Summary: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – A Matter of Life and Death 1. The VALUE of life. 2. The MEANING of the 6th commandment. 3. The APPLICATION Jesus Made to the 6th commandment.

Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV)

[3] You shall have no other gods before me.

[4] You shall not make for yourself an idol. . .

[7] You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. . .

[8] Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . .

[12] Honor your father and your mother. . .

[13] You shall not murder.

[14] You shall not commit adultery.

[15] You shall not steal.

[16] You shall not give false testimony . . .

[17] You shall not covet.


We continue today with our series on the Ten Commandments. The first four commandments focus on our vertical relationship with God. Last week we made the switch and began to look at how the Ten Commandments address our horizontal relationships with other people. The 5th commandment deals with honoring our mothers and fathers. Some may wonder if there is a commandment that focuses on the relationships between brothers and sisters. Rest assured that there is; the 6th commandment, “You shall not murder.”

Judge Alexander M. Sanders, Jr., the Chief Juctice of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, tells a story about what happened when his daughter Zoe was just three years old.

Sanders came home from work one day to find his home – and especially his young daughter – in a state of turmoil. Zoe’s pet turtle had died, and she was crying as if her heart would break. Zoe’s mother had been dealing with the situation all day and declared that it was now Dad’s turn to try and make things better.

Sanders told Zoe that they could go to the pet store and buy another one just like the one who had died. Yet even at three, Zoe was smart enough to know that a turtle is not a toy. There’s really no such thing as getting another one just like the one who died. And so Zoe’s tears continued. Desperate to quiet his little girl’s tears, he said, “I tell you what, we’ll have a funeral for the turtle.” Being three years old, she didn’t know what a funeral was.

Scrambling to come up with an explanation – as well as something that would get her mind off the turtle’s demise; he said, “A funeral is like a birthday party. We’ll have ice cream and cake and lemonade and balloons, and all the children in the neighborhood will come over to our house to play, all because the turtle died.”

Well, the prospect of a turtle funeral did the trick. Instantly, Zoe was her happy, smiling self. The turtle’s death was no longer cause for tears, but reason to rejoice! So, with visions of cake and ice cream in their heads the two beamed down on the deceased turtle lying at their feet. As they did, the turtle began to move. And a few seconds later, he was crawling away as lively as – well, as lively as a turtle, but an undeniably LIVE turtle. Zoe quickly considered her options and looked up at her father with her big beautiful eyes and with all the innocence of her tender years said, “Daddy, LET’S KILL IT.”

The 6th commandment—YOU SHALL NOT MURDER. This morning we are going to focus on three things:

1. The VALUE of life.

2. The MEANING of the 6th commandment.

3. The APPLICATION Jesus Made to the 6th commandment.

I. What is the value of a life?

The sixth commandment settles the issue once and for all; God places the highest value on each and every human life. As a Christian you may call yourself “pro-life”, but no matter how greatly you value life got values the life of each and every man, woman, boy and girl infinitely more than you do. Why is life so valuable to God?

1. God is the giver and sustainer of all life.

a) You are not a cosmic accident, or product of evolution—you are not even just the result of biology! God has ordained your life.

Jeremiah 1:5 (MsgB)

Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you . . .

b) In a beginning God created everything that exists out of nothing. Everything that exists was created by His spoken Word. Then from the dust of the ground God formed man with His own hand.

Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

c) Human life is not the same as animal life. We’re all made of the same stuff, but we alone have been made in the image of God. God created animal life by speaking it into existence, but human life came into being by the breath of God making us a living soul. Moreover human life was created in the image of God.

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