LifeOctober 22, 2023 | Kirt Wiggins
The sermon discusses how the 6th commandment against murder applies not just to killing but also to attitudes and words. It explains Jesus fulfilled the commandment perfectly and offers forgiveness to all who have broken it by turning to him in repentance. The sermon encourages believers to reconcile with others and speak words of life instead of death.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Well, it’s good to be together. Thank you. I was remarking to Kyle and Brandon, the last time I was here was years ago, I did a wedding here. And this was long before you had your audition and all the improvements. So it looks wonderful. And so you guys, just such a light for the gospel in this community, and so encouraged to be with you. And also just want to say thank you for your partnership with Caring Network. I told Tracy Kerr, some of you may know Tracy, she heads up like the baby bottles when we do those. And some of you may have anyhow, she’s like, Oh, you’re going to Cityview I love Cityview. And, and so you have a reputation of being a church that stands for life. And really, I’m grateful for that. So thank you for your partnership, and just being in it together. Well, it’s a privilege to be able to open the Bible with you. So if you would open to Exodus 20. And we’re in the middle of the 10 commandments, looking at the 10 words that God gave to His people, after he delivered them from slavery in Egypt. And so what I’d like to do is read the entire list because the one that I’m looking at the sixth commandment today is only four words. And so we’re gonna, we’re gonna just gonna listen and hear all 10 commandments. And I hope this is okay. But can we just stand as we read God’s word, I just want to want you to hear these commandments, and then they will respond. Exodus 20. And God spoke all these words, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, You shall have no other gods before me. You should not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on earth below, beneath, or in the waters below. You should not bow down to them or worship them for I the LORD your God and Majelis God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me. But showing love to 1000 generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments. You should not miss us the name of the Lord your God for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work neither you nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant, or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien in your gates For in six days, the Lord made the heavens in the earth, and the sea and all that’s in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. honoring your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord is giving you, you should not murder, you should not commit adultery, you should not steal, you shall not give false testimony against your neighbor, and you shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his manservant or maidservant, his ox, donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor, the word of the Lord, please be seated. All right, pop quiz. Were these commandments given to be obeyed in order to be accepted by God? Or were they given in response to God already accepting them and to be lived out in response to him? All right. Well, if you look at the beginning of this text, verse one and two of Exodus 20, it says, And God spoke all these words, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt out of the land of slavery. See, God saves them. God delivers them. He rescues them from bondage in Egypt. And then they come out and then he meets with Moses up on Mount Sinai and he, he gives his law to them. He says, This is how I now want you to live as my people I’ve, I’ve set you apart, I’ve called you to be my own. And so we live in response to God’s rescuing work in our lives. That’s what we see here. And that’s what continues to this day. I like to think of these as the 10 commandments as guard rails and gold goalposts right guard rails, if you’re on a row that’s going through a mountain pass, it’s a steep cliff and you’re going around, it’s got guardrails, thankfully so you don’t go over the edge, you can stay on the road. You know, as followers of Jesus, we follow the narrow road. And so these are guardrails to keep us on the road. But also goalposts, right? You’ve seen maybe YouTube of somebody that’s gone to the wrong goal by accident and scores for the opposing team. Right? You don’t want to do that. You want to keep going in the direction that you’re supposed to be going. And so these set the course for the direction In that way to go and so guardrails and goalposts they protect and they direct. And so this is true for all the 10 commandments, but in particular, we’re looking at the sixth commandment, verse 13. And in order to obey the sixth commandment, we have to answer four questions. And so that’s what we’re going to do this morning. First, what is the sixth commandment saying, second, why is the commandment important? What does it have to do with us? And then what can we do about it? All right. And so just to let you know ahead of time, we’re gonna look at a number of passages, a lot of Scripture today. And so just want you to be aware of that, before we jump in. So let’s look at these four questions in order to understand and then to be able to obey this commandment, what is the sixth commandment saying, well, verse 13, says, You shall not murder and the original language and Hebrew, this commandment is simply two words, no killing. Alright, that’s what it says in the original. But what kind of killing is in mind exactly right. The Hebrew language has eight different words for killing. The word used here is never used for military or legal killing. That’s not what’s in mind, nor hunting or killing of animals. So when the King James Version says, Thou shalt not kill, it’s a bit too vague. Right? So the NIV, the ESV are closer to the original meaning when it says You shall not murder. But still, the word murder can be a bit imprecise because it can miss some of the meanings. So the Hebrew word used here, it’s actually rot sack, as the original word used includes any wrongful death of any human life. So what’s the commandment saying, well, the sixth commandment prohibits the unjust killing of a human being. That’s what it means applies to murder and cold-blooded manslaughter out of passionate rage, negligent homicide resulting from recklessness or carelessness. And so we can violate this commandment in four different ways. First of all, murder. Seems like every day in the city of Chicago, we hear about another person being murdered in 2022. There were 695 murders in the city of Chicago. And you know this that Chicago ranks first as the most violent city in the United States. across our nation, we’re all too familiar with school shootings right? Earlier this year. Maybe you remember the covenant school in Nashville, Tennessee, where a former student came in and with a gun killed three students and three teachers just horrendous. It’s become way too common that we hear stories like this. We live in a culture of death as one person has called it. Yet the reality is by the age of 18, the average American child has seen 40,000 murders depicted on movies, TVs, video games, we pay to go watch horror movies that depict some of the most horrendous violence and murder imaginable. It’s just become so routine that we we almost expect to hear about it. Murder is one of the ways we violate this. The second is euthanasia. in Waterford Township in Michigan, there’s a street called Polson Street. However, the locals call it the road of death. Because there’s a man by the name of Jack Kevorkian, who used to live on that street. He was known as Dr. Death. Maybe some of you remember he was a pathologist, and he helped 130 people take their own lives. He was convicted of murder, and he served time in prison. Although Kevorkian died in 2011, the euthanasia research organization considers him a martyr for their cause for a person’s right to choose when they want to die. Since then, Canada has legalized euthanasia. They’ve established made ma ID medical assistance in dying. And it’s now available for anyone who meets specific criterion that you would qualify for, and it’s a gross violation of God’s law. The third way we violate this commandment is suicide, suicides the wrongful taking of one’s own life. Over the past 10 years, the suicide rate has risen by 16% in our country, and among teenagers is now the second leading cause of death and committing suicide perhaps more than any other act. We defiantly say, I am the captain of my own Soul, the master of my own fate. Suicide and Euthanasia are gross violations of God’s law. The fourth way we violate this commandment is abortion. If suicide is an epidemic abortion is a national disgrace greater than the Nazi holocaust. Since abortions became legalized in 1973, until Roe vs. Wade Wade was overturned last summer in June, there were 64 million abortions in the United States. And now post roe. You know, on the other side of the Dobbs decision, we Illinois is surrounded by states that have laws protecting and prohibiting abortion. But Illinois has the most permissive abortion laws in the Midwest if and if not in the United States. And so, the estimate is that 69% More women have had abortions in Illinois since
Dobbs was overturned, that means about 80,000 abortions, are babies being killed per year in Illinois, because women are coming here to have abortions. Now. Some of you hearing this may have had an abortion, or know somebody who is facing an unexpected pregnancy. That’s why I left pastoring at Pathway to go and serve at Caring Network to come alongside women who are facing an unexpected pregnancy and to let them know that there’s love and compassion and support to be found. And to help them understand the different options that are available and to equip them to choose life, both physical life for the baby in spiritual life for her and the Father. And so we are committed to that work, we’re also committed to helping women that have had abortions to be able to help them find hope and help to find forgiveness and freedom in Jesus Christ. And we get this to hear stories of this all the time. But these these are violations of God’s commandment to not murder when to not kill others. And so we want to understand what this is saying exactly this commandment prohibits the unjust killing of another human being. Set. Second, why is this commandment important? Right? Why? Why is it here? Well, the Bible gives two examples where it’s not only permitted, but warranted to take the life of another. One such situation is self defense, the protection of oneself and family from violent attack. That’s why in Exodus 21, next chapter over verses 12, and 13, it says anyone who strikes a man and kills them shall surely be put to death. However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place that I will designate. And that’s why in the Old Testament, they had these things called the Cities of Refuge, they were established. So if you were being attacked, and you defended yourself, and in the process, that person died, then you could go to the city of refuge. And there you could make your case to the elders of the city, and then they could make a decision about your situation. Self defense, it also extends to just war. Some think that all killing is wrong. However, the Bible teaches that it is not unlawful to kill an enemy in wartime provided that that war is just get the the justice of the ward needs. The war needs to be considered very carefully. Dr. Philip Reich, and he’s the president at Wheaton College, he said this, Christians have long believed that a war is just only when it’s waged by legitimate government for a worthy cause, with force proportional to the attack against soldiers, not civilians, when all other means of resolution have failed. Just a couple of weeks ago, we heard about the horrendous terrorist attack of Hamas, against Israel. And since then, things that have come out have just been, I’ve just horrific. And so in response to that, then Israel declared war against Palestine because of those terrorist attacks. But before they start going into Palestine and start waging war, they told them, we’re going to come in and we’re going to start bombing and so you need to leave. We don’t want you to be killed, the civilians were trying to respond to Hamas. And so they told them, we’re coming. But that’s a just war, because they’re retaliating the terrorist attacks and trying to put it into that and we need to pray for peace not just for Israel, but for Palestine. And may the Lord intervene and bring even the Palestinians and the Israelis to, to salvation. Another situation where killing is lawful as capital punishment, it’s the execution the execution of the death sentence. It’s never right for us to take the law into our own hands into to say I’m gonna bring about justice and I’m gonna kill them. But the Bible does make a distinction between the private individual and the state. Capital punishment, when justly administered by the governing authorities is, is one is a lawful form of killing. This is taught not just in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament. Listen to Romans 13. Four it says, For he, meaning the government authority that God has put in place, for He is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. See, although it’s always wrong for us individually to avenge an injustice against us, the government has been given authority by God to uphold and administer justice, and that includes the death penalty. But still, the question remains why Why does God permit certain forms of killing? Well, the answer is, in order to preserve life, sometimes it’s necessary to take a life. This is true in self defense, if an armed gunman comes into your home and starts to attack you and your family and is going to kill them, that it’s appropriate to defend yourself and your family for the greater good. There’s also true on a larger scale, and just war on army some sometimes has to protect the greater good of the whole nation by taking some lives. And this is also true and capital punishment. And capital punishment. By taking the person that has committed the murder, serves as a deterrent, for other would be murderers from doing the same thing. This way, in Genesis nine, six, it says, Whoever sheds the blood of a man by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God has God made man. That’s interesting. Right after that it says, to know, it says to know in verse seven, Noah Be fruitful and multiply. I think that’s interesting. I don’t know if you catch that. But he’s saying essentially don’t take life, Noah, but make life and create life. And so the first reason for the sixth commandment is because all human beings are made in the image of God we are image bearers made in His image. Last year, I took carrying network staff to a outing, because we need sometimes we go and just as a staff tried to do team building things. And so we went to a place in Glen Ellyn, where you can actually paint paintings, the thought, well, that’d be a fun thing for our staff. And so we go in, and we already are set up to to meet there and they have on display vase with flowers in it. And so then we all get our own station where we’re going to paint and they instruct us on how to do that. And we get our get set up, ready to go. And then they say, Okay, have at it. They taught us a few things, but basically just good luck. And it was fun to see different paintings. I thought mine was quite good. Actually, I was gonna bring it but I decided not to. But that at the end of that you know what I did? At the bottom right, I put k w. Kurt Wiggins, my initials, because I wanted people to know that I was the one that created that. You know, God’s signature, God’s fingerprints are all over creation. In fact, Romans one talks about how his eternal power and His divine nature is evident, it’s evident to all humanity, that He is the Creator of life. That’s especially true of human beings. Because human beings are unique from all other creation that were made in the image of God, that were his image bearers to reflect Him and that we have each of us a soul that were created for eternity with Him. And He doesn’t have to like put his initials in the corner of our, our neighborhood or in the corner of a tree because it’s evident, it’s self evident that a complex design shows there’s a creator behind it, and that’s especially true for you and for me, that were made in His likeness. But when someone takes the life of another human being unjustly, in order to preserve and uphold the sanctity of all human life, it may be necessary and appropriate to administer justice for the protection of all life. The other reason why murder is wrong is because when a person murders they play God. For Samuel to six says this, The Lord brings death and the Lord makes alive God alone is sovereign over life and death. He’s numbered our days. Scripture says, he’s decided, sometimes even through governing authorities when life begins and when life ends. But when we think we can decide when life is to begin are in we you serve God’s authority, and we play God. And so why, why is this commandment here? Why is the sixth commandment important? Because when we obey the sixth commandment, we preserve the sanctity of human life, and we promote the sovereignty of God over life and death.
Now, my guess is, at this point, many of you’re sitting here thinking, well, this doesn’t directly apply to me, or I’m not quite sure how this relates. So how does this commandment relate to us? Well, like the rest of the city, the God’s commands, the sixth commandment is a lot harder to keep than it may seem at first, right? That’s because most of us don’t think of ourselves as murderers. Right? If we’re gonna say, all murderers, raise your hand, I’m guessing not many, or maybe none would do that. Let’s see, Jesus helps us see how the sixth commandment applies not just to our outward actions, but to our attitude and to our words. Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew chapter five, verses 21 and 22. You’ve heard that it was said that people long ago Do not murder. We just looked at that. And anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, Jesus says that anyone who’s angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And again, anyone who says to his brother Raka, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says you fool will be in danger of the fire of hell. obedience to God, including the sixth commandment always starts in our heart. And then leads to our mouth, and it ends up in our hands. And so Jesus is going to the heart of the matter in the Sermon on the Mount. And so maybe you’re sitting here and just because you haven’t murdered someone with your hands doesn’t mean you’re not guilty of violating this commandment. Maybe you’ve murdered them in your heart or with your words. We kill people all the time with our contempt, with our malice, with hostility, with gossip, with slander, we destroy people with our words and with our attitudes. We do this when we hold a grudge. We do this when we cancel people. We treat them as if they’re dead to us. Proverbs 1821 says the tongue has the power of life, and death. The tongue James three nine says with the tongue we praise our Lord and Father. And with it we curse men who have been made in the likeness of God. Can I just ask you to do a self evaluation right now? Do you kill others with your words and your attitude? Let me just let me help us out because I’m in this with you. Do you ever say hurtful words about others? To them or to others about them? Have you ever wished someone harm or misfortune? Have you ever hated someone canceled them because you want nothing more to do with them? Have you ever driven away from a business meeting or from your spouse and just said, Man, I’d like to kill them? Do you want to make someone pay for what they’ve done to you and get what they deserve? Do you ever get so angry you’re out of control? You ever been so frustrated or angry with someone you call them a total idiot to their face or maybe not to their face but you think it I mean that’s what raka means It means empty headed idiot and full. It’s a total disregard for them as being made in the image of God. When we realize that murder starts in our heart hurts, and then comes out of our mouth, and then shows up in our hands. We’re all guilty of it, aren’t we? Let me just say why this is such a serious problem, because the Bible explicitly says that murderers will be excluded from the kingdom of God. Galatians 520. And 21 says that anyone who is guilty of hatred, of discord, of fits of rage of envy will not inherit the kingdom of God. And so if we commit murder, even in our hearts where it starts, then we deserve to go to hell.
Man, you’re like this is heavy. So what can we do about it? what hope is there? Well, the Bible says that Jesus, the Son of God, listen to this from Isaiah 53. It’s beautiful in Isaiah 53. Seven, that He was oppressed and afflicted, although he doesn’t know violence. He goes on to say that he’s like a lamb led to slaughter, he opened not his mouth and was silent. In other words, Jesus was peaceful even when violence was being done against him. He was provoked, and he never responded to it. He kept the sixth commandment listen to this perfectly, not just outwardly, but even in his in his heart. And the words that He spoke perfectly. And then when Jesus was on trial, and he was being falsely accused, the crowd demanded, you know, Pilate says, Hey, I’m washing my hands. I want nothing to do with this and the crowd just as they start chanting, right? You remember the story? You know? Who should I release to you? They’re hoping they say Jesus, but no, they say release Barabbas. Right. Remember BRABUS Barabbas was a murderer or he was truly a convicted murderer. And yet they want Jesus to be crucified. And so Jesus was put on a cross the perfect, innocent lamb of God. And when Jesus was dying on the cross, He willingly gave his life in, in place of the murderers that put him there. And we know this because Luke 2334 says he offered forgiveness to the very people who murdered him. After that, Jesus rose from the dead and he ascends into heaven and Acts chapter two, it’s the day of Pentecost, right? And so, people from all over the world had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost and, and they’re there and the Holy Spirit’s just been poured out in power. I mean, that’s why Jesus ascended back to his father. So the the Spirit of God can be poured out and Peter’s preaching man, I wish I could have been there and heard that sermon, right. And he’s preaching Men of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs which God did among you through him. As you yourself know, I mean, you saw them, when you with the help of wicked men put Him to death, by nailing him to the cross. But God raised Him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it’s impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this. God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. And when the people realize what they’ve done, they desperately wanted to know what can we do about it? Like what what’s the recourse? And Peter replied, Repent, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. And man, they repented that day and a couple 1000 were added to the church. There’s a way for murderers to be forgiven. The very death they were guilty of demanding was the death that atoned for their sin. And for all of us here, who’ve broken the sixth commandment, in our actions, and in our words, and in our hearts and minds. There’s hope for us at the cross of Jesus Christ to repent and receive the forgiveness that only Jesus can give you. Turn to Him today and find forgiveness and freedom. Turn from your murderous sins and turn to Jesus. Listen, we do this for the very first time when we come to know Jesus Christ, that’s called salvation. But we continue to do this each time we find that we’ve sinned in our words and our actions and we repent and we turn back to Jesus and we receive His forgiveness again, and again. And again. Thank you, Jesus for your forgiveness. So what can we do about it? Well, if you’re if you’re guilty of speaking or thinking or acting, then then repent and turn to Jesus today in crowd for forgiveness. But the second thing is to go and be reconciled. It’s interesting in the Sermon on the Mount, immediately following Jesus is saying, Well, you know, you know the sixth commandment, it says, not to murder and then we just looked at that, right after that verse 23, and 24. Jesus redefines, after redefines what murder is, he instructs them and us he says, Therefore, if you’re offering your gift at the altar, and there remember, your brother has something against you, leave your gift in front of the altar, first go and be reconciled your brother then come and offer your gift. He’s saying, like, hey, you know, weed said, it’s, it’s this, you know, what you say is also murder and how you treat with your attitude is also qualified as murder. And so if you’re like, you know, getting ready to go give your gift, and you wait a sec, I said that thing to that person, right? I, the way I spoke or that attitude I had, I better go take care of that before I give my gift. Now, just a few weeks ago, I was having my devotions in the morning, and Lord brought to mind something that I had said to someone at work. And I was impatient. And I said, some things that were, you know, out of my impatience, I was, you know, a little harsh with this person. And so, you know, the Lord the way he always does, you know, I’m sitting there, and he reminds me of that. It’s like the Holy Spirit and like, Okay, you got to take care of this. And so I had to go into work that day. And I went to that person. I said, Listen, you know, the other day when I was speaking to you, I was impatient. And when I spoke that to you, I was harsh. And I said some things that were not kind, would you please forgive me? You know what, she was so glad to forgive me. But I had to be reconciled to her because of the words that I spoke were hurtful words. I wasn’t proud of that. But the Lord by His grace allowed me to be reconciled. See, if you’ve spoken to somebody with hurtful words, if you have an attitude, that’s a killer attitude. Go and be reconciled today. Go, don’t delay, and be reconciled. And tell them I was wrong. What I said to you, I was wrong. Would you forgive me? I hurt you when I called you an idiot, or when I treat you that way? Or my attitude? I mean, and this happens in marriage, doesn’t it? Like go be reconcile? And then here’s the third thing, speak words of life, and not words of death. early in our marriage, my wife Jennifer gave me a new Bible. And inside it, she wrote something and I just thought, I’d like to read it to you. So you can hear what she wrote. Says, Kurt, you’re my favorite spiritual giant. And a true Timothy. This Bible is for helping to continue your growth in the knowledge of God. It’s also the best gift I could think of for someone I love so much, Jen. Can I just tell you that those those words are life giving words? You know what it’s like when somebody says words of life to you, and it’s me I can just sit in half for a while. We’re just speak words of life, not words, of death. Our Words have the power. The Bible says this The power of life and death in our tongue. The reason Jesus had to ascend to heaven is so he could send the Holy Spirit and all who received Jesus by faith, received the gift of the Holy Spirit as a seal and also has the power to live this out. You’re not on your own in this the Lord has for us in this and he says, Here’s my helper, the Spirit to empower and equip you and and to remind you, when you get off the road, you know, you break through the guardrail. He’s like, Hey, you gotta get back on the road here. And he helps us so now we live out the law of Christ, the law of loving God and loving others. This includes not murdering murdering others with our attitude with our words with our actions, and preserving and promoting life and one of the ways we do it is through the words we speak. And just as our words can kill, they bring life. And so this is especially the case with the gospel. As we speak the words of the gospel to other people in the Lord uses that to bring eternal life. So my prayer is I’ve been preparing to come and to speak here is that God would empower this church through the Holy Spirit, to continue to promote the sanctity of life and, and to proclaim that God is sovereign over life and death, but also to be a church that speaks words of life, life, giving words to one another, and life giving words to the community around us, so that Jesus will be on display and will honor and glorify Him through that.
May that be true of this church, to God’s glory. Let’s pray oh, Lord, thank you for your your kindness and your mercy. Lord, thank You for For while we were yet sinners, you died for us murders. Thank you for making a way for us to be forgiven and reconciled and I pray today that would be true for each one here. And I pray Lord, that then you would help us as as your people and specifically help Cityview to be a church that continues to proclaim and promote life and also to do that through the words they speak in the life giving words they communicate to one another, that you might be on display and glorified through this church, Lord, so thank you for Cityview may you bless them, and may your face shine upon them. Lord, thank You for their goodness here in your name, amen.