Life is a gift from God. He breathed life into man and only He can take it away. If we kill another, we hit directly at God. It is interesting that in elaborating this further, God commanded a death penalty on any murderer in the Old Testament. But for the grace of Christ, we would be wretched creatures!
Romans 13 talks of submission to authority; it elaborates how Government is given the responsibility to hold the sword and punish offenders. In the Old Testament we see a City of refuge that was set apart for criminals so that they would stay away from society. There was even an avenger who would be the kinsman of the killed to kill the culprit. But in Mathew 5:21-22 Christ puts anger, bitterness and calling others fools on the same pedestal as murder.-'You have heard that it was said to the people long ago," Do not murder and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment." But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again anyone who says to his brother 'Raca', An Aramaic term of contempt- is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says 'You fool' will be in danger of the fire of hell".
Where there is hatred and bitterness, passions are high. Some people, especially Christians, do not even talk to one another because they feel offended. This is seen by Jesus Christ as murder and we are murdering each other daily without knowing it.
Abortion is also murder whether we like to believe it or not because it is God who gives life and we have absolutely no right to take it away.
The command not to commit adultery or having sexual relationships outside marriage is in Exodus 20:14; we are forbidden to do this. But Jesus Christ explained it further in Mathew 5:27-"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery'. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." This is something hard to comprehend and accept because sex has become the centre of human activity. Even an innocent advertisement must be laced with sex for it to sell. Pornography is bursting at the seams because sex sells yet this activity makes one guilty of adultery because he or she is looking lustfully at another. Job in 31:1 made a covenant with his eyes to never look lustfully at a woman. We too must do the same if we are to survive in our time and if we are to wade through the vices that surround us. The most practical step to take if one is addicted to pornography is to avoid it. Whether it be through video, magazines or the internet, pornography is a sin and should be kept away from
Looking at nude pictures of other people is sin. Having sexual contact with those that we are not married to is also sinful. The Bible gives insight on the same in and on why we should stay faithful to those that we are married to and to avoid playing with fire:-
Proverbs 5:15 'Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well'.
Proverbs 5:18-'May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.'
Proverbs 5:20-'Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife'?
Proverb 6:27-'Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burnt?'
Proverbs 6:28-'Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?'
Proverbs 6:29-'So is he who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.'
Most people are casual about such matters and are slowly drawn into sin through temptation only to be later dragged down. The 'gawker' has already committed adultery in his mind but those that dressed provocatively and made him fall have also sinned; this as explained in Luke 17:1-2, 'things that cause people to fall are bound to come but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied round his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.' Woe unto that woman or man through whom people fall!.
The issue of depriving someone what should be rightfully theirs can be looked at as stealing. Also taking that which is not one's is stealing. The LORD says in Exodus 20:15 'You shall not steal'. Taking office property, photocopying someone's book instead of buying an original copy, knowingly buying fake products, buying goods without receipts, downloading music from the internet, spending time on facebook during working hours are all stealing. An organization can also steal just as a country can steal. Patenting of goods from other countries and claiming them for your own country is stealing. And God warns against all these forms of theft.
Giving false testimony against one's neighbor is forbidden by the LORD in His commandments. Infact in the Old Testament, God spoke of there being more than one witness who should have been able to back any claims made against another. A false witness gives real pain to the person he or she is wrongly accusing. He perverts justice by bearing false witness. Exodus 23:2 declares further, 'Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd'. While we may think that we are being good Christians by siding with a poor man, the Scriptures further warn in Exodus 23:3 'and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.' Proverbs 6:16 mentions that a lying tongue is one of the things that God hates; in 6:19 we observe that a false witness who pours out lies is also detestable to Him. We can clearly conclude that God hates rumormongers and gossips as indicated by this commandment.
Finally, we are asked not to covet our neighbor's house, wife, servant or possessions. Coveting means that what we see we want. To covet is to desire, to long for or crave for something. We become dissatisfied with what we have and instead wish for the things other people have. This starts innocently by appreciating what we se on others but soon moves to a desire which if entertained can grow into obsession. In 2 Samuel 13:1 we observe Amnon, the son of David falling in love and obsessing over Tamar. But this leads to frustration when these desires are not fulfilled. What he later does to her becomes a curse for the house of David because it eventually leads to bloodshed.
God asks us to be contented in 1Timothy 6:6-'But godliness with contentment is great gain'. He assures us of the gain that will follow us in 1John 1:7-'But if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin'.
The commandments have addressed just about all sorts of temptations that will come our way and how we can deal with such temptation. Jesus Christ Himself said that He came to fulfill and explain further the Law of Moses and not to do away with it. It is the prerogative of every one to know and follow the commandments.
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May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.