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Contents

The value of a life

4

1. Our God is a forgiving God

6

2. How do we decide when life begins?

14

3. Making the choice: Abortion or parenthood?

21

4. Keeping the baby versus adoption

28

5. Abortion and our role as Christians

37


1

Our God is a forgiving God St u d y 1

Based on A Life Already Started | Chapter 1

Discussion starter Which sins do you think God is more worried about? Number the sins below from 1 to 5, in descending order of magnitude, where 1 is the worst. Don’t spend too long on the task; just list your first reaction. [ ] Gossip

[ ] Murder

[ ] Sex outside of marriage [ ] Disrespecting your parents [ ] Stealing

In a room full of sinners … Sexual sin that results in an unplanned pregnancy is so obvious, especially when the girl or woman decides to go ahead and have the baby. It’s as though the whole world knows what she’s done. But what about everyone else’s sins?

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A L ife already started discussion guide


Read 1 John 1:5–10. 1. Is one person better than another? (verses 8 and 10) Explain your answer.

2. Compare this with Romans 1:28–32. See if you can find two seemingly mundane sins listed in verses 29–30.

3. If we are forgiven, is it OK to keep on sinning? (1 John 1:6) Why or why not?

We should be as concerned about our own wrongdoing as that of other people. There is no scale that goes from ‘really bad sins’ (like murdering your grandma) down to ‘only-slightly-a-problem sins’ (like being mean to your little brother). All sin is a problem for God. A Life Already Started | pages 18–19

S tudy 1 . O ur G od is a forgiving god

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Jesus’ attitude towards sexual sin Read John 8:3–11. At that time and in that culture, adultery was a capital crime—it brought the death penalty! There was a lot at stake for this terrified woman. 1. Some say that when we love and forgive people, we should let them do what they want, and just accept them. Is that what Jesus did? (verse 11) In our own culture where sex is given such a low value, how can we communicate the seriousness of sexual sin?

2. What attitude does Jesus want us to take towards people who have sinned? (verse 7) How could you live out this attitude today, in practical terms?

3. Note the reason why these religious leaders were making an example of this woman (verse 6). They were prepared to sacrifice her life to satisfy a completely separate agenda! Can you think of reasons why we might find it convenient to point the finger at someone else who’s made a mistake?

They wanted blood, but Jesus showed tenderness, kindness and mercy. He showed compassion for the sinful woman. When we fail, this is how Jesus feels about us. He wants to help us, too. A Life Already Started | page 18

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A L ife already started discussion guide


The purpose of purity Sometimes our society thinks that God and Christians are spoilsports who don’t want them to have any fun, and that’s why the Church prohibits sex outside of marriage. (At other times, our society would have no reason to think that, because unfortunately many Christians don’t behave any differently from everyone else!) The truth is that sex is a gift, created by God for our good, in the context of marriage. There is even a whole book of the Bible dedicated to the wonder of married sex: Song of Songs. What makes sex so special? List reasons from the following verses. Consider why God created sex, and the emotional and spiritual power it has, not just the physical. Genesis 2:19–24, especially verse 24

Mark 10:4–9

1 Corinthians 6:12–20

Knowing a new life has started should be a time of joy, not one of shame and panic. This can happen when the baby does not disrupt your life plans. When we do things God’s way, we are able to experience the wonder of pregnancy as he wants us to. A Life Already Started | page 23

S tudy 1 . O ur G od is a forgiving god

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Words matter What do these verses tell you about the power of words? Consider the capacity of speech both to build up and to destroy. Proverbs 16:23–24

Proverbs 12:18

James 3:3–12

How could these biblical principles affect: • your conversation with a girl who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, and upset about it?

• your conversation with the baby’s father?

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A L ife already started discussion guide


A Life Already Started Discussion Guide