Harming Our Neighbor
Exodus 20:l3 Thou shalt not kill
Introduction: This commandment confronts man with the sacredness of human life. We live in an age when it seems that the life of others is lightly regarded. Thousands are starving and in many areas, life is cheap. Man is precious in God's sight, for God made man in His own image and likeness and gave His only begotten Son for him. This is the shortest, yet, it is the strongest of all the commandments. Society will forgive a man for other sins; but, when one deliberately robs another of his life, the whole world considers this to be the greatest of all evils.
I. I. Things Not Forbidden in This Commandment.
A. God does not forbid the killing of animals for food or clothing or some other useful purpose. Gen. 9:3. Here, God gave man permission to kill animals for his own use. In Old Testament times, thousands of animals were killed for sacrifices. Jesus ate fish and the Passover Lamb. David slew a lion and a bear for protection.
B. God does not forbid the killing of a thief who breaks into your home. Exodus 22:2. Certainly, this involves the matter of self defense.
C. Killing in war is not forbidden here. As citizens of a nation in a war, we are subject to the federal head of that nation, whom we must obey. Rom, 13:1,2. In Old Testament times, God commanded Israelites to fight other nations, I Samuel 11.
D. Capital punishment is not forbidden. Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:12; Ex. 21:14-17, 20.
II. Murder in the Biblical Sense.
A. Let us look at direct murder. This means deliberately going out after a man to take his life by violence. The first murderer was Satan. John 8:44. Satan is the father of all murderers and he rules their acts, Eph. 2:2.
1. Mob murder is also forbidden in this commandment. A mob has no right to usurp the functions of a Court of Justice.
2. Suicide is also murder unless it is committed by a person who is mentally unbalanced.
3. Infanticide is another form of murder, abortion. The unborn infant is a person and no one has a right to take its life.
B. Let us look at indirect murder.
1. When you lead someone into sin you may be committing indirect murder. The liquor sellers are guilty of this.
2. You can kill others by the way you live. By causing a person to grieve over your disobedient or wayward acts.
3. You can kill yourself by the wrong way of living. By not taking care of your body health, is a form of murder. Eg. Smoking, drinking, gluttony, etc.
4. Then there is a spirit of murder. In the Ten Commandments, the overt act is forbidden. When Jesus came, He not only forbade murder, but the spirit which prompts it. Matt. 5:21-22. Jesus is saying here, that we should keep murder out of the heart. That is where sin comes from. You don't have to kill a man to be a murderer; you have violated this Commandment if you have murder in your heart. Cf. I John 3:15. We have no right to punish those who wrong us. That right belongs to God. Rom. 12:19.
III. Now Think of Murder of the Soul.
A. This may occur in the home. Godless parents who never teach their children about Christ and never take them to Church may someday meet them in Hell.
B. This may occur in the Church. Modernistic and un-evangelistic churches can cause people to go to Hell.
C. This may occur through your influence. If someone looks up to you and believes you and follows you and your life is not consistently Christian, it may well cause that one to turn aside from God. You may cause that one to lose his soul.
D. You may lose your own soul by rejecting Christ and commit soul suicide.
IV. The Greatest Murder of All. When depraved man killed the sinless Son of God on Calvary. But God permitted it, so that He might be our substitute. II Cor. 5:21; I Peter 3:16.