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Summary: This sermon looks at what the Bible says about war, and what the Christian’s response should be.

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MAKE WAR BY WISE GUIDANCE

(DOCTRINE OF WAR)

Proverbs 20:18 - Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance. NAS

[HTML formatted version of this message is located at:

http://members.aol.com/abidingitw/war.html]

PRAYER PREPARATION

Jesus Himself tells us about the importance of studying His word in John 8:31-32:

31 "... If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;

32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NAS

In John 15:7, Jesus tells us this:

7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. NAS

And in John 4:24, Jesus says that:

24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NAS

Let’s take a moment to quietly confess our sins to God, so that we "abide" in fellowship with Him and so are led by the Holy Spirit when we study God’s word. 1 John 1:9 promises us, that if we name our known sins to God, He always forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness, even from the unknown sins we forgot or didn’t even realize we committed.

With this forgiveness, we are able to worship God "in spirit" by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, and "in truth" by studying His word. Let’s pray.

Thank you, Father, for always restoring your children when we admit our sins to you. May your Holy Spirit teach us your word as we study it now. We ask these things in Jesus Name. Amen

INTRODUCTION

With all of the talk of war in the newspapers and on television, I want to look at what the Bible says about war.

We as Christians should always remember that God ultimately controls history, and we need to be sure that our view on war agrees with God’s word, the Bible. It doesn’t matter what our pastor or our denomination says, nor how we feel about it, but rather what the Bible teaches. That’s what I want to look at right now.

BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES CONCERNING WAR

The Bible teaches a number of principles concerning God’s view of war.

1. The sixth commandment does NOT say, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” and does not prohibit war nor capital punishment (Ex. 21; Rom. 13). Let’s get that misunderstanding out of the way right away.

The original Hebrew word “tirtsaach” which is translated "kill" in the King James Bible, actually means “to slay with premeditation and malice” according to the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary. In other words, the word "kill" should actually be translated "murder," and it is in better Bible translations such as the NIV and NAS. The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary also states:

’Killing’ is not what is prohibited, otherwise the judicial infliction of capital punishment, as well as the slaughter of an enemy in defensive war, would be unlawful - in which light these were certainly not regarded by the Israelites in the time of Moses (Ex. 21:14; Deut. 19:11; 31:9).”

The correct translation of the sixth commandment from the original Hebrew manuscripts is “You shall not MURDER.” This commandment directly forbids you or I from murdering someone, and indirectly prohibits us from hurting others or ourselves. Most religious people and many secular people who are opposed to war misquote this commandment and say that it forbids ALL killing. That’s an absolutely ludicrous viewpoint if you’ve simply read the Old Testament. If ALL killing were wrong, then God told the Israelites to sin when He commanded them to enter the Promised Land and to totally wipe out the inhabitants there.


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