When is the Fifth Commandment broken?

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The Fifth commandment is broken when:

  1. Someone takes another person’s life or his own life with his own hand or with the help of others. God therefore forbids premeditated murder, unpremeditated murder, suicide and participation in murder.

    Lev. 19:16: Neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor. I am the Lord.

    Acts 16:28: Do thyself no harm.

    Assignment: Read Gen. 4:3-12: Cain murders Abel, 1 Sam. 12:9: David has Uriah killed, Deut. 22:8: causing death through carelessness, Matt. 27:5 and Joh. 17:12: Judas commits suicide and is eternally condemned, Amos 1:13: the sin of the Ammonites, and 2 Sam.1:1-16: the Amalekites participated in Saul’s suicide.

  2. When we do or say something that shortens the life of our neighbor or makes life difficult for him. God also forbids us to harm ourselves or to shorten our own life through dissolute living or by needlessly endangering it.

    Prov. 12:18: There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is health.

    Rom. 3:13-17: Their throat is an open sepulchre: with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips, whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known.

    Ef. 4:22: Put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the decitful lusts.

    Matt.4:7: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

    Assignment: Read Gen. 37:19-35: Jacob’s brothers sell Joseph into slavery and cause their father grief, Jer. 18:18: Jeremiah was accosted by malicious words, and Luke 10:30: the robbers on the way to Jericho.

    Discuss: In what type of situations do we endanger our own or our neighbor’s life and health?

  3. Our heart remains cold toward our neighbor, we don’t help him when he needs help, we envy him, get angry at him and carry hatred toward him in our heart.

    1 John 3:17: Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    Matt. 15:19: Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders.

    Eph. 4:26: Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

    1 John 3:15: Whosoever hateth his bother is a murderer.

    Assignment: Read Gen. 4:5: Cain envied Abel, Luke 10:31-32: The priest and the Levite, and Acts 7:54: The Jews ground their teeth at Stephen.

    Luther says: “If you leave a person unclothed, even though you could give him clothing you thereby let him freeze to death. If you see someone suffering from hunger and do not feed him, you thereby let him die of starvation.”

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