 5:12, 18; Ephesians 2:1, 2
4. In Genesis 3:21 what did God put to death to provide a covering for Adam and Eve now that they were sinners? The Old Testament sacrificial system demonstrated Gods requirement of death as a covering for sin that pointed to the sacrifice of Gods Son on the Cross as the one death that covers all sin for all who place their trust in Him.
Because of Gods great love for us, He provided a way for us to be restored to a right relationship with Him. We will look at that next. Be encouraged, my friend, God has prepared every step of the way to a right relationship with Him.
Personally to you
I remember my dad telling my sister and me that if we ever got pregnant, we would have our babies. He was adamantly against abortion because the doctor had encouraged my parents to abort me at six months when my mom came down with Red Measles. The doctor assured my parents that I would be deformed, but my dad said they could not take my life. I thank the Lord that He preserved my life through my dads firm stand against abortion. So although I was sexually active, I didnt want to disappoint my parents and I tried to be as safe as possible.
When I heard the gospel at age 19, I embraced Christ as my Savior and was immediately convicted of my sexual sin. I told the boy I was dating that we should not see each other any more. A month later, I found out I was pregnant. I went to my mom and my sister because I knew they would support what I thought I wanted. I did not want to ruin my reputation or embarrass my parents. I believed that abortion was my only choice and made an appointment at an abortion clinic. The day came. My sister went with me and waited outside because the clinic assured us that it would be a quick procedure.
While in the waiting room, I saw a girl who was probably six months pregnant. God convicted my heart that her baby was just like the one I carried in my body. I kept trying to deny the truth; I wanted to believe that mine was only a blob of tissue like I had heard in school. When the doctor came in to examine me, he saw that I was very nervous. He left telling the nurse that if I did not calm down, he was not going to continue. I convinced the nurse that I was fine and she then called for the doctor to return.
When the abortion procedure was over, they led me to a cot to recuperate. I could not quit crying. I remember the nurse saying, Those must be tears of joy. I told her, They are tears of much sorrow. I knew I had made a terrible mistake. The only thing I could think of at that moment was my dad telling me that this would never take place. As much as I wanted to believe that abortion took care of my problem, I sensed that my abortion would affect my whole life. I am here to tell you that it has. Just like Eve, I deceived myself into thinking that disobedience was the right thing. It wasnt just that I had disobeyed my dad. You see, even though I knew the civil law allowed abortion and even though I told myself that I had a right to choose what to do with my body, deep down I knew that what I had done was wrong.
I remember facing my sister when it was over. Both of us were very ashamed and felt extremely guilty. I know that if there were one day in my sisters life that she would like to change, it would be that day. We both knew we had disobeyed our dad. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:1, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
That hot July day God gave me three ways out. First, I knew the standard my daddy had set before me. Second, the pregnant girl in the waiting room was Gods warning to me that I was about to take the life of my baby. Third, I became very nervous and the doctors leaving the room could have been my way of escape. For many years I grieved over compounding the sin of my abortion by not heeding these warnings. I Corinthians 10:13 promises that No temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide a way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
What about you?
Are you seeing how your desires have led you to sin? List the practical ways out God gave you at the time of your abortion(s)? (Read I Corinthians 10:13 in the paragraph above.)
In what ways have you been hiding from God like Adam and Eve? Are you afraid to let people know about your abortion(s)? What have you done to hide it? From whom? How has that affected your relationship with God?
Your marriage? If you have not told your husband, what does that say about the honesty in your relationship?
Take some time now and write down what lies you have believed about your abortion(s); your body; the baby you carried. Ask God how you have been deceived and what have you been trying to block out of your mind. Get alone with God and be honest with yourself and God.
In 2 Samuel 11 and 12 we can read the story of David, the king of Israel, who paid a tremendous price for indulging his desires. He gave in to temptation for the beautiful Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop. He sent for her even though he knew she was married to a soldier who was fighting in his army. When Bathsheba became pregnant he tried to cover up their sin by bringing her husband home from the battlefield. The baby could then be considered her husbands and their sin would not be exposed.
David had not anticipated the character of Bathshebas husband, Uriah. Uriah refused to go to his home while his comrades were still at war. David then resorted to greater lengths to cover their sin.