A Matter of Life and Death (5 of 7) by Kerry Shook

This content is part of a series.

A Matter of Life and Death (5 of 7)
Series: Unshakable – 10 Truths for a Rock-Solid Life
Pastor Kerry Shook

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• Exodus 20:13 (NIV)

• It’s not prohibiting killing animals for food

• Genesis 9:3 (NIV)

• It’s not prohibiting capital punishment

• Leviticus 24:17 (NIV)

• It’s not prohibiting going to war when necessary

• Ecclesiastes 3:8b (NIV)

• Deuteronomy 30:15-19 (NIV)


• Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)

• Psalm 32:5 (NIV)


• Matthew 5:21-22 (MSG)

• Colossians 3:13 (NIV)


Well, we're in a series on the Ten Commandments because God gave us ten truths upon which we can build unshakable lives, families, relationships and societies. So we're on the Sixth Commandment. It's in Exodus 23:13. You shall not murder. Now some of you are probably thinking: Kerry, I can skip that one because I haven't murdered anyone lately, but we live in a very violent society. Every 37 minutes in America someone is shot, stabbed or beaten to death. By the time the average young person in America reaches 18 years of age, they will have seen over 200,000 acts of violence on television, not including the hundreds of thousands of acts of violence that they will have seen on video games and in the movies. We're becoming desensitized to the value of human life.

Now when it comes to the Sixth Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill, you would think that that's pretty straight forward, but it's probably the most misunderstood, misapplied and misinterpreted of all the Ten Commandments. So first I want us to look at what it doesn't mean.

First, it's not prohibiting killing animals for food. The Bible is very clear about the difference between human life and animal life. In Genesis 9:3 God said:

“Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you green plants, I now give you everything.”

So, the Bible doesn't command you to be a vegetarian unless you want to be. Now there are a lot of guidelines in scripture on a healthy diet, and cruelty to animals is definitely forbidden, but it's okay to eat animals for meat.

And this commandment is not prohibiting capital punishment. Many times in scripture God commands capital punishment. There are some crimes that deserve the death penalty. God said in Leviticus 24:17:

“If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death.”

To maintain order in society, God has delegated some authority to governments to set up and to maintain law and order and to punish wrong doers so justice can be done because God wants justice in our societies. Now, God forgives every sin. If a murderer comes to God and asks for forgiveness, God forgives.
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