Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
I. Aligning With God's Moral Order: The Ten Commandments
2. The Last Five Commandments: Loving Our Neighbors As Ourselves
a. Commandment Six: Honoring Man's Formation In God's Image By Not Murdering
(Exodus 20:13)
  1. Introduction
    1. Murder is the ultimate sin against one's neighbor, for it lovelessly robs him of his very life on the earth.
    2. However, people adrift in an amoral secular sea with no Biblical compass often try to redefine what constitutes a human life in the unborn so as to make abortion-on-demand not murder, or they may seek to block the execution of even violent, serial killers as though such executions are themselves an evil.
    3. Hence, we view God's command about murder in its wide Biblical context for discerning edification:
  2. Commandment Six: Honoring Man's Formation In God's Image By Not Murdering, Exodus 20:13.
    1. In review on the Ten Commandments, we Christians are no longer under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law's Ten Commandments, for we are dead to the law in our position in Christ, Romans 7:4a with 3:23.
    2. Nevertheless, that Law is intrinsically holy, just and good (Romans 7:12), so the Christian will live up to the righteous standard of that law as he is filled with the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:3-4! Thus, we view the Ten Commandments to note the standard of righteousness we will attain in life as Spirit-filled believers.
    3. Thus, we view Commandment Six: Honoring Man's Formation In God's Image By Not Murdering:
      1. God commanded Israel not to "murder" in Exodus 20:13 NIV, ESV. The reason is clear from Genesis 9:6: since God made man in His own image, the murder of a human being is a crime against God's image , and in that sense, a crime against God Himself, so it is to be met with capital punishment!
      2. However, apart from Scripture, man today has developed distorted views about the killing of human beings in some cases, so we view Scripture to discern God's perspective on them (as follows):
        1. Regarding abortion-on-demand, a human becomes a person at conception, so abortion-on-demand is first degree murder that deserves capital punishment (as follows): (1) In Psalm 51:5 where he confessed to God his sin of adultery with Bathsheba (see the psalm's introductory remarks that are part of the Hebrew Bible), David admitted that "in sin did my mother conceive me." (2) The context does not deal with his mother's sin, but with David's sin, so David acknowledged he was a sinner at the point of conception, meaning he was a PERSON at conception! (3) Thus, killing a human fetus after conception is murder, so abortion-on-demand deserves capital punishment!
        2. Regarding those cases where the taking of human life is not murder contrary to some opinions today, Exodus 20:13 uses the Hebrew word, rasah that is "a specific term for murder" that "is never used of executing a criminal or slaying an enemy in battle," Zond. Pict. Ency. of the Bible, vol. One, p. 1032. Thus, God left room in the Exodus 20:13 command for the non-murderous taking of human life, and it is described elsewhere in Scripture as follows: (1) Accidental slaying is not to be met with capital punishment, but a lesser response coinciding with the motive, for such a deed does not involve a willful disrespect for God's image, Num. 35:22-25. (2) Under the Law, killing a thief who comes in the day was murder, for one could then discern the thief's motive; yet, one could innocently kill a thief who came at night as the thief's motive was unclear in the dark, and a homeowner had the right defend the lives of his family if he thus felt they were threatened, Ex. 22:2-3. (3) Also, killing human beings in just war (or government oversight, Rom. 13:3-4) and clinical abortion do not deserve capital punishment, Deut. 7:16, 23; Ibid. Such cases involve the killing of parties that are a threat to the preservation of God's image in other innocent people!
Lesson: (1) Since God created man in His own image, murder is a crime against God, and is to be punished by death administered by the state, Romans 13:3-4. (2) Yet, killing humans in just war or government oversight and clinical abortion administered in honor of God's image is blessed of God. (3) The accidental taking of human life is to be met with lesser punishment fitting the motive involved.

Application: May we realize the value of human life in terms of the divine stamp placed upon it, and so treat it accordingly in respect for our Creator Who made us human beings in His own image.