“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13 NIV84)

In explanation of this commandment Martin Luther says, “We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need.”

I laugh to myself at times when I hear someone say, “I am a pretty good person; I’ve never killed anyone, you know!” It is probably a correct statement for the majority of human beings on the planet. Most of us have not taken someone’s life. But if we are seeking to justify ourselves before God or even another human being with this fact, it just won’t work. Jesus personalized and internalized this commandment when He said, “If you hate your brother you have already committed murder.” Who of us can stand up to such finger-pointing to the chest? Jesus’ words don’t simply address the outward workings of our lives; His words deal directly with the internal intent of our hearts. He pokes where we think we are alone. He pokes where we think no one else can see. But God can see, and He does see the thoughts and the intentions of our hearts.

This is why the Psalmist says, “Lord, if You kept a record of sin, who could stand?” None of us could stand under the weight of the law. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; even if the command is as weighty as murder. We Christians need to always be mindful of the price Jesus paid for the redemption of our souls. In gratitude and with a reborn heart we need to work to love our neighbor as we ought. We need to put to death the mind of the sinful man in us, and through meditating on the Word of God we can breathe life into the new man in each of us. We need to strive to do everything we can to help our fellow man. Because Jesus reached out to us we should be compelled to reach out to those around us, even the least of us.

As Saints in the kingdom of God, may we strive to do good to one another.


Pastor Tom


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