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Who Is a Murderer?

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2020 4:00 am

Who Is a Murderer?

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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September 30, 2020 4:00 am

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John MacArthur

Jesus… Stark naked of our self-righteousness and says if you're angry with a brother or if you hate somebody or murder Jesus is saying, even if you don't do the killing. Your heart is full of anger and hate your murder hate brings you nearer to murder any other hate merely the extension but something as serious as murder. That's way beyond anything you've ever done right or is it answering that question starts by understanding what Jesus himself said about sin, not just sinful behavior, but the sinful attitudes that no one can see today on grace to you.

John MacArthur moves beyond the shallow view of sin to expose the heart attitudes were sin takes root.

As he continues his study titled the sinfulness of sin with the message he calls who is a murderer. Here's John. Matthew chapter 5 in verse 21. I titled this passage, who is a murderer because I really think that's what our Lord is talking about. Now notice what our Lord says in verse 21 year heard it said by them of old, thou shalt not kill, where that come from what you know anything about the revelation of God. You know it came basically from Exodus chapter 21 God gave the Decalogue and said, thou shalt not kill, but Scripture has a lot more to say about murder than just that. In fact, if we go back even of the book of Genesis we find in the ninth chapter in the six verse this statement who associated man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, Genesis 96 instituted capital punishment is a penalty for murder and the reason is given in the same verse four in the image of God made he man to take the life of a human being is to assault the image of God created in man and that brings about serious penalty and so.

Genesis 9 authorizes capital punishment for those who shed blood because man is made in the image of God. Now if you were to study, ask Exodus 20 would find that the word thou shalt not kill means murder. It means murder. It does not refer to capital punishment that is taking a life under divine allowance. It does not refer to a just war. There were times in God's economy of Israel. There are times in God's plan for history when there are conflicts on a national level, carrying out certain exercises of the will of God in judgment upon some nations where there might be an allowance for killing and it would not be considered murder. I do not believe that the text of Exodus 20 has anything to do a self-defense.

I think that we have the right to protect the image of God in our lives and the lives of our families and those about us when they are assaulted and attacked by those who would kill us what the Bible is talking about is murder. Murder, planned, plotted to some degree murder in Exodus 21 in verse 14 we read this, but if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile or deceit.

Thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die again God reiterates the punishment of capital punishment or death for the one who presumptuously comes in a premeditated way to take the life of his neighbor in numbers chapter 35 we have some further word from God about this says if you smite him with an instrument of iron so that he die, he is a murderer. The murderers shall surely be put to death. In other words, of a man takes an instrument of iron and crushes the skull of another reason murder is to die entity smite him with throwing a stone wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer of the murderers shall surely be put to death, or if he smite them with a hand weapon of war wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer. The murderers shall surely be put to death the avenger of blood himself. So, slay the murderer.

In other words, that the society was to protect itself by taking the life of the one who indiscriminately premeditated. We took the life of another.

And it goes on in Deuteronomy chapter 35 to discuss other such situations where murder occurs. Now, if you know anything about the Bible you know that this was the very first human crime in Genesis chapter 4 it says this, and Cain talked with Abel his brother came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and murdered him and course God said, what hast thou done the voice of thy brother's blood cries him to me from the ground and now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.

And so it isn't from the first human crime.

Murder on through the revelation of God murderers a biblical issue. Now if we study the Scripture we know how God feels about it. It is forbidden is punishable by death. We learn other things about murder in the Bible. For example, we learn that murder is a crime authored by the devil himself. John 844 says the devil is a murderer and murderer is basically authored by Satan we find something else about murder in Matthew chapter 15, for example, in verse 19 we find that murder is a manifestation of an evil human heart. Matthew 1519 says, for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murderers, adulteries, fornication staffs, false witness, blasphemies listen to me, murderers, thefts and all that other stuff. Do not happen because of social de-privatization. They happen because of a deed generated human heart murder does not happen because of stressful situations.

It happens because it's authored by Satan himself. In Romans chapter 1 in verse 29 it says that man has been given over to a reprobate mind and as a result of the reprobate mind he is filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, etc. man is a murderer because he has a reprobate mind that is been given over to evil because he rejects God so that murder is a crime authored by the devil is a crime that comes out of the evil human heart.

In Galatians 521, Paul tells us that murder is an act of the flesh.

It is a deed done by un-regenerated human nature, we learn also in the Bible that murder is an abomination to God. In Proverbs 6 verses 16 and 17 the Bible says there are six things that the Lord hates EA, seven are an abomination unto him, and it lists this hands that shed innocent blood murder is abominable to God. Murder is an act of an un-regenerated human flesh.

Murder is a manifestation of an evil heart murder is authored by the devil himself.

Murder is punishable by death because it is an intrusion into life which is created in the image of God, showing how seriously God views murder. It says in Revelation 22 and verse 14 Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life and enter in through the gates into the city for outside are dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers. The kingdom of God and the eternal state is not a place for murderers and the list of biblical murderers as long we could spend all night and all through the night talking about the Old Testament lists a lot of murderers.

I'll suggest a few for your memory. Cain Lamech Pharaoh Abimelech Joab the Amalekites. David Absalom Zimmer eat Jezebel in Jay's you asked the liar.

Joash, Manasseh, the New Testament list.

Some others, Herod, Judas, the high priests Barabbas, Herodias, her daughter that's a partial list the biblical history and modern history are literally filled with murderers from Canaan to today. Right now we've had murderers in human society and on when you think about a person who is a murderer when you think about the kind of a mannequin assault 33 blue boy stuff them in plastic bags and bury them in the ground you shutter because it is is almost in any human thing we can hardly relate to that. We may relate a little easier to somebody who in a heated argument takes a gun and shoot somebody we may relate little more to a fight where somebody give someone a blow that takes their life. But it's all the same to God.

We shutter frantically at the thought of murder were afraid of it. We don't like to walk the dark streets of certain towns or of our own city a certain place. We worry about getting double locks on our doors, for fear somebody might come and kill us. I know what it's like to have the experience of having your life threatened and that I know what it's like to have people say they're going to take your life and perhaps you lived through some anticipation or fantasy like that or even a reality like that. Now if we are sort of sick inside to think about such a crime is murder. We identify well with the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus is speaking to bring Matthew five through seven. Our Lord is addressing the scribes and Pharisees on a hillside in Galilee, along with the rest of the multitude, but here, in particular, he refers to their approach to life.

Look again at verse 21 you have heard that it was said by them of old, thou shalt not murder, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment. Stop right there.

Now Jesus is saying you know you believe that it's wrong to murder because if you do, you will be in danger of judgment. At that point, the scribes and the Pharisees listed. Amen, amen, were against murder. We have been taught by them of old by the rabbinical tradition that murder is an evil thing. In fact, the thought that they did not murder.

Now the students is the key. The thought that they did not commit murder was one way in which they convinced themselves they were righteous we would not murder.

When would never murder anyone. And, consequently, we must be righteous. We checked the law of God, thou shalt not kill. We wouldn't murder anyone. And so they're not murdering was one of their favorite ways to justify themselves.

Jesus said you unrighteousness has to exceed that they had convinced themselves because they didn't kill anybody. They were holy. They were righteous.

Jesus blows that concept to bits. The first point Jesus words to them affects their own self righteousness. They thought they were righteous because they didn't kill night was rabbinic law that they adhere to notice again in verse 21 you have heard that it was said by them of old that Jesus here is reminding them of rabbinic tradition is not referring to the law of Moses. He's not referring necessarily to the word of God them of old were the rabbis.

This is a common common formula referring to their past rabbinical teaching you are religious system is what he say you are system of Judaism. You are traditional system you are teaching says you are not to kill because if you do, you're in danger of judgment you've been taught that that is a tradition that is passed down to you and you remember that I told you last time. The Jewish people at the time of Jesus were totally dependent upon this tradition because the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Remember I told you that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. They did not any longer speak Hebrew since the Babylonian captivity and following. They spoke Aramaic and so the Hebrew Scriptures were lost to them in assent, and so they couldn't really read and understand the Hebrew for themselves.

As of the rabbis, the scribes and the Pharisees and the others would tell them what it meant and this gave them a tremendous power over the people because the people couldn't verify whether it was true or not. You remember that when they came back from captivity.

Remember the they picked up the scripture in Ezra Nehemiah's time and they read the Scripture it says that they read the Scripture to the people and gave the sense of it.

It says in Nehemiah chapter 8. They had to give the sense of it because the people couldn't understand and it continued even till Jesus day so that the people were not people of the book they themselves did not read the word of God.

The Old Testament, they listen to what the traditional rabbis taught and they twisted and perverted it to their own in but every now and then the things they taught did have a biblical scriptural base such as this. You look at verse 21. Again, it says thou shalt not kill. Now you know that is biblical that is biblical. They were right on. At that point further notice it says whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment. That's true.

Also I read you numbers 35, 30 and 31 it says right in there that when someone commits murder there to die. So this rabbinic tradition was true.

They were right.

At this point that was all right. It was basically Scripture, but the point that Jesus is making here is it doesn't go far enough that much is true, but there's so much more. You have taken part of God's law, you have interpreted it only partially and then satisfied yourself with keeping your partial interpretation and therefore justifying his and you'll notice interestingly enough, it says that whoever does. This shall be in danger of judgment, and by the way, the term judgment here refers to the local court the local court what you think about this. What he is saying is this, you are teaching says you must not murder, no watch, because if you murder, you will be in danger of being punished by the civil court to get that know what's wrong with that but go far enough. Does their full interpretation of the sixth commandment of the Decalogue was this don't kill because if you do you'll get in trouble with the law.

What about God or not God's holy character that didn't even enter into the discussion they had made this so mundane they didn't even mention God.

They didn't even mention divine judgment. They said nothing about inner attitudes.

They said nothing about the heart. All I said was don't Muriel get in a lot of trouble. Very superficial.

Their interpretation stop short because they didn't murder and didn't get in trouble they decided they were self-righteous, self justified perfectly happy about themselves justified before God we don't kill but listen, they forgot to read the rest of the Old Testament because the rest of the Old Testament says that God watch this desires truth in the inward parts, Psalm 51 six the rest of the Old Testament says that thou shall the Lord I got all the heart so my strength I neighbor as thyself. The rest of the Old Testament says that God who knows the hearts and tries the hearts of men will judge. In other words, the part of God's law, they left out was the internal part.

It wasn't enough for you not to kill. God was concerned about what was going on in side.

They had restricted the scope of God's commandments to an earthly court it restricted the scope of God's commandment to an act of murder and that's why Jesus goes on in verse 22 and says this but I say unto you, let me tell you what God really meant by that word in Exodus.

Let me give you the right interpretation. Whosoever is angry with his brother with out a cause and by the way the King James says that a because it's not in the best manuscript must leave it out.

Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother Rocca shall be in danger of the council and whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Jesus simply says isn't the issue of murder alone.

It's the issue of anger and hatred in your heart you cannot justify yourself because you don't kill because of his hatred in your heart. You are the same as a murderer and so I say the first point in the statement is that Jesus words affected their own self righteousness. It affected how they viewed themselves, how we view ourselves. We do this all the time. We say all you know that category of people that murder I would ever do that, and yet sometimes we get so angry on the inside was somewhat we mock people. We may curse people. We may feel bitterness toward people we may nurse grudges toward people we have unreconciled feelings toward people and our Lord Jesus is saying that is the same as murder because God looks at the heart and soul. When he says, I say unto you, he swept aside all the rabbinical rubbish and he put the emphasis where the emphasis belonged.

He stripped them of their self-righteousness, he said, in effect, who was a murderer. I'll tell you who was a murderer. Anybody who is angry with his brother anybody. Your murder is pretty straightforward as it pretty devastating. It strips the Pharisees bear doesn't do a bad job on us either. Frankly, anger is murders root in our Lord says anger and murder merit equal punishment in verse 22 me saying you're in danger of the judgment you're in danger of the council you're in danger of hell fire. And so, frankly, who is a murderer.

The answer is all of us.

All of us listen to first John 315 whosoever hates his brother is a murderer to hear that whoever hates his brother is a murderer and brother here is used in a broad and generic sense in terms of social relationships. People in your life. Not your spiritual brother because nobody listening to Jesus at that point but understood would've understood the brotherhood of believers you have hatred your you have anger your and God's eyes. It's no different than a man who goes out of does the crime. It's amazing to me how we justify ourselves. Everybody does that even the worst of men justify themselves.

You know that even the worst of men justify themselves on may have. In May 1931. City of New York witnessed the capture of one of the most dangerous criminals that that city had known until that time was noticed to gun Crowley to gun Crowley. They said would kill the drop of a hat. He brutally murdered many people even finally brutally murdering policeman what you think of himself. We know what he thinks of himself for what he thought of himself because finally he was captured in his girlfriend's apartment after a long and arduous gunbattle involving at least 100 policeman and when they finally got him was up there was a bloodstained note there because he was severely wounded this with the notes. It under my coat is a weary heart but kind one, one that would do nobody any harm." See that's absurd what you see, that's the depths to which the human heart will go to justify itself.

Here is someone who would do nobody any harm, whose acuity was later executed in the electric chair is even the worst of men exonerate themselves to say nothing of the best of men who would think all I would never put myself in that category in Jesus strips us stark naked of our self-righteousness and says if you're angry with a brother or if you hate somebody your murder pretty serious. Jesus is saying, even if you don't do the killing. Your heart is full of anger and hate your murder hate brings you nearer to murder than any other emotion and hate is merely the extension of what anger anger hatred leads to. It is the common source of killing and by the way, hatred and anger can even chill you because I can eat you alive on the inside, so Jesus strikes hard to show us love and listen to what he's trying to show is that even the best in if the truth were known, are the worst of me. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is the pastor of Grace Community Church and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and his current study. Here is titled the sinfulness of sin. John, I have to say this is a powerful and convicting message and I imagine we have a lot of listeners who are just now realizing while my sin is worse than I ever thought and there isn't any way I can never measure up to God's standard.

What would be the next step you want a person who's thinking like that to take that that is the very point at which you in your desperation, or in the words of Jesus are burdened and heavy laden with your sin will find grace. You know Paul is the model that is me.

I was a murderer. I was a blasphemer but the Lord save me in. Not only did he save me. He says in first Timothy, but he made me an apostle, he elevated me. He lifted me up. This is a man who was a blasphemer and a murderer, and he wasn't just murdering anybody he was essentially bent on murdering people who believed in Jesus Christ. Christians and the Lord made him the apostle who wrote 13 books of the New Testament. What more do you need to know about grace than that story and it wasn't that Paul came to his senses on his own as it had I gotta change my life. I gotta get out of this blasphemy bitten come to the Lord. No he was going to Damascus to arrest more Christians and persecuted and maybe murder them. When the Lord appeared on the road to Damascus struck him blind and converted him right in a heavenly miraculous act that wasn't planned by Paul at all. It wasn't some course correction or some decision on his part.

It was an interruption from heaven. You might think that well Lord could've picked some more prepared people. Maybe some rabbis, some Old Testament scholars are who didn't have lives like that.

Why him because he's a trophy of grace. It's like the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew one where you have harlots in the genealogy of Jesus, which is a is a message that get ready because the Messiah has come through grace extended to even the worst of human beings.

So I think the message in all of the sinfulness of sin is that no sin put you beyond salvation except the sin of unbelief.

Jesus has come, extending his grace to the world, and friend. That is the essence of the gospel and were here each day teaching that good news explaining biblical truth, helping you to know what it means to follow Christ.

If that kind of ministry resonates with you, consider partnering with us when you contact us today. You can reach us here at grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or call toll-free anytime 805 five grace. You can also donate online@jidety.org through your support. You help bring verse by verse Bible teaching to people in your community and around the world.

Pastors new believers students young parents empty-nesters people from all walks of life again to express your support call 855 grace or right to box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or go to TTY.org don't keep in mind that you can download all six lessons from John's current series, the sinfulness of sin free of charge@tty.org and for deeper study of the Gospel of Matthew. That's the basis of John's current radio series, John has written a four volume commentary on the entire book of Matthew order one of those commentaries were all for call 805 five grace or go to TTY.org now for John MacArthur.

I'm Phil Johnson. Keep in mind you can watch grace to you television this Sunday. Check your local listings for channeling times and be there tomorrow for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on racing


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