God has forbidden murder, but also hate towards others, abortion, and more. He also commands us here to protect the life of others and care for their well-being.
Read Exodus 20:13
- Underline: You shall not murder.
- Write: “5th Commandment” or “5C”
What is forbidden in the 5th Commandment?
Read Numbers 35:16-21
- Underline: “the murderer shall be put to death.” (in verses 16, 17, 18)
- Write: 5C: Don’t Murder!
Read Jeremiah 1:5
- Underline: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you
- Write: 5C: Abortion = Murder
Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- Underline: You are not your own; for you were bought with a price
- Write: 5C: Suicide = Murder
Read Matthew 5:21-22
- Underline: But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment
- Write: 5C: Hate = Murder
Read 1 John 3:15
- Underline: Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer
- Write: 5C: Hate = Murder
In the Old Testament, it was clear that murder was wrong. While that is still true today, this Commandment deals with so much more than simply the physical act of murder. This Commandment is about the preservation of life both physically and emotionally. While murder and physical death are clearly understood to be forbidden here, God also commands that we protect the life of unborn children, as well as our own lives. Jesus expands our thinking on murder to include not only the physical act, but also hating someone and wishing harm on them.
What about war? Is that murder? Is it forbidden?
Read Romans 13:4
- Underline: For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer
- Write: War OK for Government
While individual killing is forbidden by this Commandment, war is not. The government is God’s instrument to bring judgment and punishment to those who are wicked. As a Christian, it is OK to participate in the military or even in active warfare on behalf of the military, provided the war is just and not contrary to God’s desires. After combat ends, however, it is the Christian’s obligation to provide medical care to those in need who were injured in the conflict. As always, we remember Acts 5:27-29, that “we must obey God rather than men” above all else!
What is commanded in the 5th Commandment?
- Underline: if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink
- Margin: 5C: Care for others
- Underline: forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
- Margin: 5C: Forgive Others
2 Corinthians 7:1
- Underline: let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit
- Margin: 5C: Healthy Living
Rather, in this commandment, we are called to protect life and speak out for those who are not able to protect their own lives. This means taking care of our own bodies and needs, but also providing for the needs and care of those around us, just as the Good Samaritan did in Luke 10.