Summary: #6 in 10 Commandment Series
“THE LOVE OF LIFE”
TEXT: Ex. 20:13; Matt. 5:21-24,43-48; I Jn. 3:15
INTRO: Everyday we hear more and more about murder, killing! Our culture is full of killing; every year in this country we kill over 1,000,000 unborn babies mostly for the sake of convenience. We are moving to the day when our elderly will be encouraged to die when they become an inconvenience. Our movies glorify killing, video games also promote “shooting people”, we have more guns in our society than any other country on earth. The horrible events of the past few days are a testimony to the lack of respect for life that our secular society has encouraged.
Life is no longer a sacred thing, it is a dispensable thing. It is not surprising that the further our society moves away from God’s commandments the less sacred society considers those things God cherishes. The sixth commandment was given to Israel to teach them to love life, to consider it so valuable that the taking of life would result in the loss of your own life.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that life is a sacred gift from God, that any society or individual that despises the value of life will lose their way and become corrupt. We are to love life and seek to preserve and sanctify it.
I. THE ANATOMY OF MURDER Matt. 5:21-24 I John 3:15
A. Unchecked Wrath! 5:21-22 I Jn. 3:15
1. While the Old Testament commandment #6 simply said, “Do not murder,” Jesus elaborates on the dynamics that lead to murder.
a. In Christ we must not only deal with the outward act, we must also deal with the inside drives that move us toward action.
b. Christ makes it clear that murder begins in the heart long before it explodes on the scene in action.
2. What Jesus says here is that the process that leads to killing is progressive:
a. the first stage is the “RACCA” stage – This is an emotional anger in the moment than explodes by calling someone “You idiot” (the loose translation of the Aramaic word “Racca”).
b. This is the first stage of anger, it usually does not move toward a particular act, but is still serious enough that someone expressing this kind of anger is required to come before the Sanhedrin (5:22a).
c. The point of coming before spiritual leaders at this point is to make the person accountable and to deal with the anger at this stage before it progresses to the next more dangerous level.
3. Another reason why Jesus expresses the need for appearing before others when this moderate level of anger happens is to prevent the spread of anger.
a. The fact of the matter is that unresolved anger in our hearts can spread to others.
b. Like all emotions, when we feel them strongly, those who are our friends will be touched by them also.
ILLUS: In his autobiography, “Number 1”, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle. Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked in with his friend. Mantle’s friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, and he didn’t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him. When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn’t let them hunt. "I’m so mad at that guy," Mantle said, "I’m going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!" Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, "We can’t do that!" But Mickey was adamant. "Just watch me," he shouted. When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule. As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to the car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. "What are you doing, Martin?" he yelled. Martin yelled back, face red with anger, "We’ll show that son of a gun! I just killed two of his cows!" Anger can be dangerously contagious. As Proverbs puts it, "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man ... or you may learn his ways" (Prov. 22:24-25). -- Scott Bowerman, Bishopville, South Carolina. Leadership, Vol. 16, no. 1.
4. Anger left unchecked at the “RACCA” stage will move onto the “YOU FOOL” stage, a much more serious level of anger!
a. This level has already passed the accountability stage to men, it has moved to being accountable to God directly!