CHRIST’S SERMON ON THE MOUNT (Study 10): THOU SHALL NOT KILL
INTRODUCTION: In our last Bible Study, we considered THE CHRISTIAN AND THE LAW, which showed us in a nutshell that Christ did not come to repeal the law but to fulfil it (Matt. 5:17). We found out that with the coming of Christ-the Reality, the shadows of the ceremonial / religious laws and most of the civil ordinances, could not continue to be relevant (cp. Rom. 10:4; Col. 2:16,17,20-22). Again, it was seen that by His vicarious death on the cross, Christ fulfilled the righteous demands of the law (cp. Heb. 2:9). Coming to fulfill the law was also seen to portend exposition of the details of the moral laws and their amplification (cp. Matt. 5:17).
Knowing that the Pharisees were misguided by following after the letter and being ignorant of the truth of the law, Jesus began this exposition of the truth with “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, THOU SHALL NOT KILL ...” (Matt. 5:21-22). As far as the Pharisees, who were only mindful of the visible sinful acts and not the sinful thoughts, were concerned, people were guiltless if they did not directly get into the physical act of killing any person. Now Jesus came to show that it is not only the act that counts but intention also. The teaching shall come under the following points (A) Thou Shall Not Kill – What Is Involved (B) Thou Shall Not Kill – The Punishment Of The Guilty.
- Thou Shall Not Kill:- What Is Involved (Matt. 5:21, 22)
This 6th commandment forbids any person taking his own life or that of another, either directly or indirectly or being an accessory to it (cp. Gen. 9:5, 6; 1 Tim. 5:22). In exposing what this commandment involves, Jesus showed that “the angry with his brother Without A Cause”, is also equally liable. Anger is a natural instinct (cp. Eph. 4:26). There is righteous anger (cons. Jn. 2:13-17). But anger is sinful when it is without a reasonable cause, misplaced, destructive or overbearing (Eph. 4:26; Pro.29:22; 22:24; 14:17; Jas.2:20).
Rash and un-tempered anger beget bitterness of spirit and lead to quarrelling and fighting, hatred, malice, animosity, and sometimes even to suicide or actual murder of the hated (cp. Gal. 5:19,20; Heb.12:14,15). Note: whosoever hates is a murderer (1Jn. 3:15). Remember, the spirit of anger and bitterness which is associated with the spirit of murder, manifests itself in slandering and evil speaking (cp. Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8). One can poison and kill another person not directly but indirectly through evil speaking, tale-bearing and false accusation. (Cons. Rom.3:13,14)
- Thou Shall Not Kill: The Punishment Of The Guilty (Matt. 5:21, 22).
Jesus was speaking primarily to the Jews who knew the law. There were three forms of capital punishment among the Jews: Beheading, following judgement by the judges, stoning by the council (or Sanhendrin) and burning in the valley of the son of Hinnom, which was used in extra-ordinary cases. Now, He says he that kills shall be in danger of judgement and likewise he that is angry with his brother without a cause (Matt. 5:21-22). The word Judgment came from the Greek krisis which means decision, by extension a tribunal. Again He says, he who says to his brother “Raca”, meaning “Thou empty fellow” or senseless person (having said it out a wicked and bitter mind) shall be in danger of facing the Sanhendrin (council). But he that says to his brother, “Thou Fool” meaning “worthless and useless” shall be in danger of hell fire. If the unrepentant person who curses his brother this way is in danger of hell fire, nobody should think that God’s judgement for the physical murderer, the ritual killer, the killer by poison or juju or any kind of murderer, will be any less (Mk. 9:44; Rev. 21:8).
But thanks be to God that Jesus has paid the price and penalty for all our sins (cp. 1Pet. 2:21-24). Even if you have killed by whatever means including abortion, you need not wait to face the wrath of God (cp. Rom. 1:18, 32). What you need to do is to repent of all you have done from the depth of your heart, confess them to God through Jesus Christ and receive His Spirit into your heart, as you heartily call upon His name accepting Him as your personal Lord and Saviour. Even if you have killed with your mouth, you can repent now and be saved, with the decision to make all necessary restitutions immediately after (cp. Acts 24:16).
Rise and let us pray . HSCF 77