You Shall Not Murder
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The sixth commandment prohibiting murder is an affirmation of the sanctity of human life. Life is sacred because God Himself is the origin of life, the author of life, the sustainer of life, the requirer of life, and the rewarder of life. We should, therefore, embrace life as a gift from God, to be lived unto God, with an end determined by God, aimed at the glory of God. Although this commandment was given to Israel thousands of years ago, its application is relevant for all people today as we live in a culture that values some lives above others, promotes death instead of life, and limits the enjoyment of life to this life alone.
01. Affirming life in a culture of death requires that we acknowledge the value of each and every human life.
02. Affirming life in a culture of death requires that we offer hope to those who would unlawfully take life.
03. Affirming life in a culture of death requires that we recognize that there is more to life than this life.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. What does the sixth commandment suggest about the depravity of human nature? In other words, why do we have to be told not to murder? What does the commandment imply about the sanctity of human life? See Genesis 1:26-28 and 9:5-7 for further insight.
2. Note how Matthew 5:21-26 and 1 John 3:11-15 expand on the sixth commandment by including non-lethal actions. What does this connection reveal about the holiness of God and our inability to keep the Ten Commandments? How does this connection challenge you to treat others with dignity and respect, even when you disagree with them?
3. In what ways does our culture promote a culture of death rather than a culture of life? How seriously are Christians taken by the culture at large when defending the life of the unborn, the physically/mentally challenged, and the elderly? How can believers promote a culture of life instead of a culture of death?
4. Discuss the attribute of God’s aseity (self-existence). What does it mean to say that God is the originator and author of life? In what way are all living things dependent upon God? What should our response be to God for giving us life? See Psalm 27:4 for further reflection.
5. How many murderers can you name from the Bible? Why did they murder? What was the outcome of their lives? How many persons can you name from the Bible who were forgiven for murder? What does this tell us about the extent of God’s grace?
For Further Reading: J. I. Packer, Keeping the Ten Commandments (Crossway, 2008)