Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

03/31/2019 A.M.

 

WRITTENIN STONE

Thou Shall Not Kill – Do Not Murder

 

Genesis 4.8-11, 9.6, Exodus 20.13 & Matthew 5.21-22

 

We return to our study within the Ten Commandments.

• Ten Words Written in Stone...

• Sinai Principles for Today’s Culture...

• Eternal Principles that regulate our relationship... with God... and with one another.

• According to Paul... In Romans chapter two... These primary laws were written within the Heart of all humankind... So that no one is without excuse.

 

You see... The Ten Commandments are not just some... Ten detached... Randomly selected commands of God... They are God’s primary laws of relationship.

 

They tell us how to have...

• A correct Vertical relationship with Him...

• And a right Horizontal with one another.

 

These ten laws are really heart conditions... They’re a part of our being created in the image of God.

 

They are active attributes of God’s Heart... Heart issues that we are to cultivate.

 

Thou shall not murder... Our King James says... Thou shall not kill.

The Hebrew word used here means... To dash to pieces... To slay... To Kill... To murder.

 

Within this Hebrew verb is the idea of...

• A premeditated...

• An intentional...

Act of violence that leads to death...

It speaks of a planned vengeance.

 

God is speaking of...

An unlawful...

• Deliberate...

• Willful...

• Malicious...

Taking of a human life... Out of...

• Anger...

• Resentment...

• Hate...

• Bitterness...

• Malice...

• Vengeance.

 

Listen as I read God’s explanation of murder from Numbers 35.16-21... If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. Or if anyone has a wooden object in his hand that could kill, and he hits someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death... If anyone with malice aforethought pushes another or throws something at him intentionally so that he dies or if in hostility he hits him with his fist so that he dies, that person shall be put to death; he is a murderer.

 

Bu there is something we need to know this morning... Murder is not just an act... It’s an attitude... A heart condition.

 

Jesus tells us anger leads to Hate... And Hate is mental murder.

 

Listen to Him from the Sermon on the Mount... You’ve heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca... That is saying... You are good-for-nothing... Worthless...  Is answerable to the Sanhedrin. Anyone who says, You fool! will be in danger of the fire of hell.

 

Then there is this verse from 1 John 3.15... Anyone… Anyone!... who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

 

I think we will all agree this morning that human life is important to God... And it is with these words that He reveals His deep concern for the sanctity of the life that He created and gave to mankind by placing His Spirit within.

 

Now that we’ve established from a Biblical Perspective... What Murder is...

Let’s look at some of the exceptions to this command...

Some things God is NOT saying in this sixth Sinai Principle...

 

Accidental Killing... Accidental homicide is excluded....

Numbers chapter thirty-five contains specific instructions on setting up six Cities of Refuge... Where if someone accidentally kills another... He or she has the ability to flee to one of these cities for protection and proper judgment from those who would seek revenge for the accidental slaying.

 

Verses 22 & 23 read... But if... IF without hostility someone suddenly pushes another or throws something at him unintentionally or... Without seeing him...Drops a stone on him... And he dies... Then since he was not his enemy and he did not intend to harm him... The assembly must judge between him and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. The assembly must protect the one accused.

 

Then there is justifiable homicide... What we call self-defense.

Exodus 22.2 describes a thief breaking into a house... And the owner kills the thief or the one who is about to cause harm to him or his family... This scripture tells us this is not murder under this Sixth Commandment... There is no blood-guilt in this circumstance.

 

Killing in War is not a violation of this Eternal Principle.

The Bible is clear that the same God who gave this principle in the Ten Commandments... Also sent the Hebrew nation into war... Even blessed them with victory by His own miraculous work.

 

Even in the New Testament... Soldiers who approach John the Baptist asking what they must do to please God... were told to repent.... But nothing is said about leaving the military.

 

Acts chapter ten contains the narrative about Cornelius being converted to Christianity... But nothing is mentioned about his leaving his military career in order to be faithful to Christ.

 

It’s also interesting to note that the HEBREW WORD used in the Ten Commandments FOR MURDER is never used in the Bible to speak of killings done in war.

 

Capital Punishment is another exception.

• Exodus 21.12 says... He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.

• Verse 15... He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

• Verse 16... He who kidnaps a man and sells him... Shall be put to death.

• Verse 17... He who curses his father or mother shall be put to death.

 

In Exodus twenty-one alone... God identifies six specific circumstances that are so offensive to Him that they require the death penalty.... Killing yes... Murder NO!!

 

Both Jesus and Paul... When brought before the state... Denied the charges brought against them... Yet acknowledged the right of the state to execute the death penalty.

 

Romans 13.1-4 reads... Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

 

OK... Understanding that the real sin of murder is hate...

Understanding he who hates his brother is a murderer...

How do we keep from becoming Guilty of this sixth Sinai Principle?...

 

First... By controlling our anger.

Anger is the precursor to hate.

 

The formula is this... If we will control our anger... We will never be guilty of hate... Thus murder will always be out of the picture.

 

We see these progressive steps in the life of Cain... Then the Lord said to Cain... Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?... Sin is crouching at your door.

 

James and Paul tell us how to control our anger... Be slow to anger... Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath.

 

Secondly...Allow God His vengeance.

Romans chapter twelve tells us plainly that there is a place in the world for vengeance... But it is not within us.

 

Paul has God saying that vengeance is His... It belongs to God!

 

Romans chapter thirteen tells us that governmental authority has the right to administer justice to the evil doer.

 

But... But... Vengeance is not a ball within our court... So let’s leave it where it belongs... With God and civil government... AMEN??

 

Thirdly... Be controlled by love.

• Loveis patient... Kind...

Is not rude...

Is not self-seeking...

Is not easily angered...

• Keeps no record of wrongs.

 

Psalm 37.8 says... Refrain from anger... And turn from wrath... And you will not be led to evil.

 

So… We must ask… Who or what is controlling us... Love or anger...God or Satan?

 

Place the interest of others before self.

Paul tells us that this was... The attitude... The heart... The disposition... Of Jesus.

 

Think about it church... If each of us placed the interest of others before our own... Anger and hate would never control our behavior.

 

Instead of hate... We should Forgive.

Listen to Paul… So then... Put on a heart of… Compassion... Kindness... Humility... Gentleness... And Patience... Bearing with one another... Forgiving each other... Whoever has a complaint against anyone. Just as the Lord forgave you... So also should you forgive.

 

Colossians 3.13 reads... Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

 

We are to love our enemies.

It was Jesus who said... Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 

Listen... If we have no enemies... Hate and murder would never be a problem in our lives.

 

Lastly… We need to TAKE A STAND ON CRITICAL ISSUES.

Here is where I want to say something about abortion.

 

Most of us believe that Abortion… Willfully… Purposely… Taking a life is Murder.

 

The question here is where do we stand on this issue?... In fact are we taking a stand?... Or are we doing our best to remain neutral?

 

Martin Niemoller was a minister of a church in Germany in the 1930s. Eventually... He... Like millions of other victims was arrested and killed in Hitler’s concentration camps...

 

Before he died... Niemoller wrote...

In Germany... They first came for the Communists... And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

They came for the Jews.... And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew....

Then they came for the trade unionists... And I did not speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics... And I did nothing... Because I was a Protestant...

And then they came for me... And by that time no one was left to speak up!

 

Listen... Two of our ladies are involved in the Right To Life Movement... And they soon will have information on the Bulletin Board about how we... You & I...Can become involved.

 

Choose to take a stand… Choose to make a difference.

 

This morning... As one made in God’s image... We have the command and opportunity to live for Him... If we are willing to submit our will to His will in this matter of murder.

 

If we will… DELIBERATELY… INTENTIONALLY… Deal with the problem of keeping our hearts free of...

• Hatred...

• Grudges...

• PREJUDICE...

• Revenge...

Toward people of different...

• Race...

• Religion...

• National origin...

• Or those who have offended us in some way.

 

Why not become a child of God this morning… Become free from all sin… Every sin... By... Faith... Repentance... Confession... And the new birth of Baptism… Immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins.

 

Perhaps we have found ourselves guilty... Not of murder... But of mental murder... The sin of uncontrolled anger to the point of HATE.

 

God wants... And is waiting... To forgive us... If we will confess... Acknowledge our sin to Him.

 

Come... Be pure... Holy... Spotless... Sinless... As you leave this worship service... By simply respondingto the Word of God in your life.

 

Indeed!!… The Spirit calls... The bride says come...

As we stand and sing this song together.