Thou Shall Not Kill

“Thou Shall Not Kill”
Matthew 5:20-26; 38-48

These verses give us Christ’s view of the Law –

I. Christ calls us to excellence – Matthew 5:20
1. The Scribes and the Pharisees were the best of unconverted men
2. Yet, their righteousness fell far short of gaining heaven Matthew 23
3. Christ calls us to God empowered life – John 3; Galatians 5:22-23

II. We see this excellence in an area of life many feel they excel and yet where many fail miserably – Matthew 5:21-26
1. Why should God let you into heaven? “Well, I have never killed anyone.”
2. Christ requires we see the spirit of this law not merely the letter –
3. Christ condemns:
A. Anger without a cause – Matthew 5:22
B. Name calling, or vicious disrespectful use of words – Matthew 5:22-23
4. Christ requires – Speedy reconciliation
A. This is reality (many like to paint a false picture of Christians)
B. This is practical instruction because procrastination makes reconciliation more and more difficult
C. This is a great priority – Matthew 5:24-26

III. Christ calls us to an excellence beyond that of an ungodly world –
1.A righteousness that would be obvious – Matthew 5:38-42
2.A righteousness that demonstrates a connection to your Heavenly Father – Matthew 5:43-48
3.A righteousness that excels the seemingly “good”-guy on the street – Matthew 5:47

We may be said to murder another twelve ways.
(1) With the hand; as Joab killed Abner and Amass. ‘He smote him in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels.’ 2 Sam 20: 10.
(2) With the mind. Malice is mental murder. ‘Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer.’ 1 John 3: 15. To malign another, and wish evil against him in the heart, is murdering him.
(3) With the tongue, by speaking to the prejudice of another, and causing him to be put to death. Thus the Jews killed the Lord of life, when they inveighed against him, and accused him falsely to Pilate. John 18: 30.
(4) With the pen. Thus David killed Uriah by writing to Joab to ‘set Uriah in the forefront of the battle.’ 2 Sam 11:15. Though the Ammonites’ sword cut off Uriah, yet David’s pen was the cause of his death; and therefore the Lord tells David by the prophet Nathan, ‘Thou hast killed Uriah.’ 2 Sam 12: 9.
(5) By plotting another’s death. Thus, though Jezebel did not lay her own hands upon Naboth, yet because she contrived his death, and caused two false witnesses to swear against him, and bring him within the compass of treason, she was the murderer. 1 Kings 21: 9, 10.
(6) By putting poison into cups. Thus the wife of Commodes the emperor killed her husband by poisoning the wine which he drank. So, many kill little children by medicines that cause their death.
(7) By witchcraft and sorcery – which were forbidden under the law. ‘There shall not be found among you an enchanter, or a witch, or a consulter with familiar spirits.’ Deut 18: 10, 11.
(8) By having an intention to kill another; as Herod, under a pretence of worshipping Christ, would have killed him. Matt 2: 8, 13. So, when Saul made David go against the Philistines, he designed that the Philistine should have killed him. ‘Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.’ I Sam 18: 17. Here was intentional murder, and it was in God’s account as bad as actual murder.
(9) By consenting to another’s death; as Saul to the death of Stephen. ‘I also was standing by and consenting unto his death.’ Acts 22: 20. He that gives consent is accessory to the murder.
(10) By not hindering the death of another when in our power. Pilate knew Christ was innocent. ‘I find no fault in him,’ he said, but did not hinder his death; therefore he was guilty. Washing his hands in water could not wash away the guilt of Christ’s blood.
(11) By unmercifullness. By taking away that which is necessary for the support of life; as to take away the tools or utensils by which a man gets his living. ‘No man shall take the upper or the nether millstone to pledge, for he taketh a man’s life.’ Deut 24: 6. Or by not helping him when he is ready to perish. You may be the death of another, as well by not relieving him, as by offering him violence. If thou dost not feed him that is starving, thou killest him. How many are thus guilty of the breach of this commandment!
(12) By not executing the law upon capital offenders. A felon having committed six murders, the judge may be said to be guilty of five of them, because he did not execute the felon for his first offence.Thomas Watson

Pastor Arnold Brevick


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