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Discussion Guide — Exodus 20:13

Each week, these sermon discussion guides are made available to help you engage the sermon text more fully. For those in a small group, this is what your group will use as its jumping-off point. You are also encouraged to use this in the context of your own home, whether personally or as a family, as you seek to apply the message to your life.

Sermon Summary: Exodus 20:13

Main Ideas

I. The root of murder goes back to the garden when we fell from grace and into sin. From that point on the creation mandate given in Genesis 1:28 to “subdue the earth and everything in it” from full hearts filled by the Father became “squash the competition and end up on top at all costs.”

II. God’s rationale for putting such a high price on the life in Genesis 9:5-6 stems from His deep love and commitment to the prize of His creation. We see that because God doesn’t murder, He keeps His word to punish sinners, but He also shows mercy by allowing sinners to enter the Ark. God isn’t like Pharaoh, using His power to throw away life for the sake of progress. God rules the world with justice and mercy and all life is precious to Him.

III. Jesus’ refocusing in Matthew 5:20-24 shows us that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the professionally perfect, we will not inherit the kingdom of God. Right there he is telling the professionals and the “screw-ups” that our works alone cannot save us. Jesus reminds us that our breaking the 6th commandment doesn’t have to be physical or criminal in the world’s eyes. We are fully capable of killing others with our tongues and our hearts by what we do or leave undone.


"Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5 that it’s possible for us to violate the sixth commandment without doing it physically or criminally." Ligon Duncan


Whatever your vertical relationship with God is like, it can’t help but spill over into your horizontal relationships with other people.

I. What is your relationship with God like these days and how might it be affecting other relationships around you (what you do or leave undone)?

Whatever our horizontal relationships are like with one another they can’t help but affect our vertical fellowship with God.

II. Is there something between you and someone else that even has the possibility of affecting fellowship with God? Is there a way you could help better it?

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