The second table of the Law contains God’s commands concerning our actions and thoughts toward our fellow man. These Laws provide for our mutual protection and well being. These Laws are based on the principles of the Sanctity of Life, the Sanctity of Marriage and the Family, and the Sanctity of Private Property. This, the sixth, deals directly with the Bible principle of the Sanctity of Life. We are talking about human life. All life is not the same, according to God’s Holy Word. There is a clear distinction between human life and that of the animal or plant kingdoms.
What This Law DOES NOT Forbid
The Sixth of the Ten Commandments simply says, “Thou shalt not kill.” Literally this could be translated, “Thou shalt not murder.” For the taking of animal life is certainly not included in this prohibition. God killed the first animals ever killed after the Creation of the world, for the purpose of providing covering for the naked bodies of Adam and Eve after they sinned. The rest of the Bible makes it very clear that the killing of animals for man’s food and well being is sanctioned by God. ( See Gen. 1:28; 9:3-6; 1 Tim. 4:4-5 ) God’s Laws also prescribed the slaying of tens of thousands of animals for sacrificial use in the Old Testament. God’s Law for the nation of Israel made a clear distinction between the life of man and that of animals. (Lev. 24:17-18)
This command also does not forbid all killing. Some taking of human life is clearly justified Biblically. The Sanctity of Life demands the just sentence of death by the proper magistrate for those who take life. Yes, God’s Word is in favor of the death penalty. Read for example Genesis chapter nine verses five and six. Sadly, our nation has forsaken the justice of “a life for a life,” which has resulted in crime rates growing by large numbers, and a devaluation of life. When society fails to properly execute justice on those who take life, they give the impression that human life is not to be valued.
There is also nothing in this commandment that forbids just warfare nor of a person defending himself, His family or his home. [ I might also add that our nation’s laws were founded upon this God given right of citizens to self protections.] Those nations throughout history that have invaded other lands only for their own covetous, land grabbing motives certainly can not claim any justification in God’s Word. However during wars that are just soldiers are not guilty of murder any more than the man who shoots and kills an invader in his home or one seeking to harm his family. (Our nation is, I believe, now in such a war with Mohammedan extremists who desire the destruction of our way of life.) These killings by soldiers, in a just war are certainly justified.
What This Law DOES Forbid
Simply stated this Command of God condemns all murder and self-murder (suicide) as well as “all motions of the heart or tongue which tend that way, as anger, hatred, envy, malice, strife, blows.” (Quotation from Matthew Poole’s Commentary) For example read the following verses. In Matthew 5:21,22 Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:” And The Holy Spirit also teaches us through the apostle John in 1Jn. 3:15 “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” The taking of life as well as the hatred in our hearts that desires or wishes for an innocent life to be taken is all plainly condemned. Also that sinful attitude of our souls that would stop us from saving a life when we have opportunity to do so would seem to be condemned as murder.
Life, all human life, is to be considered sacred, as man was created in the image of God. Man with his immortal soul is to be counted worthy of protection and to be valued. Abortion is the murder of the unborn human life. All involved with it are guilty of murder before a holy God. This is what is wrong with embryonic stem-cell research, it requires the taking of human life. Beside this, NOT ONE SINGLE BENEFIT OR HOPE OF ANY CURE has been found in the stem cells of embryos. On the other hand, the stem cells of adults or those from the placentas or the umbilical cord have proven to be of great promise and value. We certainly should seek to find cures and help for the sick in such ways that do not require the murder of human beings. Those who promote the embryonic stem cell research are the same group who support abortion. They are part of the “Culture of death” in our society. This same group is in favor of assisted suicide and euthanasia or so called “mercy killings. God, the Creator and Author of all life, calls it all murder, “and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” It is this “culture of death” that has brought God’s wrath upon our nation. We as a nation need to repent and seek Him, Who is the giver of life.
Allow me a brief word to anyone reading this who may be in a situation where you are considering an abortion. I plead with you not to do this terrible thing. Just because it is legal, does make it right. Seek help. There are options. Call me, or the Arms of Love Crisis Pregnancy Center. There are many who are seeking to adopt and give a loving home to your baby if you are not able to keep it. So, please do not allow anyone to convince you that the life in you is not a real human being. I beg you, do not end that precious life.
Dear Reader, are you already guilty of breaking God’s command, “Thou shalt not kill.”? Have you had an abortion or encouraged someone to do so? Do you vote for politicians who promote the killing of unborn children? Repent and look to Jesus Christ alone for salvation and forgiveness. Have you supported those who promote the killing of human embryos (unborn babies), and who will not support the death sentence for those who take life? If you have voted for or supported those who make such wicked, godless laws, you too are guilty before God. I urge you, dear Friend, to repent and seek the mercy of God in Christ Jesus.
What about murder in our hearts. Are we guilty of hatred and malice, making ourselves murderers? Remember, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Do not deceive yourself, “sin is the transgression of the law (of God).” To sin is to rebel against our Creator and Judge. To continue in sin unrepentant is to condemn yourself to eternal damnation.
But Praise God! There is hope in Christ Jesus! God by His grace sent His Son into the world to save sinners. Jesus Christ took all the sins of everyone who trusts upon Him. He suffered the death they should have died. He suffered the wrath of God for the sins of all who believe upon Him. Right now, looking in faith to Jesus dying in your place on the cross, cast all your hope and trust on Him alone for the salvation of your soul. Baptism cannot wash your sins away. Neither can “the church” or the priest forgive you. You have sinned against God. And “there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”
Do not be deceived into thinking that you have some good and have done some good things and that God will accept you. “For there is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10) And God’s Word also says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, …” (Rom. 1:18) But Praise God for His marvelous grace. The holy Word of God also says, “But God commendeth [demonstrates] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
As Jesus, the Lamb of God, our dying substitute was giving up His life as a full and perfect payment for the sins of all who trust upon Him, He cried, “IT IS FINISHED!” I close with a line from one of our beautiful hymns, “Look and live! Look to Jesus now and live!”