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Summary: Christians need a biblical perspective on the sixth commandment.

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INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• A defendant was on trial for murder in Oklahoma. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom." He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that there is reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty." The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. "But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door." Answered the jury foreman: "Oh, we did look. But your client didn’t."

• A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy Father and thy mother," she asked, "is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" One little boy shouted out, "Thou shall not kill."

• Today we are will look at the sixth commandment as found in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.”

• Let’s Look at the passage

• SLIDE #2

Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.”

• This command seems simple enough but apparently there are some who do not get it.

• Why are we looking at this command? I really do not think anyone in here today is a murderer or plans to be one, but this command is one that has taken on some significance because of the war in Iraq. If you see some of the well-intentioned protestors, you will see invariably see a sign that says, “THOU SHALL NOT KILL.”

• As a Christian, what about that? Are we forbidden to go to war? What about at the abortion clinic where you may see the same sign? What about then the subject of euthanasia comes up?

• What about the person who kills someone when they are driving drunk in the car? What about those who came back from Vietnam who were called murderers by folks who protested that war?

• Even though no of us will actually murder someone, it is important for us to understand what God is really saying in the Sixth Commandment so we can formulate an opinion based on facts. We will also see what Jesus says about the Sixth-Commandment.

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

I. THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT AND ITS MEANING

• When you read the Sixth-Commandment in the King James Version, it reads, “Thou shalt not kill.

• SLIDE #4

EXODUS 20:13 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill.

• When you see the many protest signs, this is the most popular version of the passage used.

• The King James gives a flavor to the passage that the original Hebrew just does not fit.

• If God was prohibiting ALL KILLING, then God Himself would be violating His own command when God said in Exodus 21:12 to put to death anyone who strikes a man so that he dies should be put to death himself.

• What about when Moses came down from the mountain and saw the people worshipping the Golden Calf?

• SLIDE #5

• Look at Exodus 32:27, “He said to them, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ’Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’"

• What about when God commanded the Israelites to kill all the inhabitants of the city of Jericho except for Rahab the harlot in Joshua 6?

• When you read the Sixth-Commandment in most English versions of the Bible, it is properly worded, “You shall not murder”.

• The Hebrew word properly translated “murder” reflects wrongful killing or killing with malice (hatred) or premeditated killing. There is a different word used for “killing” such as in capitol punishment, accidents, self-defense, and war.

• SLIDE #6

Exodus 21:14 says, “If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die.

• The Sixth-Commandment prohibits MURDERING people. Now I do not think it encourages killing. We will see what is covered and not covered as we look at the scope of the command.

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