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Fighting for the Faith
Should Christians Ever Kill?

How should we use the Old Testament scriptures?

1. Romans. 15:4- for our learning

2. 2Timothy. 2:15 and 3:16-17- ALL scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness BUT it must be rightly divided. How does scripture tell us to rightly divide itself?

3.1Corinthians. 10:1-11- we are told to specifically use the examples of the Israelites so that we do not lust after evil things as they did.

4. Galatians. 3:24-25 - we are told that the Old Testament. law was a tutor to lead us to Christ but when we come to Christ we are said to be NO LONGER under that tutor.

5. Hebrews. 8:6-7,13- we are told that the New Testament is a better covenant based on better promises and that the Old Testament was faulty. We are also told that the New has made the first Old and that the Old is ready to vanish away.

6. Matthew. 5:17- Jesus came in the flesh to fulfill the law or, in other words, show us the depth, the completeness, and the true intentions of it. He revealed the full will of God on this matter to us and fulfilled everything that was foreordained for him in the law.


The Old Testament is useful for us to learn from the examples of the Israelites’ mistakes so that we don’t duplicate them but the New Testament clearly supercedes the Old for authority, superiority and completeness of revelation.


What did Jesus and his apostles have to say about His words and the New Testament.?

1. Matt. 5:19- that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven would be those who do and teach God’s fulfilled law which Jesus was about to reveal, found in the New Testament.

2. Matt. 7:24-27- that a wise man would hear and do (live according to) the words Jesus had just spoken to them, also found in the New Testament.

3. John 8:51- Jesus expresses the importance of keeping His sayings as revealed in the New Testament.

4. John 12:48- we will be judged by the words of Jesus in the New Testament..

5. John 14:15,21- if we love Jesus we are to keep the commandments that He spoke and taught in the New Testament.

6. 1John 2:6- we are to walk as Jesus walked in the New Testament


The New Testament words of Jesus and His apostles are the new standard we are to live by. We are commanded to live by the words Jesus spoke while He was in the flesh and we are commanded to follow His example and walk as He walked.


What did Jesus and His apostles command and teach about resisting evil people in His new, fulfilled version of the law ?

1. Matt. 5:38-39,41,43-44- that we do not resist an evil person- notice that this command contains no limitations.

2. Matt. 10:16,22-23- that we are to be harmless as doves- no limitations

3. Luke 9:51-56- Here Jesus shows once again that things had been changed from the times of the Old Testament. When His disciples asked if they should command fire to come down from heaven to consume these men as Elijah had done, He rebuked them, said they were of the wrong spirit, and let them know that He had not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.

4. Rom. 12:14,17- Recompense to NO MAN evil for evil- another command stressing that there are no limitations.

5. Rom. 12:19-20- we are not to avenge ourselves- no limitations mentioned

6. Rom. 13:10- we are to do no evil to our neighbor- appears to be limitless

7. 1Thess. 5:15- see that NONE render evil to evil UNTO ANY MAN.- this command, once again, seems to be clearly unlimited in its scope.

8. 1Pet. 3:9- no rendering evil for evil- limitless


We are commanded throughout the New Testament to never offer resistance to an evil person. None of the passages offer any hint of these commands being limited in scope, on the contrary, a couple appear to accentuate that the scope is limitless.


What did Jesus say would happen to people who kill others under His fulfilled version of the law?

1. Matt. 26:52- ALL they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

2. Rev. 13:10- He that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.


Jesus is WARNING us not to take up and kill with a sword. (or weapon)



Are the “powers that be” and the “church “ two separate entities designed to be separate even though both are ordained by God?

1. John 18:36- Jesus plainly says that HIS kingdom is not of this world and if it was His disciples would fight.

2. Rom. 13:1-7- verse1- powers that be imply a separate entity from us in the church

verse 4 - Paul utilizes personal pronoun “he” once again showing a distinction between them and us.

verse 6- pronoun “they” implies someone other than us

3. 1Pet. 2:13-17- verse 13- submit to every ordinance OF MAN.- this should clearly indicate that the governing authorities, while ordained of God to punish evildoers, are a “of this world” entity.

verse 14- or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers. Worldly rulers are ordained by God for this purpose but the church is commanded to “Avenge not yourselves” again showing two distinct entities.

4. 2Cor. 10:4- Our weapons are not carnal. Is this true for the state also? No, they are a separate entity from the church

5. Eph. 6:12- ditto

6. Acts 6:12- 7:60- Stephen was brought before the Great Council or the Sanhedrin, a power that be ordained of God, yet clearly not one and the same as the church. An entirely different entity with very different values and beliefs..

7. Matt. 28:19-20 and Rom. 13:4- Two separate commissions for two separate entities. I don’t believe anyone would suggest that the church has been commanded to execute justice.

8. Reality- Of all the rulers of any of the nations in the world today, none could rightly be acknowledged as attempting to advance the Lord’s kingdom yet each and every ruler is a minister of God and was ordained by God according to Rom.13:4.


The church and the government are two separate entities, with two separate, distinct roles, purposes, and commissions even though both are ordained by God. The fact that the government’s primary responsibility is to punish evildoers coupled with the fact that the church is commanded to not resist evil make these two entities which were clearly designed to remain separate.



How do we reconcile 1Pet. 2:13 and Acts 5:27-29?

Is there any other way other than saying that we obey man in everything UNTIL he asks us to disobey God?



How do we reconcile the O.T. command of “Thou shalt not kill” with the permission God later gave to kill? God, in this time in history, chose Israel to be representative of His kingdom upon the earth. They were the one, true theocratic nation originally setup to reveal God’s rule and holy ways to the other nations. (Ex. 19:1-6) They were called by God, and commanded as a nation, to dispense justice for sin, inside their own nation (contained throughout the law) and to the wicked nations around them. (Deut. 9:1-4) The command, “Thou shalt not kill” is a moral command primarily intended for individuals, not specifically to nations or to people who are commanded by God to execute justice. The church, on the other hand, is a kingdom not of this world, (John 18:36) of which we are heavenly citizens.(Phil. 3:20) The church is commanded in the N.T. to not resist evil (Matt. 5:39) and to not avenge ourselves. (Rom. 12:19) God, in His manifold wisdom, has chosen this age of grace to be a time, beginning with the Lord Jesus, when well doing is to be used to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1Pet. 2:15) Now when Jesus returns and establishes His millenial Kingdom upon the earth this will change again. He will then again execute justice (2Thess. 1:7-8) and rule with a rod of iron (Rev. 19:15) which Israel who forsook God’s covenant failed to do.



Other pertinent passages

1. 2Pet. 3:9- should we ever take another human being’s life when God expresses that it is His will that none should perish but that all would come to repentance?

2. John 3:17- Jesus did not come the first time to condemn the world, but to save it.

3. Luke 9:56- Jesus has told us that His first appearing was to save men’s lives, not destroy them.

4. 1John 3:15- NO murderer can have eternal life abiding in them.

5. 2Thess. 1:7-8- Jesus will come back again, this time to execute justice, but for now, in this time in history, God’s will is that we return good for evil in all circumstances.

Has Jesus or His disciples anywhere in the N.T. even hinted that it is acceptable for a Christian to take another person’s life at any time?

Final Summary

Based upon our rightly dividing the Bible and Jesus’ clear commands in the New, faultless, better, more complete Covenant I believe all pertinent scriptures have been reconciled and the case has been made that Christians have not been given any authority in any situation to take another human being’s life.

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