Lord's Day 32

Week 31 :: Week 32 :: Week 33


The sixth commandment is a declaration of the sanctity of life. God forbids murder, and in doing so places great value on the gift of life that God has given to each of us. Positively, this command requires us to do all we can to preserve our lives and the lives of others; which includes such simple things as exercising and staying healthy, but it also extends to the way we treat one another, doing all we can to preserve and honor the lives of those around us; defending the defenseless, sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry. 

The sixth commandment raises difficult questions in regard to euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, self-defense, and war. Sometimes there are cases when it would seem that the taking of another life is justifiable and necessary. But does necessity justify our actions? In 1941, German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was involved in a plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Struggling with the implications of his actions and his obedience to God’s commandments, Bonhoeffer said, “If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.” There is no way to kill without entering into guilt. But sometimes it is worse to be evil than to do evil. 

“The destruction of the life of another may be undertaken only on the basis of an unconditional necessity… if there is even the slightest responsible possibility of allowing others to remain alive, then the destruction of their lives would be arbitrary killing, murder. To fail to bear this in mind is to undo the work of the Creator and Preserver of life Himself.” 


Almighty God, forgive us for our cavalier attitude toward life and death, and may we be committed to doing all we can to preserve and honor the sanctity of all life. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 67

Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment

A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

Scripture Proofs

Ex. 20:13.

“You shall not murder.

Question 68

Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.

Scripture Proofs

Eph. 5:28-29;

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,

1 Kings 18:4.

and when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.)

Question 69

Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.

Scripture Proofs

Acts 16:28;

But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”

Gen. 9:6.

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.