21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. – Matthew 5: 21-22
It’s been a while since I wrote Murder as Defined by Jesus: Part 1. That article contained some generalized thoughts. Now, I want to look at the passages in more detail. This article looks at verses 21-22. There will be a Part 3 that considers verses 23-26.
I love how the righteousness of Jesus goes beyond our natural understanding. According to the laws of man, I have never done murder. According to the righteous standard of Christ, I have sinned in a manner that is on the same spectrum of sin as murder: being angry with my brother.
The “without a cause” statement baffles me a bit. There’s always a reason for getting angry, but most of the reasons are self-centered reasons or can lead to a feeling of self-righteous indignation. I do know some causes for being angry that are just. We should hate the things that God hates, and when these things are done without repentance, this is a just cause for anger.
Seven Things God Hates
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. – Proverbs 6:16-19
These are causes for rebuke among the household of the faith, and when done to the destruction of others and the body of Christ, it’s fitting to be angry. It is fitting to be angry when we see these things happening in the social and political spheres of our society also. Yet, “be angry and sin not.”
How do we “be angry and sin not?” I think the first thing is to make sure that our anger is just—not justified by our own self-centeredness. Then, we should be on-guard against hypocrisy. If we are in these sins ourselves, then our focus should be inward first. Once we have the “beam out of our eye” then we can help another.
I also think we should strive to hold hope for all that they might repent, yet sometimes a sharp rebuke and a bit of trouble in this life are the only hopes a person—or entity—has at repentance. When we see the ministry of the Two Witnesses as seen in the last days (Revelation 11), I believe these things that God hates are motivating factors.
These abominations are linked to what Jesus is rebuking here.
It is pride that often leads to anger as one feels superior to another. Pride is also often rooted in pain and Jesus can heal this pain. Take a look at The Pain Behind The Pride. If we are filled with pride, it isn’t long before we are looking at someone through an unjust lens, leading to slander, murder, devising wicked plans, coverups and other forms of lying, and division.
It should not be among Christians—especially among the household of the faith.
If we so much as say a scornful word to our brethren without a just cause, then we are in danger of judgment. As Christians who are under the blood of Jesus, this will mean chastening. Thanks be to God, that if our faith is in Jesus, we do not have to face the fires of death for our murderousness.
However, I would like to avoid chastening of the Lord as much as possible.
This is why I’m taking the time to write the book on The 7 Churches of Revelation: These Things Saith He.
We have chastening coming and it is already here. It is building up as we neglect the teachings of Jesus—and in many ways, we don’t seem to see it. The Lord shows us by the Holy Spirit and those who He has given this message of repentance, and we should listen.
I don’t like when I see ministers and false prophets bullying people into going to church or listening to their message through fear or shame. Because of this, I don’t say that people have to listen to anything I write. This book will be necessary, at least for those who read it. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin.”
Saying such a bold statement makes me uneasy, mostly because of what others would think, and I don’t want to cast a stumbling block by making a bold claim. Yet, it is the truth. Jesus grants authority to His faithful servants, and in this work, I have authority. I also have authority to work alongside my brethren, to take in their ideas and thoughts, to make a point: we are a body knit together in Christ and we should have no king over us but Jesus.
Our pride, anger, accusations, slander, and division among the household of the faith will not stand for much longer without serious rebuke. A house divided cannot stand, as Jesus says. The true body of Christ and His called out are not divided; we are one in Spirit. We all need to “come out of her” who leads to being otherwise—and “she” is found in every single Christian sect just as members of the true body of Christ in Spirit are found among every Christian sect.
“This ignorance God winked at” for a long time because it was needful so that we would not have one unjust ruler over us all, but the King of Kings will come, and we should be one with Him even as He and the Father are one (John 17). In being one, we will better stand against those who are also “of one mind and give their power and strength to the beast” Thanks be to God, that though they “make war with the Lamb, the Lamb will overcome them for He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.” Let us be “called, chosen, and faithful.”
We begin by repenting of our murders and abominations, first among the household of the faith, then we stand together against the murderous ways of the systems and kingdoms of this world as one who can see clearly, refuse deception, and speak the truth without hypocrisy and self-righteous indignation.
This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.
14 thoughts on “Murder as Defined by Jesus: Part 2”
My King James literal translation KJ3 says in Matthew 5:21 “murder” instead of “kill”
Is there a difference?
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We might consider some differences between “killing” and “murdering” from a standpoint of intent/circumstances. Jesus is speaking in terms of righteousness as He expands on the idea of killing according to the Ten Commandments. In this context, I don’t know if there is any meaningful difference. It has to do with matters of the heart. We can also look at the Greek. (I’m not a Greek scholar) Based on Strong’s the word for killing and murder is the same in Greek: phoneuó, meaning intentional murder or homicide.
Matthew 5:21 “Do not commit murder” (kill)
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder”
If the words are interchangeable and present the same meaning, then do we conclude there is no justifiable killing or murder?
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Not without the leading of God. You seem to be learned in scripture, based on our current discussion in comments and out as well as your blog. Do you agree that sometimes God ordains killing? I do think it is wrong for us to do so of our own accord and it does seem like the scriptures say that we might do so “thinking we do God’s service,” so it’s defiantly a topic worth good consideration.
On this subject, I’m not knowledgeable enough to give any feedback. I just bought a book on Amazon by Dr Robert Morey “ (I’m not endorsing him)”when is it right to fight” i will be looking for scripture to help systematize some thoughts. Your recent post prompted my concern for my lack of understanding. This is a hard subject for me. I’m at a loss when I can’t systematically put scripture together to prove a point. God works all things for His glory (to express His attributes) and for the benefit of His elect. His decretive will does involve killing; otherwise it would never happen; but where that leads I have no idea at this point. God did harden the hearts of kings so that israel could destroy them and take their land. My view the old covenant was a macro view of God’s people through a nation. Only you have I known Amos 3:2 and all others that were nations were not considered his nations. He gives things to His people and He chastises his people for what He causes. He is painting His picture that He is in control of things for His glory and the benefit of His people while demonstrating His wrath and power on vessels fitted out by Him for destruction. How this can be applied in the New Testament is unknown to me to where I feel scripturally comfortable
It appears He is working on a micro level with individuals in the new covenant predominantly and nations on a micro level somewhat. How we handle criminals, sin etc is a little more difficult. Personally, I avoid aggression at much as possible. Could I or should I restrain myself from someone hurting a child ? No, I don’t think I could restrain myself and do nothing. Does God cause and control this? Yes, from what I read in scripture. Would he want me to defend the child? I would say yes and yet he caused and controlled both if this can construed as a real possibility. Would I be aggressive with someone that had a different belief system? Absolutely not
I hope to find scripture to systematically to put this together God is not the author of confusion Right now, I’m only interested in presenting scriptural support for God’s Total Sovereignty and how it is part of the Gospel.
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I completely sympathize with where you are coming from and I don’t have all of the answers either. I don’t think I could sit back and watch someone harm another who cannot defend themselves, yet, as you said, is God in control of it? Yes. As Christians, we should seek peace and pursue it, but where that line is exactly as far as justifiable killing or not, I cannot say, except that God must be in it or we are in sin.
23 But the one doubting, if he eats, he has been condemned, because it is not of faith; and all which is not of faith is sin.
“ all which is not of faith is sin”
What is that saying? Faith in the gospel??
The only way we can divide and test is who believes The Gospel and who doesn’t The ones that believe the truth are regenerate and the ones that don’t believe The Gospel are in regenerated The next question is What is the Gospel ?
It is interesting. I used to belong to a Facebook Christian group and I once asked, “How would you define the gospel?” I was surprised by the various responses. As for my understanding goes, The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ–but this encompasses much–including the good news of forgiveness of sins, good news of God with man through Jesus Christ and the knowledge of the Lord being written on the heart and not stone, good news of the Kingdom of Heaven that comes “within you” and also a Kingdom we inherit in the future. Even within these, there are layers. As with the gospel of God with us–part of that is knowing who God is–and He is sovereign, as you know.
There is much to the gospel, and we are at differing stages of knowing as the Lord reveals in His time. I think of Paul’s approach with the Corinthians. “I came to you determined to preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified” which is the beginning of the gospel. They could not handle any more because they were an immature church, as we see in His letter rebuking them for their contentious nature.
So, I do not think it is entirely fair to say that one must believe in the sovereignty of God to be “saved” but as we are given time and opportunity to learn and seek the grace of God to open our understanding, we should come to know that as part of the gospel. God is in control of all things, and by Him alone are we saved, renewed in this present life, given gifts, and granted access to the Kingdom of God.
We cannot forget the babes, however. If we do and we accuse them of not being real Christians, then we might be at risk of casting stumbling blocks in front of them. Jesus said it was better that a millstone be hung around our neck and we cast into the sea than cause one of the little ones who believe on Him to stumble. He also said that when He returns and finds us “drunken” and “smiting our fellow servants” He will appoint our portion with the unbelievers.
We can be drunken with our understanding, thereby feeling justified in saying that Christians are not really Christians because they believe in a false God. There is a line someplace of false teaching that is so sever that it becomes a false God. I don’t deny that, but personally I do not draw that line with the sovereignty of God. I have made up my mind on this issue. I hope you consider more, but I trust that the Lord will work in both of us as is necessary. You are my brother, and if either of us is in error I trust He will reveal it).
Nonetheless, we can continue our discussion in email. I will be away for two weeks but I will be glad to resume once I am back.
Mark 16:16 Romans 1:16 -17
Romans 3 Romans 4 Roman 10 define the Gospel 2 Corinthians 4:6 tells us God at regeneration Will shine the knowledge of the glory (The Gospel)of God in the face of Jesus Christ into our hearts.
The unsaved Israelites did not have this knowledge in Romans 10:1-4 The rulers of this world did not have this knowledge John 17:2-3 determines you must have this knowledge to prove you have eternal life; therefore; they had not received generation from above causing The Apostle Paul from grief for his fellow kinsmen according to the flesh to pray to God for their salvation. This is a perfect place to work backwards to define the Gospel of God.
Sorry should “Not regenerated “
“I came to you determined to preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified”
Inherently in this statement by the Apostle Paul is the Sovereignty of God because the cross includes His people for whom he died effectively and efficaciously. God would never reveal to the heart in generation from above by His spirit the knowledge that he died and paid for the sins of each and every individual; even those that end up in hell.
Here are some rough quotes I took from a like minded biblical Gospel believer that will apply to some of your statements above
“You need to know that you can’t believe whatever you want about Jesus and be a Christian. No no no- you can’t get Jesus wrong and be a believer. “ (universal atonement believers my label)
“Anyone who believes that Jesus atoned for the sins of those burning in hell let him be accursed”
“Anyone believing that Man’s free Will contributes to his own salvation and that God cannot save without mans free will, let him be accursed “
“These 2 points prove that this is another Jesus and another Father, therefore another god. “
“A false god who wants to save but fails over and over and over, because mans free Will won’t allow him. Let him who believes this false gospel be accursed “
“Arminians believe in a false god, another Father and another Jesus. The Father they believe in is not sovereign and does not unconditionally elect a specific people for Himself in eternity past and the Son (Jesus) is sent into the world to atone for the sins of the eternally damned – the atoning work of Messiah accomplishes nothing on the behalf of the non-elect. Their false god tries and tries and tries to save but fails over and over and over. They believe in the sovereign will of man – they have a higher view of man than the god within their soteriology; a lower view of their false god who cannot save a person without the cooperation of the sinner. “
“this is another god and whomever preaches or teaches this false god let him be accursed for this is not the true God preached by the apostles says the apostle Paul” (Gal 1:6-10)
This is my question and answer below
Will a believer after being generated from above believe this false gospel, false Jesus and false god? Absolutely not. God does not shine into the heart a false gospel where man contributes anything to his salvation. Once confronted with scripture you cannot as a regenerate believer continue to believe something contrary to scripture.
This is obviously very important to you and deserves a well thought out response, but I cannot give you that right now. For the sake of my readers, I quickly want to say that I do not see predestination as a salvation issue, yet in some part I can sympathize with those who do. Please respect my wishes to continue this by email. What I propose is this: make your best argument for your understanding of the gospel as it relates to predestination and how those who believe otherwise believe in a false god. I will take the time to consider your argument as honestly as the Lord allows, based on the understanding He gives (which we both believe He is in control of), and I will write a response. Then we drop it and trust in the Lord to deal with us. It seems as if we are going to keep going back and forth on the issue. I’ll give it one last go, but that is all. We can do this by email or you can make a post and I will make a response post. I believe you have been duped by a false teacher and I will pray for you. I’ve run into people like this before and I know the hold they get on you, using truth but taking it to such an extreme that it leads to accusation, slander, and division. This is of the Adversary and I make no apologies for saying so. You have to follow it through to the conclusion. If what you say is true, then most Christians are not real Christians. I do not see that. I see “fruit” brought forth by many who do not properly understand predestination and I will not accuse them of believing in a false God. To that false teacher, “reward him even as he rewarded you.” He will be judged by His judgement unless he repents, and all that follow him also. This is not sound teaching.