Genesis 9:6: Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man.”
Romans 13:3a,4: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.... For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
Not every killing of a man is murder. Sometimes there is confusion on that matter, especially when it comes to the magistrate's taking of human life. The magistrate is given the sword power by God. The sword is the symbol of the power to put to death. The magistrate must exercise that power in the punishment of the evil-doer. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." That is the command of God. But that calling does not belong to just anyone, to exercise in revenge. "Vengeance is mine," (Rom 12:19) saith the Lord. That calling to execute judgment and to wield the sword in punishment belongs exclusively to the civil magistrate. That is not murder, but his calling according to Rom 13. To refuse that calling is to raise a fist in rebellion against the most high God. That does not mean that the magistrate never commits murder when he takes a life. The magistrate also killed Jesus. Pontius Pilate was responsible for the sword power which he exercised. Throughout history there have been hundreds and thousands of cases where the governmental powers persecuted and killed the righteous. The shedding of blood by the magistrate is only to be used to protect the righteous and for the punishment of evil-doers. The taking of the life of a man or woman who has been justly condemned for murder is not wrong in the sphere of the magistrate. It is demanded of them by God.
Nor is the shedding of blood in a righteous war to be accounted murder. Because it is within the calling of the government to protect the good, war may justly be declared in retribution of an attack and to recover what has been unjustly taken away. Refer to I Sam 15:2-3; 30:18-20; John 18:36.
Steven R. Key (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: September 1986
Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1986; Randolph, WI - 1991; Hull, IA - 2000; Loveland, CO - March 2010Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lovelandprctest1/home
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