Morning Sermon: Exodus 20:13, The Sixth Commandment

Old Testament Reading: Exodus 20:12–17

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:12–17, ESV)

New Testament Reading: Matthew 5:21–24

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:21–24, ESV)


Please excuse any typos and misspellings within this manuscript. It has been published online for the benefit of the saints of Emmaus Reformed Baptist Church but without the benefit of proofreading.


We have come now to the sixth of the Ten Commandments, which is “you shall not murder.” 

Before we consider what this commandment requires and forbids, I would like to make some introductory remarks which I hope will help us to understand and properly apply this commandment. 

In previous sermons, I have said that the Ten Commandments contain a summary of God’s moral law. In fact, this is the language that our catechism uses. Question 44 asks, “What is the duty which God requireth of man?” Answer: “The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to His revealed will.” Question 45 then asks, “What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?” Answer: “The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law.” Romans 2:14-15; 5:13-14 are listed as support texts for this claim, and rightly so. Indeed, God’s moral law was written on man’s heart at the time of creation. And then question 46 asks, “Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?” Answer: “The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments.” 

The way this answer is worded is very interesting and important. Notice, the answer is not, the Ten Commandments are the moral law, but rather, “The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments.” There are at least two reasons for this wording. 

One, I have pointed out in previous sermons that there are some things written in the Ten Commandments that were unique to Old Covenant Israel. In other words, there are some things said  in the Ten Commandments that are rightly classified, not as moral law, but as positive law and as promise. 

The best example of this is found in the fourth commandment which is about keeping the Sabbath day holy. Sabbath-keeping is moral, brothers and sisters. The Sabbath is to be honored by all men in all times and places. This is the way that God is to be worshipped as it pertains to the use of time. Six days are for work, and one day is to be set apart for rest and worship. To treat the Sabbath day as if it were common – to go on working and recreating and to neglect public and private worship – is a violation of God’s moral law. In other words, it is sin. But notice, the fourth commandment says that the seventh day is the Sabbath day. I’ve argued in previous sermons that the first day of the week is now the Sabbath day. I will not go into that argument here in detail, but the church throughout the ages has recognized that the first day of the week – the day of Christ’s resurrection – is now the day for rest and worship. It is the day on which the people of God are to assemble. It is the Lord’s Day, also called the Christian Sabbath. So then the question is, how can it be that the command to work diligently for six days and to rest and worship for one remains while the day has changed? Answer: the pattern of six days for work and one day for worship is moral, whereas the command concerning the particular day is to be regarded as positive law. Positive laws are filled with symbolism. They are added to the moral law and are attached to particular covenants. And so they are bound to change with the passing away of one covenant and the inauguration of a new, which happened at the resurrection of Christ from the dead. I say all of that to simply remind you that are some things said in the Ten Commandments that were unique to Old Covenant Israel. 

Another example would be the blessing that is promised in the fifth commandment. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” God promised to give Old Covenant Israel a land. This promise was unique to them. 

So, for these reasons, we cannot equate the Ten Commandments with the moral law. Instead, we are right to say that, “The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments.”

The other reason our catechism says, “The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments”, is because the Ten Commandments are to be regarded as just that – a summary of the moral law. In other words, the Ten Commandments do not provide us with moral instructions in exhaustive detail. No. The moral law of God is summarily comprehended there in the Ten Words.

When we speak of the moral law we are talking about God’s standard for the moral and upright conduct of men and women. Have you ever considered how pervasive questions of morality are to human living? Truthfully, though we do not often think about it, every decision we make regarding what we will think, say, and do, and every decision we make regarding what we will not think, say, and do, is a moral decision. We are moral creatures living in a moral world before a God who is holy, and we will all stand before this God someday to give a final account. Everything that we think, say, and do is, in fact, influenced by our view of what is right and wrong, good and evil. 

With the pervasiveness of moral questions now in mind, think again of the Ten Commandments, and consider how brief they are. 

First of all, there are only ten of them. Some might wonder if ten laws will really be enough to govern the moral behavior of men and women on earth in all of its complexity. 

And two, these Ten Commandments are very brief. This is true of commandments one through four and five through ten, but I will focus only on the second table of the law for the sake of time:  “Honor your father and your mother… You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet…” Again, some may wonder if these six very brief laws will be enough to govern the moral conduct of men and women in thought word, and deed. 

Brothers and sisters, these ten very brief words are enough so long as we understand them to be a summary of God’s moral law. The Ten Commandments are not a moral law code in exhaustive detail. They do not provide direct and explicit instructions for every moral decision that individuals and societies must make. No, the moral law of God is summarily comprehended within the Ten Commandments, and these Ten Commandments are meant to be fleshed out. Men and women are to know these general moral laws, they are to reflect upon them deeply, and apply them with great care to the many and sometimes complex moral decisions that they face. 

Individuals must do this. Not only must we know the summary of God’s moral law, we also must consider what these general moral principles require and forbid by way of implication. We have learned that when a command is stated negatively (you shall not…), the positive side of the command is implied, and when a command is stated positive (you shall…) the negative is implied. More than this, we have learned that a general moral principle must be fleshed out and applied according to its necessary consequences. We saw this very clearly in our consideration of the fifth commandment. The command to “honor your father and mother” requires us to preserve “the honor, and [perform] the duties, belonging to everyone in their [various] places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.” The fifth commandment does not say this directly. It says it by way of implication.

So how are individuals to flesh out the general moral principles set forth in the Ten Commandments to apply the implications to the complex moral decisions that we face in life? I will say two things:

One, individuals must use their minds. They must contemplate God’s moral law and use their reason to apply God’s moral law in a way that is wise. Those who are wise are able to take general moral truths and apply them to particular circumstances. Those who have matured in wisdom are able to do this quickly and consistently. Yes, even those who do not believe and those who have no access to (or no regard for) to the Holy Scriptures, may attain a degree of wisdom. Read the best of the ancient heathen philosophers and see that they were able to touch upon matters of truth, morality, and justice, for example. But we know that the beginning of true wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Those who know, worship, and serve YHWH through faith in his Christ – those who have access to Holy Scriptures and regard them as the Word of God – are in a privileged place as pertains the attainment of moral maturity and true wisdom. Christians do not only have access to God’s moral law as revealed in nature. No, Christians have scripture too. The light that general revelation gives concerning truth, morality, and justice may be compared to a candle, but the light that the scriptures give can be compared to the light of the sun. 

I’ve said that individuals must use their minds to flesh out the basic moral principles set forth in the Ten Commandments. Two, I say that individuals, and especially Christians, must use the scriptures to understand the implications of the summary of God’s moral law contained within the Ten Commandments. What do I mean by this? I mean that Christians must not only know the Ten Commandments. They must also pay careful attention to the rest of the scriptures to see how the Ten Commandments are fleshed out and applied by the prophets, and by Christ and his Apostles. In other words, in the Holy Scriptures, we do not only find a summary of God’s moral law in the Ten Commandments. No, we also find a divinely inspired application of them, and this provides us with a greater understanding of God’s moral law. The scriptures also provide us with an example to follow.

Consider how Paul, in 1 Timothy 5:17ff, addressed the moral question of whether or not pastors who are devoted to, what we would call, the full-time ministry should be compensated for their labors. He quoted from Deuteronomy 25:4, which says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain”, and then he quoted Luke 10 :7, which alludes to Leviticus 19:13, saying, “The laborer deserves his wages.” What is my point? My point is that Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, shows us how God’s moral law is to be applied to the moral questions we face. The question, should pastors be paid?, is not directly addressed in the laws of the Old Covenant, and for obvious reasons. Certainly, this moral question is not directly addressed in the Ten Commandments. How did Paul get to the bottom of this moral question? He fleshed out the implications of God’s moral law. 

Paul does the same thing in 1 Corinthians 9 while addressing a similar question. There he says, “For it is written in the Law of Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.’ Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?” (1 Corinthians 9:9–11, ESV). 

Yes, Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and with Apostolic authority, but he also set an example for us (a divinely inspired example) of how God’s law is to be handled. He answered the moral question of whether or not ministers of the Word should be compensated by appealing to the civil laws given to Israel through Moses. And these civil laws, which are not binding on any nation in the way that they were binding on Old Covenant Israel – had a moral core to them. What is the moral core of the civil laws, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain” (Deuteronomy 25:4), and “The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning” (Leviticus 19:13)? It is the seventh of the Ten Commandments, “you shall not steal”. I suppose we might also say that it is the sixth of the Ten Commandments, which is “you shall not murder.” These two general moral laws of the Ten Commandments, “you shall not steal” and “you shall not murder, demand, by way of implication, that oxen be fed while they work and that laborers be compensated promptly and fairly for their wages. They also demand that those who labor in spiritual things be supported materially so that they might live.   

You say, what a strange introduction to a sermon on the sixth commandment! Well, I do believe that it is important for us to understand that the moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments. This should move us to flesh out the implications of each of them as we strive to live in a way that is pleasing to God, having been reconciled to him through faith in Christ alone and by his free grace/ . 

Those who have been reconciled to God, by his grace, and through faith in Christ, will love God and his Christ. And what did Christ say about those who love him? He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, ESV). And a little later he said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10, ESV). Those who love God will want to keep his commandments. They will strive to do so with the help of the Spirit. But to keep God’s commandments we must know what they are. Me must know what they require and forbid. Indeed, God’s law is to be kept even in the heart and mind, our motivation being love and thankfulness to God for the free grace he has bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus. A superficial reading of the Ten Commandments will not do. 

Stated differently, I wish to urge Christians to love God’s law, for God’s law is good, provided that it is used in the right way. God’s law is beautiful, and in keeping it there is great reward.  I wish to urge Christians to read God’s law, to meditate upon it, and to flesh it out so that we might obey it in thought, word, and deed. Do this, brothers and sisters, not to earn God’s favor, but because God’s favor has been freely bestowed on you. Christians must contemplate God’s law so that it might be applied, with God’s help, in their individual lives, in their homes, and in our churches. We should also be concerned to see God’s moral law applied to the judicial systems of the societies in which we live. If we do not see the Ten Commandments as a summary of God’s moral law, then our understanding of what is right, good, just, and beautiful, will be very limited. 

I’ll state the matter one more way before finally getting to the sixth commandment itself. Have you ever read Psalm 119?  It is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is an acrostic Psalm. By that I mean, there are 22 stanzas of eight verses each, following the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Within a stanza, the first word of each verse begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is truly a beautiful poem. What is it about? It is a grand poem about the beauty and magnificence of God’s law. It begins, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!” (Psalm 119:1). It is filled with declarations from King David concerning his love for the law. He says things like this: “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:24, ESV), and, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103, ESV). In this Psalm, David also pleads with the Lord to give him understanding. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.” (Psalm 119:18–20, ESV). Granted, there are many things within the law of Moses that applied to David, the King of Old Covenant Israel, in a way that they do not apply to us who live now under the New Covenant. Nevertheless, with that issue aside, New Covenant Christians should be able to sing Psalm 119 from the heart. This should be our prayer: “Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!” (Psalm 119:124–125, ESV).

May the Lord help us now in our consideration of the sixth commandment. Lord, teach us what it requires and forbids. 


The Sixth Commandment

The sixth commandment is, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13, ESV).

Some English translations say, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13, KJV 1900). This translation is bound to be misunderstood. Some may take this to mean that killing is always forbidden without exception. In fact, murder is the thing forbidden, not killing. 

The scriptures are clear that there are situations where killing is justified.

One, in the case of executing justice within a judicial system. Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6, ESV). This command was given, not to Israel under Moses, but to all societies in the covenant that God transacted with all creation in the days of Noah after the flood. Here, societies are mandated to uphold justice. This requires the formation of a judicial system of some kind. The basic principle is this those who kill unjustly and with intent are to be put to death – blood for blood, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Those who put murders to death on behalf of society as servants within their judicial systems do not violate the sixth commandment. No, they execute justice as servants of society, and as servants of God. This is why the scriptures say, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God…” And a little later in Romans 13 we read, “But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:1–4, ESV). The words of Romans 13 are rooted in the Noaic Covenant. The point is this: civil magistrates and civil servants do not sin when they use they kill in they while upholding justice. 

Two, the scriptures also teach that men may fight in just wars. David did not sin when he killed Goliath, for example. And neither did Abraham sin when his clan went to war with the kings who had taken Lot captive. These killings happened in the context of just war. These were not violations of the sixth commandment. 

Notice, in both of these instances the blood of man is shed, not by an individual acting as an individual, but by an individual who either has some God-given civil authority or by one who is operating under some divinely appointed civil authority. In other words, individuals acting as individuals do not have the right to decide who is to live and who is to die on their own. Those decisions are to be made by societies through the judicial systems that they erect with authority derived from God as communicated in the Noahic covenant. Societies must act with wisdom and justice as they formulate these civil laws. And to do this, they must consider God’s moral law as revealed in nature and even more clearly in scripture. 

There is one exception to this. According to the law of God, individuals may kill in self-defense. Ex 22:2-3 clarifies this saying, “If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him” (Exodus 22:2–3, ESV). Do you understand what is said there? A man should not be considered guilty of murder if he kills an intruder who is a threat to his person and property. But if the sun rises on the intruder – in other words, if the victim goes after the thief on the next day when he is no longer in danger to seek revenge – and he kills the thief, that is murder. The thief should be brought to justice, but it is not the job of the individual to bring him to justice. And certainly, death is not a fitting punishment for the crime of thievery. That is not just retribution – blood for blood, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Instead, the thief should be forced to make appropriate restitution. 

Murder is the unjustified taking of a human life. 

To violate the sixth commandment, one must kill unjustly and intentionally, or accidentally because of some carelessness or negligent behavior. To be involved in an accident that takes the life of another is not a violation of the sixth commandment. But to take the life of another accidentally because of carelessness or neglect is a violation of the sixth commandment. But this is very different from the unjust and intentional taking of a human life. 

The civil law code that God gave to Israel through Moses distinguished between these two kinds of violations of the sixth commandment. The civil penalties attached to these violations clearly show that the intentional and unjust taking of a human life is much worse than the accidental taking of human life, even in the case of negligence. 

In Deuteronomy 19 Israel was commanded to establish cities of refuge where those who killed someone unintentionally (there they are called a “manslayer”) could flee to escape those seeking revenge. Those who killed unintentionally were to be protected in those cities from those who sought revenge. But in verse 11 of Deuteronomy 19 we read, “But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you” (Deuteronomy 19:11–13, ESV). 

Not all of Israel’s civil laws are to be adopted by other nations (for Israel was a holy nation and in some ways unique), but we can learn about God’s moral law by considering the civil laws of Israel (this is what we call the principle of general equity). The civil laws of Deuteronomy 19 regarding cities of refuge are a good example of this. The sixth commandment sets forth the moral law, “you shall not murder”. But the civil laws of Deuteronomy 19 help us to think more clearly about what murder is and is not, and the differing degrees of murder. I suppose that a wise person could figure this out through their consideration ofGod’s moral law as revealed in nature (that is, by the candlelight of natural revelation), but the Holy Scriptures shed light on the matter with the intensity of the noontime sun. The lives of those who killed accidentally were to be spared in Israel. In the case of neglect, restitution would have to be paid.  But those who were proven to have killed intentionally, with hatred in their heart, having lied in wait for their neighbor with premeditation,  these were to be handed over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. Israel was not to pity this kind of murder,  but was commanded to purge the guilt of innocent blood from their midst, so that it would be well with them” (see Deuteronomy 19:11–13).

I have said the civil law code given to Israel was unique to them. It is not to be taken as is and imposed unaltered on common nations (Israel was a holy and unique nation, remember). But this does not mean that other societies cannot learn from the divinely inspired laws of Israel. They can. We can. But we must do it with care. To put the matter very succinctly by way of example, Sabbath-breakers should not be put to death in other societies as they were in Old Covenant Isarel (see Numbers 15:32ff), but those who have taken the life of another human being unjustly, intentionally, with premeditaion, and beyond doubt, certainly should.     

So what is my reason for saying that those who commit murder, in what we call the first degree, should receive the death penalty in our society whereas Sabbath-breakers should not? I’m I simply picking and choosing laws at random, or speaking from emotion or personal preference? Is this merely a personal opinion of mine?  No, the reason is this: All societies were explicitly commissioned by God to uphold justice through the terms of the covenant that God transacted with all creation in the days of Noah. The principle is this: eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, blood for blood. That responsibility remains on all nations even now that the New Covenant has come. Read Romans 13 to see. Now granted, it is not the job of the Church, the New Covenant community, to use the sword to uphold justice. The church is not to operate on the principle of an eye for an eye and tooth for tooth, for under the New Covenant, unlike the Old, church and state separate (render to Ceasar what is Ceasars).  But the point is this: our common civil governments are to uphold retributive justice: eye for eye, tooth for tooth, blood for blood. They are not, however, tasked with upholding the pure worship of God as Old Covenant Israel was. Common governments ought to make room for the true worship of God. They must not hinder it. But they are not to use the sword to punish those who violate the first table of God’s law. Israel was to do this (they were a holy people). Common goverbnments have been given no such commission. 


The Heart Of The Matter

Well, so far I have provided you with a general and superficial explanation of what the words, “you shall not murder” mean. Let’s tease that out just a little. To do this quickly, I’ll use our catechism. 

Question 74 asks, “What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?” Answer: “The sixth commandment absolutely forbideth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.

Question 73 of our catechism asks, “What is required in the sixth commandment?”

Answer: “The sixth commandment requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life and the life of others.”


Conclusion And Suggestions For Application

These two questions and very brief answers are helpful in that they set our minds off in the right direction concerning the implications of the sixth commandment. The command, “you shall not murder” is straightforward and clear. What does this commandment require and forbid by way of implication? Please allow me to highlight five implications. 

Firstly, if the sixth commandment forbids individuals as individuals from killing other human beings, then it must also be true that individuals do not have the right to take away their own lives, but must leave it to God to determine the number of their days. 

Secondly, the sixth commandment does not only forbid the unjust and intentional taking of human life. It also forbids the accidental taking of human life. Now, the intentional taking of a life is much worse than the unintentional and accidental taking of a life – we have already established that. But to take away the life of another human by accident and through carelessness or negligence is a violation of the sixth commandment. To use the language from our judicial system, it is not murder in the first degree, but it is manslaughter. Brothers and sisters, the sixth commandment forbids us from engaging in reckless behavior and negligence which puts our lives or the lives of others at risk. To drive recklessly is a violation of the sixth commandment. To leave a large hole uncovered in your front yard next to the sidewalk is a violation of the sixth commandment. To knowingly be ill and to come into close proximity with someone who is physically frail is a violation of the sixth commandment. Though we have all seen how that principle can be taken too far and used by authorities to control populations in the name of health and safety, the principle is true nonetheless.

Thirdly, the negative command, “you shall not murder”, positively implies that we are to engage in “all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life and the life of others.” 

Lawful means lawful according to God’s law. The Christian should not violate God’s law in order to preserve life. As I say that, I am mindful of some of the very difficult ethical questions that sometimes arise in life, especially in wartime. Is it ever right to deceive the enemy to protect innocent lives, is one such question? For the sake of time, I’ll leave that question, and others like it, alone, and say, generally speaking, it is true. We should not rationalize, saying, I will do this evil thing so that good may come. How do you know if good will come? Is not God able to bring about good through your obedience?  

More to the point: when the sixth commandment forbids murder, it positively requires us to be concerned with the preservation of human life, for men and women are made in the image of God. The potential applications which flow from this moral principle here are too numerous to mention. In brief, I will say that the sixth commandment requires us by way of implication to take care of ourselves, those under our care, and our neighbors as we have the ability and opportunity. 

Are you taking care of your bodies, brothers and sisters? Are you careful about what you put into them, be it food, drink, or other substances? Are you careful to not overwork? Are you careful to get enough rest? If you are ill, are you careful to seek proper treatment, to the best of your ability? And what about your mind and heart? Are you careful to guard your mind and heart against the sins of worry, bitterness, and jealousy? Proverbs 14:30 says, “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” The heart – that is to say, the inner and spiritual life of man – does indeed have an effect upon our physical life. Are you taking care of yourselves, brothers and sisters? The sixth commandment requires it.

I could pile up many questions under the main question, are you doing everything in your power to see to the flourishing of those under your care – your wife, children, aging parents, etc. 

And many more questions could be asked regarding the preservation of the life of your neighbor? I think you would agree that all of the morality in that wonderful parable that Jesus told regarding the good Samaritan flows right out of the Ten Commandments, particularly the fifth, sixth, and eighth: “honor your father and mother”, “you shall not murder”, and “you shall not steal.” You shall love your neighbor as yourself, friends. 

Fourthly, let me remind you the sixth commandment, along with all the rest, is to be kept from the heart. What are the heart sins which lead to murder, especially murder in the first degree? Hatred, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness. Do not murder, brothers and sisters. And be sure that the sin of murder is removed from you, root and all. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:14–21, ESV).

Fifthly, and lastly, the sixth commandment must move Christians to be concerned to see just laws enacted and upheld in the societies in which they live as it pertains to the punishment of those who murder with malice and intent and with the preservation of human life in all stages, from the moment of conception to the grave. Let us pray, and let us use all lawful means, according to our individual giftedness and callings, to see to it that the murder of children in the womb be outlawed in this land, that human life be respected, and justice upheld. 

But let us begin with self-examination. . Brothers and sisters, I ask you, have you kept this sixth of the Ten Commandments perfectly? Properly understood and properly fleshed out, “we confess that we have violated this law in thought, word, and deed.” 

Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ the Savior, who lived for sinners like you and me, who died for sinners, who rose again on the third day in victory. And having ascended to the Father’s right hand, he has poured out his Spirit to convict the world of sin, to regenerate those being called, to write God’s moral law anew and afresh upon the hearts of the redeemed, and to refine them. Lord, have mercy on us. Enable us by your grace to keep your law because we love you. And we confess that we love you, because you first loved us, to the praise of your glorious grace.  

Comments are closed.

"Him we proclaim,
warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

© 2011-2022 Emmaus Reformed Baptist Church