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Hatred = Murder???



(Matthew 5:21-22 NIV)  “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.”


(Ephesians 4:25-27 NIV)  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.  "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.


(Ephesians 4:31-5:2 NIV)  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


(Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV)  Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.


(Proverbs 29:11 NIV)  A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.



We are so selfish.  When things don’t go the way we want them to go, we immediately blame someone else.  We look for scapegoats.  Someone has got to pay, but it won’t be us.  Things have to be made better, but not at our expense.


(Genesis 4:4b-7 NIV)  The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."


“Cain's jealousy and anger determined his decision to kill his brother. These sinful emotions erupted when God accepted Abel's sacrifice but did not look with favor upon Cain's. Nothing in the passage would lead one to assume that Cain was in any way coerced into killing his brother. He had to bear responsibility for his sinful jealousy and anger and for the resulting sinful act. He could not blame his parents. No matter how unjust life appears to be or how badly our ancestors handled life, we cannot lay our sin on someone else's shoulders. Each of us must bear responsibility for our own personal sinful actions.”Disciple’s Study Bible


In Matthew 5:21, 22 Jesus wants us to examine our feelings as to why we may have contempt for anyone.  He doesn't just want us to think, “Well, since murder is wrong I won't think of doing that, but I will be angry at that person!”  Jesus wants to foster mercy and compassion in us.  He gives us reasons to build bridges and invest emotions in each other.  Awareness of our vulnerabilities should cause us to be loyal and completely devoted to Christ. Our awareness should not cause us to be self-protective at the expense of building intimacy with each other.  Anger, hatred and bitterness attack the very core of intimacy-building and destroy relationships.


(James 1:19-20 NIV)  My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.


We cannot justifiably hold on to any anger or any negative attitudes. The very presence of these attitudes subjects us to judgement in God’s eyes.   Not even the archangel Michael dared to bring a slanderous accusation against the devil (Jude 8-13), a liberty that has stained too many Christians with a worldly mindset.


Rising above hatred, anger, malice and bitterness is surpassing the righteousness of the Pharisees.  These bad attitudes deeply stain our light and make our saltiness flavorless.


In His Footsteps © 1998                                                    







Hatred = Murder???




To surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees and be approved (righteous) in God’s eyes, you must first begin by being holy in the way you relate to everyone around you.  The passage we are studying this week (Matthew 5:21-22) exemplifies this holiness by a change of mindset.   Read James 1:19-22.  Do you need to change the way you think about anger?  Do you think your anger is justified at times?  Does your anger have any place in God’s Kingdom?  Read Romans 12:19-21.  Is it your job to become angry, or is it your job to dispense the peace of God?  Are you trying to do God’s job?  Holiness is overcoming evil with good.  You can’t put out a fire by making it hotter—you need to put out fire with something to cool it down—water!



Murder is subject to judgement, according to the Law of Moses.  If you murder someone, you are deserving of death!  Murder is an overt action demonstrating a covert mindset.  The covert mindset could have originated by way of bitterness, malice, anger or hatred directed at someone—producing an overt action against that person, whether it be cursing, physical violence, or even murder.  The Law condemned the actions—now Jesus teaches us that our attitude is subject to judgement as well.  All along, God judged the motive (Proverbs 21:2) as more important than the actions (Micah 6:6-8)—for the actions came as a result of the motive (Matthew 12:34-37)!  Anger, contempt and resentment are equivalent to murder.  Have you murdered anybody recently?  Read 1 John 2:7-11.  Are you in the darkness or in the light?  Do you claim to see, or are you still blinded by hate or contempt?  Now read 1 John 3:14, 15.  Is the message clear?  Read 1 John 4:18-21.  Do you fear rejection?  Is that why you are so bitter?  Is that why it’s hard to smile sincerely?  Brother, sister, hear me now—DON’T BE A LIAR!  Don’t say, “I love God.” and then go walking with an attitude against someone or slandering someone else.  Don’t allow these unjustified emotions of yours to alienate you from the peace of Christ! 



Since anger, hatred and contempt destroy relationships, you will not be favored by being known as a “hothead”.  Read Proverbs 15:18; 29:11, 22; 10:18, 12; 12:1.  God considers all such people in contempt of His church (Proverbs 6:16-19).  What is contempt?  Look it up in a good dictionary.  Contempt has to do with thinking you are better than others are.  You misrepresent yourself and elevate yourself by the way you speak to others and what you say about them to others.  This is the most egregious way to disregard compassion and mercy.  Read Galatians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 3:18-4:1; 10:12-15; 2 Corinthians 10:2-6.   As soon as you think you are better, you have devalued yourself in the eyes of the church and in the eyes of God.  Do you think you are above God’s standards?  Do you hold on to the standards of the world?  Listen to wisdom! Read Psalm 94:8-15.  How well do you take discipline from a brother or sister?  How well do you take correction?  How you take correction is a good measure of your humility and wisdom.  Don’t become ineffective and unproductive in your work in the Lord (2 Peter 1:5-13)!  How is your attitude when someone reminds you of these things?



Satan wants you to think you are better than what you think you are.  His deception always begins by thinking you are better than someone else and, therefore, have the right to make a judgement in your favor. Read Luke 18:9-14.  What was the reason Jesus told them this parable?  Did both of them pray?  Why was only one of them justified?  What did God judge them by?  Does thinking you are better than someone foster intimacy in a relationship?  Read Ephesians 4:16.  How does the body of Christ grow?  Does it take work?  Now read 1 Corinthians 8:1-3.  What happens if you just judge by knowledge alone?  How do you prevent yourself from becoming puffed up?  Make sure you are known by God by loving Him!  Loving Him means loving your brothers and sisters!



The clearest way to become aware of how you are following in the footsteps of Jesus is by looking at how your attitudes are regarding your brothers and sisters.  Do you think you are better than some brothers or sisters just because you may be older (physically or spiritually) than they are?  Do you think you are better just because you are better educated?  Do you think you deserve more (money, relationships, material things, love, pity, etc.) than some brothers and sisters? Maybe you need to learn to fear the Lord all over again.  Read Proverbs 9:10-12.  Do you think the fear spoken of here is the same kind of fear John speaks of in 1 John 4:18?  Why or who not?  Read Isaiah 55:6-11.  How do you see yourself in relation to God?  Now read Psalm 103.  Isn’t our Lord glorious?  Isn’t it an honor to be called “sons of the Most High”?  Why does hatred, discord, anger or malice fall short of the picture presented to you in these passages?  A simple answer: they destroy the very relationships that God desires for us to have.


Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:21b


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