- INTRO - Last week we looked at the high frequency to the theme of “freedom” in Scripture.Prior to that we talked about fatherhood and just prior to that we addressed honoring parents.Today we resume hearing from God through His word that we often call the “10 Commandments.”To put that into view, here is where we were, are today, and will go next Sunday:Independence Sunday (last week)You shall not murder commandment Six (this week)You shall not commit adultery commandment seven & Lord’s Supper (two weeks)Let’s resume our series by recalling the 10 commandments:You shall have no other gods before Me.You shall make no idols.You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.Keep the Sabbath day holy.Honor your father and your mother.You shall not murder.You shall not commit adultery.You shall not steal.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.You shall not covet.Commandment Six, “You shall not murder.”Today we consider God’s Word as related to the 6th commandment not to murder:Do not murder.Our Hebrew text doesn’t mean to “not kill.”The best translation of the Hebrew here is “don’t murder.”(HCSB, CSB, NASB95, NIV84, all say “murder” AV says kill)Perhaps examining what the Bible does not say will clear the way for us to examine what this text does mean.The Bible does not say not to kill animals. In this same chapter v.24:“Make an earthen altar for me, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your flocks and herds. I will come to you and bless you in every place where I cause my name to be remembered.Killing animals is not what this is about.Let’s talk capital punishment.The Bible does not prohibit government action punishing people with the death sentence.Keeping with the Exodus text:“Whoever strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death.That is God saying this.Of animals, as punishment, last point before moving on is for protection:If a thief is caught in the act of breaking in, and he is beaten to death, no one is guilty of bloodshed. But if this happens after sunrise, the householder is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must make full restitution. If he is unable, he is to be sold because of his theft.If a person is attempting to enter a house at night, you are woke from sleep, don’t know what they have in mind, you think to protect self and family.God says you are not held accountable.So you see, the text in not “don’t kill,” but “don’t murder.”Today we discuss the three types of murder the calculated, circumstantial, concealed.Calculated MurderThere are three kinds of calculated murder.Homicide taking another’s life.Suicide taking one’s own life.Infanticide taking an infant’s life.Taking the life of another goes back to the idea that all people are created in the image of God:Whoever sheds human blood, by humans his blood will be shed, for God made humans in his image.The Hebrew language has seven words for killing. The Hebrew word behind today’s text appears 47 times in the OT.Our word murder is understood as premeditated taking of a life.As noted, it does not apply to beasts nor burglars.It does convey the idea of intentional violence and deliberateness.That is how the Hebrew people understood this word.The word applies to taking innocent life, does not support pacifism or punishment.ILL - American society is not stranger to killing. Major cities see lives taken every day.Shootings from Kentucky to Columbine cause teachers to want to carry guns.Political environments seem to invoke hostile minds to want to murder others.Little League parents want to kill, road rage leads to death, and parents lash out killing their own childrenFrom where is all this killing originating?It comes from evil hearts turned from God.In our land the rapid spread of violence is spread by the media. It seems we have an industry dedicated to the violation of this commandment.Sadly, the American Psychological Association tells us the average child will have watched 8000 televised murders and 100,000 acts of on screen violence by the time they finish elementary school.The movies now treat violence as a funny form of entertainment. Let me read a quote from the book Hollywood vs. America:
The current tendency is to make mayhem a subject of mirth. As the on-screen mutilation and dismemberment become progressively more grotesque and horrible, film makers make light of their characters’ pain by introducing sadistic humor as an indispensable element of entertainment.… [I]t’s the violence itself that’s supposed to be hilarious, and that leaves audiences howling with laughter.… The nightmarish mix of comedy and carnage demonstrates more clearly than anything else that the brutality in today’s films is different in kind, not just extent, from the screen violence of the past.This is very disturbing. In many ways this sort of mindset give the idea that life is not worth living.The result is abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, assisted suicide which are all forms of breaking this commandment.TRANS - Let’s move from calculated murder to the one not planned.Circumstantial MurderMost Christians are not guilty of intentional murder, but let’s talk about indirect forms of murder.Are their things that a Christian might do that cause people to shorten their lives?I know that I caused my parents to grow a few grey hairs. I know that I have to work at being sensitive to Jennifer’s needs and how I impact her quality of life.ILL - Perhaps you are familiar with Chinese water torture?The idea is that constant dripping of water will run havoc on a person’s nervous system.The results are devastating causing the nervous system havoc leads to death.There is no bleeding, nor a blow to the head, but slow constant and constant dripping of water.“murder by cruelty”This is murder by cruelty, indirect and violates the sixth command.Another indirect method of murder is through corrupted means.For example, the world of whiskey.Liquor license might well be one given to kill.People in the liquor business are guilty of murdering people, those who build, buy, sell, vote for, or in anyway allow this industry to be are guilty of breaking this commandment.ILL - Memphis once voted to have liquor made available to drink in order to make the city better.Do you know what the Bible says about improving a city by allowing this sort of thing? Look here:Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with injustice!Those who think liquor, gambling, prostitution, and topless dancing improves a city are very wrong.What is God saying?Look more to Habakkuk:Woe to him who gives his neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath and even making them drunk, in order to look at their nakedness!Drunk driving kills people!ILL - Many protested the Vietnamese War. Yet, during that same time six times as many Americans died due to alcohol.“Alcohol takes lives!”Many die fast. Some loose homes, go bankrupt, turn to become villains, and kill others.Alcohol destroys marriages, splits homes, slays children, defiles innocence, and blinds eyes.Alcohol twists limbs, destroys manhood, dishonors womanhood, breaks hearts, and drive many to suicide.Alcohol digs graves more than any other curse on this world.Another type of circumstantial murder is the carnal sort.What I mean is the sort that comes by way of living for pleasure, for the flesh.Instead of walking by the Spirit, living for pleasure.This is a form of slow suicide.People have habits that decay them over time.The Bible tells us:Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.People that overeat, become slaves to sexual appetites, drink excessively, do drugs, are killing themselves.Our bodies are not the place for foul foods, filthy habits, or chemical dependencies.Our bodies are not a toxic waste dump!Getting intoxicated is getting a dose of toxic poison.It breaks the spirit of the sixth command.TRANS - We spoke of calculated and circumstantial murder. But, there is another I want to address today.Concealed MurderWe get it. Homicide, suicide, infanticide are crimes.We can see how indirect cruelty, corruption, and carnality lead to breaking this command.Yet, there is another way the sixth command is broken.There is a murder that nobody can see.No blood is shed, yet still God takes note of this sort of murder that along with the rest break the sixth commandment.Look to the NT to hear Jesus explain:For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander.Murders come from the heart.Jesus has more on this back 10 chapters in Matthew:“You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment.Put this together, the OT commandment not to murder is still active when Jesus makes this observation.In the later text, the we read murder comes from the heart.Now lets look at the rest of the text in chapter 5:For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire. So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,What is Jesus communicating?If your heart has anger toward other people, if you look down on others, if you speak poorly about others, if you hold contempt or abhor someone, if you call others fools, God writes “murder” next to your name in His book.Do you see the anger in our society today?Do you observe the way people glare and snarl at one another?Do you hear the horns beeping and wonder if they might just snap!Now, look with me at 1 John 3:15:Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.For those who hold hate in the heart, that make one a murder, needing salvation, because no murder has eternal life in them.ILL - America today is full with hate. We have racial hate, religious hate, revengeful hate, and all sorts of people promoting hate.God says:If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.and as we saw:But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire.America need more love.Problems in our nation will not be settled by government or by vote.Recall what I shared about Memphis.We need a change to love and that requires a change of heart.The change occurs when we step up to lead the way to Jesus.When we love others, Jesus loves them through us:This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.TRANS - This morning we discussed three types of murder that break the sixth commandment.We identified that calculated, circumstantial, and concealed murder take on forms that challenge us to look within.Let’s bring this to a close.ConclusionAt times we might not think the Bible applies to us.If you think you’ve not broken this commandment, then why over 2000 years ago did you help crucify Jesus?Listen, we are all guilty before God.Our hands slapped Him, mouths spit on Him, and sins nailed Jesus to the cross.Still, that same cross that shows our guilt also reveals our salvation PTL!Regardless of the crime before God, be it murder or something else, there is a way to get right with God.God brought you here today and God brought me to bring this message.If God didn’t want this message, He’d not have me here anointed to preach it.This same God brought you to hear this message.God will hold you accountable for what you hear as He brought you here.God says:“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.This same God who says do not murder also says that if you come to Jesus, he will give you rest.Will you ask God to forgive you of all your sin?God wants to do just that, to forgive you and to show you his love, his rest.(end)
1 John 3:15HCSB
1 John 4:20HCSB
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