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6th Commandment: You Shall Not Murder

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Families that Choose Life.

Exodus 20:13

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Families that Choose Life.

Life is God’s wonderful gift. Therefore, we ought to enjoy life, and choose life.

This key verse in the New Testament helps us to understand the sixth commandment: Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). “The thief” is Satan, and Jesus is the great Giver of Life.

What Is the Sixth Commandment?

Exodus 20:13
You shall not murder.

Jesus, the Giver of Life

Physical Life Is from Jesus

The reason your heart is beating, and your eyes are looking out, is because Jesus gave you this life. The Bible says, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3).

How did Jesus make you? “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

Teach your children that Jesus is the author of physical life.

Spiritual Life Is from Jesus

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6). He means, “Without me, there is no going, no knowing, and no growing.”

Christians are not just nice people, trying to do better. They are new creatures who have been regenerated by Christ.

Eternal Life Is from Jesus

Remember John 10:10—“I have come that they may have life”? Later in that same chapter, Jesus speaks of those who believe in Him: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).

What does eternal life mean? It speaks of the quality of the life, and the quantity of the life. Jesus adds years to the life and life to the years. It is a never-ending life.

Satan, the Thief and Murderer

Speaking to the unsaved Pharisees, Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him” (John 8:44a).

This sixth commandment which says, “You shall not murder,” is another way of saying that we must reject Satan—we must choose life.

Satan wants to bring death into your family. Death to youth, purity, joy, and happiness. He wants to bring physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death. Jesus said this life is to be abundant (see John 10:10); Satan wants to make it miserable.

Why does Satan hate life? Because he hates man. Man is made in the image of God, and Satan hates God. He cannot get at God, so he tries to get at man.

Satan’s murder method is deception. Sin thrills, and then it kills.

Choose Life

When the children of Israel were facing their inheritance, the Promised Land, Moses called them together. Moses had given them the Ten Commandments, and then he said this:

Deuteronomy 30:15-16,19
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess….I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live… (Emphasis added.)

Be a family that chooses life.

When our Lord “breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7), that was spiritual life, and man became a living soul. The soul is the mind, emotion, and will.

Fathers—your wife and children have three kinds of life: physical life, life of the soul, and spiritual life. They were made that way by Almighty God, and it is your job to protect that life.

“You Shall Not Murder”

The family is given to protect physical life. But from what? There are many forms of unlawful killing.


People are gunned down in our streets every day, and their blood cries from the ground. One day the God who said, “thou shalt not murder,” will judge.


We should be alarmed at the rise of teenage suicide. No human being has the right to take his own life. It is never his life—it belongs to God.

Jesus will give grace! “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). In the Bible, “temptation” can mean an inducement to sin, or a trial and sorrow. God will make a way.

Abortion & Infanticide

Little lives are being put to death, with governmental approval. Something is very wrong in America when we protect spotted owls and whales and eagles, and have made a mother’s womb perhaps the most dangerous place.

When Does Life Begin?

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you” (Jeremiah 1:5). A baby in the womb is human life.

Heartless Living

There are those direct transgressions of the sixth commandment, but there is this indirect way that you need to warn your children about. Cruelty is a way of killing people.

This means just being heartless. Some husbands and wives put their spouses in early graves. Some of you have pinched wrinkles into your father’s brow, and put gray hairs in your mother’s head because of the way you live.

Careless Living

Another way we transgress the sixth commandment is by failing to take care of our bodies. Many of us look down our long noses at the drunkard, but we are killing ourselves with a knife and fork.


Our Lord said, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). This could be racial hate, religious hate, or revengeful hate. According to Jesus, that hate sends you to Hell.

Live Life to the Fullest

Fathers should protect physical life and should provide for the family’s social life (that is, the life of the soul). Make the home a happy place.

And fathers should present spiritual life to their children. Dads, lead your children to Jesus.

Families need to choose life! Dads, build a spiritual “wall of protection” around your home, lest your children fall off. You are responsible for them. (See Deuteronomy 22:8.) Protect your family’s physical life, provide for its social life, and pray for its spiritual life.

List of Scriptures Referenced in this Article

Exodus 20:13; John 1:3, 8:44, 10:10,27-28, 14:6; Genesis 2:7; Deuteronomy 30:15-16,19; Jeremiah 1:5; 1 John 3:15; Deuteronomy 22:8

More Bible Verses About the Sixth Commandment

Genesis 4:8-11
Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”
1 Corinthians 8:9,11-12
Beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak….because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
1 John 3:11-12
For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.