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“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13

Every human life is a creation of God, and every human life is precious to God. Why? Because God created man in His own image and Jesus Christ died for all people (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7,21-22; 9:5-6; Psalm 139:13-16; 1 John 2:1,2; 2 Corinthians 5:15).

Except in cases of punishing evildoers and waging just wars to protect life and property, God has reserved for Himself the right to end or destroy any human life (Genesis 9:5-6; Romans 13:1-4; 1 Peter 2:14; Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Psalm 31:15; 39:4-5; 90:1-3; Job 14:1-12; Acts 17:24-28). The Bible teaches that the practice of euthanasia, abortion, self inflicted death (suicide) and all other unjustified taking of human life is murder and sin.

Most feel they have kept this commandment of the LORD, as long as they have not actually killed or murdered another human being. However, as we see from the Scriptures, this commandment is far more reaching than the act of murder itself.

Exodus 21:29 and Deuteronomy 22:8 expand this commandment to manslaughter, or the taking of human life through carelessness or negligence.

Jesus, in His sermon on the mount, says: “Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22). The Apostle John also writes: “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).

Perhaps we have not actually killed another person, but have we ever hated someone or called him a fool or empty-headed? If so — and which of us has not — we are guilty and condemned by this commandment of the LORD! This is why the Scriptures tell us that “there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Ecclesiastes 7:20), and that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

It is also the reason why each of us needs to repent – acknowledging our sins and failure to keep God’s holy commandments in our thoughts, desires, words and actions, and trusting in the holy life and innocent sufferings and death of Messiah Jesus as full payment for our sins. In the crucified and risen Jesus, we sinners find forgiveness and life everlasting!

Dear Lord Jesus, true Son of God and true man, for the sake of Your blood, shed for us upon the cross, forgive us for our failures to keep Your holy commandments. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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What is Baptism?

Baptism means to wash, and in Christian Baptism water is used as commanded in God’s Word to wash away our sins and make us children of God.

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:26-27

Why do we baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

Because the true God is one God and three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And, Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize in this way.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Why do we also baptize little children and even babies?

Because Jesus commanded that all people be baptized and because they too are guilty of sin before God and need God’s forgiveness so that they can be a part of God’s kingdom and go to heaven.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5

Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5

Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. Acts 2:38-39

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (Deuteronomy 5:16)

This commandment of the LORD requires us to honor our parents as our God-given representatives. Children are to obey their parents; and parents – especially fathers – are to bring up their children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20-21; Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

And notice that this commandment contains a reason to obey – a promise – “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:3). What does it mean? Well, to disobey and dishonor our parents brings us all sorts of trouble and usually leads to disobeying our teachers in school, our pastors at church and our government leaders, resulting in a troubled life and often spiritual and eternal death. And, God punishes those who disrespect and disobey their parents and promises blessing and long life to those who obey and respect their parents and others in authority over them (cf. Proverbs 30:17; Romans 13:2).

This command, too, extends to others whom God has placed over us in civil government, the church and at work and in school. The Bible tells us: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1); and, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17; cf. 1 Peter 2:17ff.; Ephesians 6:5ff.; Colossians 3:18ff.).

The only exception to God’s command to honor and obey parents is that we are “to obey God rather than men” when there exists a conflict between the will of parents and other authorities and the will of God Himself (cf. Acts 5:29).

And this commandment does not end when we are grown, because the Bible also commands us to honor and care for our parents in their old age. 1 Timothy 5:4 says to grown children: “Let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.”

Children sin against God when they disobey their parents and do not show them the honor and respect which God requires. Parents, too, are guilty of sin when they do not bring up their children to know the LORD and His ways. All of us are guilty when we do not submit to our government and its laws in all matters except where they contradict God’s Word. And, we are guilty when we do not heed the admonitions of our pastors and spiritual leaders when they rightly apply God’s Word to our lives.

How thankful we can be that Jesus Christ kept this commandment perfectly for us, not only in deed, but in word and desire! The Scriptures tell us that He submitted Himself to His parents and honored them (Luke 2:51; cf. John 19:25-27). And, how thankful we can be that Jesus also bore upon the cross the just punishment for our sin (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 John 2:1ff.)! In Him, we sinners find pardon and forgiveness; and, in Him, we find strength and guidance to amend our ways and live in accord with God’s will and command.

Dear Lord Jesus, Son of God and our Savior, forgive our sins against the perfect will of God, our Maker, and give us the desire to live our lives for You. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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