Sixth Commandment

Updated: MC Sunnyvale and MC Forney – This week we will discuss the sixth commandment.

May 1 – Sixth Commandment / SC Qs 67-69

Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, You shalt not murder (Exod 20:13Deut 5:17).

Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life (Eph 5:28-29), and the life of others (1 Kgs 18:4Ps 82:3-4Job 29:13).
Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment forbids the taking away of our own life (suicide), or the life of our neighbor unjustly (homicide), or whatsoever tends to endanger life (Gen 9:6Prov 24:11-12Matt 5:22Acts 16:281 John 3:15).


“It is important that we understand that this commandment refers to murder, not to all killing. Many of us probably have heard or memorized this statute as “Thou shalt not kill,” which is an acceptable translation. However, the term kill in English does not actually capture the full nuance of the Hebrew term, which is more akin to the specific act of unlawful killing, also known as murder. This command must refer to unlawful killing because there are, in fact, several occasions in Scripture where God orders His people to take the lives of others. Moreover, in certain cases killing is not only allowed, it is mandated.” ( RC Sproul on the Sixth Commandment )

“We cannot ever think of taking the life of another unjustly without thinking of Christ, whose life was lost at the hands of wicked and unjust men. The requirement to preserve, protect, and promote life was wholly set aside as they crucified our Savior. And yet, God was at work there satisfying His wrath against sin and upholding His justice to forgive murderous sinners like us who have unjustly taken the lives of others with our words and in our hearts and by our hands. And it’s this grace that motivates us to be a people of life.” ( Brian Tallman, You Shall Not Murder )

Word study on Murder = lo rä·tsakh

Sermon on Anger as Murder


1. Why is it wrong to kill (or murder) a human being?

2. Is it wrong to kill a man in self-defense? Prove.

3. Is it wrong for a nation to engage in war? Explain.

4. Is it wrong for a Christian soldier to kill on behalf of his government? Explain.

5. Why would a government be guilty of murder if it did not use military power for national self-defense?

6. Why is capital punishment right? Prove.

7. Does a government become guilty when it does not retain capital punishment? Why?

8. What is the highest duty involved in this sixth commandment?

9. Does God have the right to give life and to take away life (e.g., flood, conquest of Canaan, Uzzah touching the ark, et al)?

10. Was the crucifixion of Jesus: (a) capital punishment by the State, (b) murder by the hands of sinful men, (c) cosmic child abuse by the Father, (d) other. Explain.

Based on G. I. Williamson. Westminster Shorter Catechism: For Study Classes (Kindle Locations 2819-2824). Kindle Edition.



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