Archive for October 4th, 2008
Redeemer Church Sunday School
Genesis: Finding Answers to Life’s Crucial Questions
Sunday, October 5, 2008 Genesis 4:1-17 “Murder- A Biblical Study”
Genesis 4:1-17 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten  a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for  you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.  And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.  14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod,  east of Eden.
Introduction: We have been studying this passage for about 4 weeks now, and we have seen a little bit about Eve and her possible attitude towards what she accomplished in giving birth to Cain and we looked at the names of Cain and Abel briefly before we examined the first worship war. Then we started looking at the heart of Cain, his jealousy and anger, the murder and how God confronted him twice. Finally we looked at Cain’s attitude towards getting caught by God and how that was not genuine repentance, and how he was sent away from the presence of the Lord.
Today we change the pace a little bit because I wanted to do a topical study on murder. I think we all too often just move too fast through the Scriptures and sometimes we miss some strong stuff because we are so familiar with it and we fail to dig a little bit deeper.
Cain set a pattern for human behavior that is with us today. I want to look at what the Bible says about murder and about killing in all its facets and then I want to look at the antidote to murder, or, the opposite.
I. The Sixth Commandment- Ex.20:13
Genesis ch. 4 has the first recorded murder, and the second with Lamech. Keeping in mind that this is written by Moses, a murderer himself, Cain killing Abel should point us directly to Exodus 20 and the Ten Commandments where we find in vs. 13, the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” (KJV) or “You shall not murder” in the ESV. Deut.5:17 repeats this commandment 17 “‘You shall not murder.” The first question then would be, “Does it mean kill or does it mean murder?”
Philip Graham Ryken writes (Preaching the Word Series, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory, Crossway Books, 2005, p. 615) “Just about the only commandment everyone still seems to accept is number six. No one approves of murder. It is so contrary to the law of nature that every culture has some sort of prohibition against it….However, when we study the sixth commandment carefully and come to understand its full implications, we find no commandment is more blatantly or brutally violated.”
The Hebrew words in the 6th commandment are lo ratzach and mean do not kill. But there are several words in Hebrew for killing, so what kind of killing is here prohibited? It is not the word used to describe killing in war, executing a criminal, killing in self-defense or in killing an animal. It is used to denote murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide. In other words, it covers the spectrum from premeditated murder, killing someone in an emotional fight, or doing something that is prone to cause to accidents and it results in a death. It is any unjust killing of an otherwise innocent party. Those who would abuse the text and the rest of Scripture by saying the 6th commandment prohibits killing in self-defense, killing the enemy in a just war, or executing a criminal are grossly misinterpreting the text.
The Bible elsewhere commands capital punishment and God commanded Israel to wage total war on the Canaanites. The Bible nowhere forbids self-defense and it is accepted and even condoned in portions of Scripture. None of this makes God inconsistent, although the enemies of Scripture like to try to point to this as an inconsistency.
The unifying factor here, the theological principles that show God to be entirely consistent, are the holy justice of God and the fact that man is created in the image of God but is to live under submission to God.
Because the Bible teaches in Gen. 1:26-27 and 5:1 that man is created in God’s image and likeness we can infer that to unjustly kill someone, to murder, is to violate the image of God and to steal God’s prerogative. In essence then, Cain steals Abel’s life from Abel, steals God’s right over life and death, and violates the principle of Abel being created in the image of God. To murder a person is to assault the image of God, to assault God himself. All sin, though it affects other people, is first and foremost a sin against and an attack on, God. While it would certainly be a sin to kill or hurt an animal without cause, it would not violate the principle of attacking the image of God because animals are not created in God’s image. Only people are. To fully understand and appreciate the idea of being created in the image of God we must also understand the incarnation of Christ. The eternal Son of God took on human flesh; he became man.
To murder would also clearly violate God’s holy justice because as the Sovereign over the whole universe which he created, he determines right from wrong. To murder is to usurp God’s authority as Creator and go against his Law. And even in Gen. 9 God’s speaks against murder. This passage directly links murder with the image of God in man.
Gen.9:5-6 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
II. Capital Punishment
To allow murder to go unpunished is to dishonor God and violate the doctrine of man being created in God’s image. And yet, can you name two great men of God in the Bible who were murderers? Moses and David.
Exodus 21:12-32 12 “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. 13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.
15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.
16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.
17 “Whoever curses  his father or his mother shall be put to death.
18 “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, 19 then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.
20 “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.
22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm,  then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
26 “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.
28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels  of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
Exodus 22:18-20 18 “You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
19 “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.
20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction. 
Lev.20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
**QQ: Why do we not punish crimes like these with capital punishment today? In Puritan New England there were people executed for adultery, beastiality, heresy…should we return to that kind of law?
Deut.19:1-13 “When the Lord your God cuts off the nations whose land the Lord your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, 2 you shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess. 3 You shall measure the distances  and divide into three parts the area of the land that the Lord your God gives you as a possession, so that any manslayer can flee to them.
4 “This is the provision for the manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor unintentionally without having hated him in the past— 5 as when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down a tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he may flee to one of these cities and live, 6 lest the avenger of blood in hot anger pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and strike him fatally, though the man did not deserve to die, since he had not hated his neighbor in the past. 7 Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three cities. 8 And if the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land that he promised to give to your fathers— 9 provided you are careful to keep all this commandment, which I command you today, by loving the Lord your God and by walking ever in his ways—then you shall add three other cities to these three, 10 lest innocent blood be shed in your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you.
11 “But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, 12 then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. 13 Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood  from Israel, so that it may be well with you.
Deut.21:1-9 “If in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess someone is found slain, lying in the open country, and it is not known who killed him, 2 then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure the distance to the surrounding cities. 3 And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke. 4 And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5 Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word every dispute and every assault shall be settled. 6 And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, 7 and they shall testify, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it shed. 8 Accept atonement, O Lord, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned for.’ 9 So you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord.
**QQ: Do you think that America might have some guilt of innocent blood in God’s eyes? In what way should these principles of Scripture have an influence on public policy? Why do so many people object to capital punishment today? Given the large number of convictions that have been overturned by DNA testing, should we reconsider the death penalty? What is the biblical Christian position on capital punishment? When I was in seminary I took a class on Christians and the political process in the fall of 1988 during the presidential campaigns of George HW Bush and Michael Dukakis. In the small class of 10-12 I was the only person who was for upholding the death penalty. Everyone else was opposed to capital punishment.
Romans 13:1-4 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
**QQ: What should be the loving Christian response to murderers? To those who oppose the death penalty?
III. The Biblical View of War
In the Bible it seems that God acknowledges war as a fact of life.
Ecclesiastes 3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Num.33:50-53, 55-56 50 And the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, 51 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places. 53 And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it….55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. 56 And I will do to you as I thought to do to them.”
Deut.7:1-8 7:1 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, 2 and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction.  You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. 3 You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4 for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. 5 But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.
6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Joshua 6:15-21 15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. 17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction.  Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19 But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.
**Several great men of God were warriors like Abraham who rescued his nephew Lot and the king of wicked Sodom in Gen.14. Moses and Joshua, the Judges like Gideon, David and the kings of Judah.
The great difficulty is that God was commanding Israel to wage total war against the Canaanites. People today find that offensive. But God also used the Armies of Assyria and Babylon to judge Israel and Judah, while holding Assyria and Babylon guilty for their excessive cruelty! QQ: What would you say to someone who points to the wars of the OT and blames God or uses the wars as a way to judge God? Why is killing in war not murder? Can a soldier commit murder while waging war? Is it possible for there to be a “Christian Position” on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan today?
QQ: How is the invasion of Canaan by Israel a just war? God was using Israel to punish the Canaanites for their gross immorality, idolatry and child sacrifices. Deut.12:29ff. In Matthew 8 Jesus praises the faith of the Roman Centurion and does not criticize him for his profession. Many OT heroes of the faith were soldiers.
The reason for going to war needs to be just and can therefore be recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: “Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations.”
While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to override the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other. Some theorists such as Brian Orend omit this term, seeing it as fertile ground for exploitation by bellicose regimes.
Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war.
Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.
Probability of success
Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;
Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.
The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.
IV. Self Defense
**QQ: does the Bible say anything about self-defense? Is there a Christian position on self-defense?
Matt.5:38-48 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,  let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,  what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
**Yet the Bible presents some passages that show that self defense is not prohibited- in fact, the Bible assumes self defense throughout. It is only modern day liberal thinking that presumes self defense is wrongheaded.
Esther 8 11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods,
Luke 22:35-38 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
John 18:10-11 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant  and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
**QQ: In what way is the modern argument about the second amendment a concern for the Christian? Is there a Christian position on the right to bear arms? What about the Christian who practices the martial arts? If Jesus allowed his disciples to carry swords, why did he choose to not defend himself? Does Jesus’ practice of non-violence mean that we cannot defend ourselves? When should we “turn the other cheek” and when should draw and fire?
V. Should a Christian Serve in the Armed Forces?
Luke 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
Matt.8:5-13 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant,  ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel  have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
VI. Abortion and Child Sacrifice
**QQ: Is abortion murder? If not, why not and if it is short of murder what is the Christian position on Abortion? If so, what is to be the Christian response to abortion? Why is it wrong to kill abortion doctors? The Incarnation of Christ affirms the sanctity of human life in the womb as does Jer.1:5.
Lev.20:1-5 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, 5 then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.
Ex.21:22-25 22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm,  then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
VII. Deicide- Acts4:10; John 8:44ff; Mark 2:1-6.
In the crucifixion of Christ we have the Jews betraying their own Messiah to the Roman Gentiles, and the Gentiles carrying out the unjust killing. Thus we see that all of us are represented in this crime of deicide. Here, Satan uses us to accomplish his long lost goal of removing God from the throne and placing himself in God’s place. Man kills his only hope for salvation from this fallen, broken world. In Mel Gibson’s wonderful/horrible 2006 movie “The Passion” he had himself holding the hammer that drove the nails into the hands of Christ. Every time I sin, I believe it is as if I were hammering the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet. My sin is ultimately an attack upon the deity, the holiness, the sovereignty, the very existence of God.
Mark 3:1-6 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus,  to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
John 8 39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
Acts 2:22-24 22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
Ray Boltz’s 1989 song, “The Hammer”
I was in the crowd the day that Jesus died
And as He hung upon that cross His mother cried
I saw the crown of thorns He wore
The stripes on His back
The water and the blood ran out
And then the sky turned black
My mind was filled with anger
My heart filled with shame
This man brought only healing
Well who could bring Him pain
Why does it seem the strong
They always victimize the weak
And suddenly I found myself
Standing to my feet
And I cried
Who nailed Him there
This Child of peace and mercy
Who nailed Him there
Come and face me like a man
Who nailed Him there
And the crowd began to mock me
I cried Oh my God I just don’t understand
Then I turned and saw the hammer
In my hand!
I am just a Roman soldier
An ordinary man
I love my wife and children
I do the best I can
But how could I have killed Him
There must be someone else
I got to find an answer
I can’t blame myself
I nailed Him there
This Child of peace and mercy
I nailed Him there
I am the guilty man
I nailed Him there
With my sins and my transgressions
I cried Oh my God now I understand
When I turned and saw that hammer…
In my hand!
VIII. The Great Commandment- Mark 12:29ff; Matt 5:21ff; 1John 3:15
So many people only look at the 10 Commandments as a list of DON”TS. They also have positive implications. Even in the OT Law there is a positive side to the 6th Commandment.
Matt.5:21-26 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother  will be liable to judgment; whoever insults  his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell  of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. 
Matt.7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Mark 12:28-33 28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Lev.19:17-18, 33-34 17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord…33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 Cor.13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,  but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1John 3:11-15 11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,  that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
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