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.
7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Why does it matter if we kill someone?
The secular view—we are products of chance or lucky animals—is terribly inconsistent with human beings having inherent value. In direct opposition, the Bible teaches that we are made in the image of God. This means every human being has value regardless of their mental, physical, or social state. Therefore it matters if we kill someone because we are ending the life of something made after God’s likeness. God says in Genesis 9:5-7 that He will require our life as payment if we kill someone unjustly.
To kill or not to kill?
Is it ever justifiable for the government to kill? Sometimes (Romans 13:1-4). What about a soldier or police officer? Sometimes (Romans 13:1-4; Luke 3:14). Is it ever justifiable to kill in self-defense? Sometimes (Exodus 22:22-23). What about abortion? Although some of the before mentioned issues have grey areas, abortion does not. Biblically, scientifically, and rationally, abortion is murder. We are not meant to murder; rather, we are meant to love—love God and love those made in His image. Those who have murdered have blood on their hands and what they are owed is death. However, the bloodguilt on the hands of every murderer is, I dare say, on all of us. Jesus clarifies in Matthew 5:21-22 that if we are even angry at or insult our brother that we are liable to the same judgement.
How can we do what we should—namely, love?
First, in order to love like we should, we need to have our bloodguilt removed—the guilt that is on all of us for murdering with our hands or hearts (see Genesis 9:5-7 and Matthew 5:21-22). Thankfully “in [Jesus] we have redemption through His blood” (Ephesians 1:7). We owe our blood to God yet the gospel says that on the cross Jesus stepped in and spilled His in our place. Second, in order to do what we should, we need to have a deep, life-changing motivation to love. You are only going to love like you should to the degree that the bloodguilt-freeing, self-sacrificial, unmerited-love of Jesus is your treasure and focus. Murder says, “your life for mine.” Jesus says, “My life for yours.” Is He your treasure and focus? If so, you are forgiven and will begin to love God and others like you should.
1. Read through Genesis 9:5-7 and discuss what stands out to you.
2. The Bible gives us the only concrete reason for human beings having inherent worth—we are created in the image of God. What reasons do people have to believe human life has worth, if they deny the Bible’s truth? How can the world’s insistence of human beings having worth actually help reveal the Bible’s trustworthiness?
3. Concerning the issue of killing, which of these four areas most stand out to you and why? 1) Government. 2) Soldiers & Law-Enforcement. 3) Self-Defense. 4) Abortion.
4. What does Jesus mean in Matthew 5:21-22 when He says,
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 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”?
5. How can we do what we should—love? What are the two ways pastor Brett pointed out in Sunday’ sermon?
6. What can we do to help the weak and vulnerable (those who are being unjustly killed), to bring justice to those who are oppressed? What are you going to do?
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