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The Ten Commandments 06 - Love & Protect My Neighbor

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Reading: Matt 5:21-24; 43-48 / HC Q&A 105-107 p. 53

“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13 (NIV)

I.   Don’t murder in Any way

     A.  Don’t take someone’s Life

           1.  Don’t kill on purpose

                 a.  We see hear and read of murder daily

                 b.  Killing is wrong because people are made in the image of God.

                 c.  No vigilantism, euthanasia, abortion

                 d.  But medical decisions to not prolong death by removing artificial support OK

           2.  Don’t kill through negligence

                 a.  When someone under our care dies because we don’t care well.

                 b.  When we know that something may be a danger to others but we do nothing

           3.  Don’t kill by neglect

                 a.  When we just don’t care enough to act

                 b.  When we can save a life but don’t

     B.  Don’t ruin someone’s Health

           1.  Don’t permanently injure someone.

                 a.  Not only stopping all life is murder, permanent injury is also a kind of killing

                 b.  To partly kill someone, or kill a part of someone violates this commandment

                 c.  Not even by negligence or neglect.

           2.  Poorly given medical help.

                 a.  Do no harm!

                 b.  Both traditional and non-traditional treatments can permanently harm

                 c.  Don’t fail to give appropriate treatment

           3.  Exposing people to disease.

                 a.  We can kill purposefully using disease.

                 b.  If you’re sick, stay away from those who are vulnerable.

     C.  Don’t destroy someone’s Identity

           1.  Through systematic psychological abuse

                 a.  To kill a someone’s personhood

                 b.  Outbursts of anger (Matt.5:22).

                 c.  Treating people as if they only exist to serve you–and have no other existence

           2.  Through name calling & ridicule.

                 a.  Jesus warns against this in our passage

                 b.  One of the mechanisms of killing is naming a person something detestable

                 c.  Name calling equally violates this command according to Jesus

           3.  By ignoring them as fellow image bearers

                 a.  An effective way to hurt someone’s sense of self, is to ignore them

                 b.  When we ignore the image of God in people, we consider them dead.

II.  Love our Neighbor

     A.  Work for what Benefits others

           1.  For what enhances the quality of life.

                 a.  Lift up those who are downtrodden

                 b.  Love is: seek good for someone

                 c.  Our nearest neighbor is ourself.

           2.  For what contributes to physical health

                 a.  Good food, health care, fitness

                 b.  The environment, shelter, clothing

           3.  Affirm the image of God in people

                 a.  Notice and affirm God’s image.

                 b.  It doesn’t “spoil” kids to do this!

                 c.  Affirm those we love (self-too!)

     B.  Work to Protect others

           1.  Decrease how others are exposed to risk

                 a.  Drive safely, sensibly and soberly!

                 b.  Think safety at home, work, play.

                 c.  Keep dangerous things away from kids!

           2.  Warn those who don’t see/know danger

                 a.  Children, young people, the unwary.

                 b.  Those who are distracted.

                 c.  Those who are foolish.

           3.  Intervene when appropriate

                 a.  Get in between danger and a person.

                 b.  Stop them from dangerous actions.

                 c.  Stop one person from hurting another.

     C.  Reconcile Conflict in a healthy way

           1.  “If someone has something against you

                 a.  Part of obeying the 6th commandment

                 b.  If you wronged someone, reconcile!

                 c.  Fellowship is more important to God than religion alone.

           2.  Ask for/offer forgiveness

                 a.  When we have hurt others, ask for it.

                 b.  Ask God for forgiveness too! (They’re His people!)

                 c.  When we have been hurt, offer it.

III. Love our Enemies

     A.  Do good to those who do you Wrong

           1.  It’s easy to be good to good people!

                 a.  But be polite too – even to family!

                 b.  We don’t need spiritual maturity for that

           2.  Overcome evil with good (Rom.12:21)

“17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . 19 Do not take revenge. . . 21 Don’t be overcome by evil but. . .”

           3.  Even our enemies are in God’s Image

                 a.  Enemies are still in God’s image.

                 b.  Out of love for God, we respect that!

     B.  Pray for those who Hurt you

           1.  Pray for their good.

                 a.  Pray for our enemies

                 b.  Jesus did: “Father forgive them . . .”

                 c.  How? “Ben’s Father in heaven , hallowed be your name in Ben. . .”

           2.  Don’t pray so they’ll continue to hurt you!

                 a.  Don’t pray for strength for them to sin!

                 b.  Don’t pray that they won’t get caught!

           3.  Pray that they will not hurt anyone

                 a.  That they’ll no longer want to hurt

                 b.  That they will see God’s image in you

                 c.  That they would find God’s love, which would make hurting impossible.

     C.  Forgive as you are Forgiven

           1.  God has forgiven more in us than we can ever forgive in others.

                 a.  “Forgive us our debts as we forgive . . .”

                 b.  We have sinned against the Holy one, our enemies only against sinful ones.

           2.  Forgive doesn’t mean forget or start over.

                 a.  Forgive doesn’t mean be foolish

                 b.  It doesn’t mean allow yourself to be hurt by them again.

                 c.  Forgiveness doesn’t reestablish trust.

           3.  Forgive means release from debt.

                 a.  It means we let go of revenge

                 b.  It means we let go of hurt.

                 a.  It means we trust God’s justice.

The Bottom Line:

We will love and protect our Neighbors, our Enemies and Ourselves.

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace vv1,3


Notes:

Heidelberg Catechism

Q&A 105

What is God’s will for you in the sixth commandment?

I am not to belittle, insult, hate, or kill my neighbor— not by my thoughts, my words, my look or gesture, and certainly not by actual deeds— and I am not to be party to this in others; 1 rather, I am to put away all desire for revenge. 2

I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself either.3

Prevention of murder is also why government is armed with the sword. 4

1 Gen. 9:6; Lev. 19:17-18; Matt. 5:21-22; 26:52

2 Prov. 25:21-22; Matt. 18:35; Rom. 12:19; Eph. 4:26

3 Matt. 4:7; 26:52; Rom. 13:11-14

4 Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:14; Rom. 13:4

Q&A 106

Does this commandment refer only to killing?

By forbidding murder God teaches us that he hates the root of murder: envy, hatred, anger, vindictiveness.1

In God’s sight all such are murder.2

1 Prov. 14:30; Rom. 1:29; 12:19; Gal. 5:19-21; 1John 2:9-11

2 1John 3:15

Q&A 107

Is it enough then that we do not kill our neighbor in any such way?

No.

By condemning envy, hatred, and anger God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves,1 to be patient, peace-loving, gentle, merciful, and friendly to them,2 to protect them from harm as much as we can, and to do good even to our enemies.3

1 Matt. 7:12; 22:39; Rom. 12:10

2 Matt. 5:3-12; Luke 6:36; Rom. 12:10, 18; Gal. 6:1-2; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 1Pet. 3:81Pet. 3:8

3 Ex. 23:4-5; Matt. 5:44-45; Rom. 12:20-21 (Prov. 25:21-22)

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