Summary: Second of seven in series on Building a Kingdom Family
THE PASTOR’S POINTS
sermon ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
a fellowship of faith, family and friendships
May 16, 2004
“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:13 (NASB)
Pillar #2. Respecting Human Life
Human life is a gift from God and is of transcendent worth. It is to be treasured, protected, encouraged, and loved from the moment of conception until the moment of death. I know that each member of my family must ultimately give an account to God, and forgiveness and eternal life in Heaven require personal repentance of sin and faith in Christ. I will honor God by expressing self-sacrificial love to each of my family members throughout the entirety of their lives.
Here we are, enjoying the shade of a shelter in the middle of a park, surrounded by the beauty of God’s natural creation. Squirrels are running, birds are chirping in the trees; God’s created world suggests that life is a gift.
However, not every setting is so serene and pastoral. In many places this very day there will be murders of every kind. There are many faces to the violation of the sixth commandment:
This commandment is to do no murder. The question would seem to present itself quickly – does this congregation really need a sermon on murder? After all, the last time I checked the membership roles, we only had a small percentage of Mafia bosses and just slightly more than a dozen or so professional assassins in our church family. And none of them are Sunday School teachers. So, as the lady said, Where’s the beef?
Well, certainly this is a word the world needs to hear at a time like this. Life is treated as a cheap commodity these days. And many people don’t care what happens to the other guy. A doting mother sent the following note to her son’s teacher: Dear Teacher, If my Archibald is naughty -- and he sometimes is -- just whip the boy next to him. This will frighten Archibald and make him behave.
We used to live in a shooting gallery named Jacksonville. Shots were regularly fired in our neighborhood (and there is no quail hunting allowed there!). One of our deacons went for a brief stroll on a Sunday evening and was shot twice, drive-by style. The police said it was a gang initiation ritual.
Nine year old James Darby wrote to President Clinton on April 29, 1994, Dear Mr. Clinton, I want you to stop the killing in the city. People is dead and I think that somebody might kill me. So would you please stop the people from deading. I’m asking you nicely to stop it. I know you can do it. Do it. Your friend, James. Before he could get an answer to his letter, James Darby was gunned down in New Orleans in a drive-by shooting.
The Russians have a word, translated agitation in English. The word applies to old peasant log houses. These log houses are constructed around a key beam, running under the center of the house. To pull the house down a tractor simply had to jerk back and forth on this key log until the entire structure collapses. Literally, the word means, to shake to pieces from underneath.
American society is being shaken by forces pulling at our key logs. One of these forces is a lack of respect for life. This is then the positive principle of the sixth commandment, Life is sacred, preserve it!
What is the Argument against Murder?
The question is really, what is wrong about murder? The answer comes from the Bible, or it has no authority. Life and death are prerogatives of God alone. He is the Creator and giver of life -- only He can take it away. Adam and Eve were only piles of dust before God Himself breathed the breath of life in them. Then they became living creatures.
Murder treats what God has created in His own image (Genesis 1:26) as cheap. C.S. Lewis once said:
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations; these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit. -- C.S. Lewis
When we murder, we usurp the authority of God. God will not accept that from any body. Created beings are to respond to the creator, not rebel against Him.
What is the Action of Murder?
HOMICIDE...is the hands on act which ends another person’s life. It first happened with Cain and Abel. There are many examples in Scripture, including some of the heroes; Moses and David were both murderers.
In our culture some forms of murder are never prosecuted. Abortion is one. Despite the controversial nature of this subject, as well as the socio-economic views on either side – the fact is that the Bible states it is wrong. Somewhere in this country yesterday, a woman found out she was pregnant. The chances that baby will ever be born are no better than 50/50. For varied reasons and circumstances, nearly 1/3 of all pregnancies terminate by choice of the adult.