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RIGTHEOUSNESS IN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. Introduction: Divine Protection of Human Life. Human Life is Given Great Value in the Bible (Gen. 1:26-27; Psalms 139:13-16). God Condemns Murder Because We Are Made in His Image (Gen. 9:5-6).

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introduction divine protection of human life
Introduction: Divine Protection of Human Life
  • Human Life is Given Great Value in the Bible (Gen. 1:26-27; Psalms 139:13-16).
  • God Condemns Murder Because We Are Made in His Image (Gen. 9:5-6).
  • Murder Is That Intentional and Unauthorized Act of Killing a Human Being (e.g., Gen. 4:2-11; 1 John 3:11-12).
  • However, the Bible Makes a Distinction Between Murder and Killing (Rom. 13:4, 9).
is it ever right for man to kill man
Is it Ever Right for Man to Kill Man?
  • The Old Law Prescribed the Death Penalty for a Number of Offenses (Exodus 21:12-17, 29; Lev. 18; 20:10; 24:17).
    • The Executioner of the Wicked Was not a “Murderer,” for the Evildoer Had Brought Death Upon His Own Head (Lev. 20:9).
  • The New Law Also Authorizes the Death Penalty, to Be Administered By Governing Authorities (Rom. 13:1-5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
  • A Scriptural Case May Be Made for Killing in Self-Defense (Exod. 22:2; Luke 22:35-38).
what right does man have to kill man
What Right Does Man Have to Kill Man?

Rom 13:1-5 (NASU) 1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves…

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3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
what right does man have to kill man1
What Right Does Man Have to Kill Man?

The Governing Authority is a “Minister of God” Who “Does not Bear the Sword for Nothing” (Rom. 13:4).

  • “The Sword” is not a mere symbol, but is used against those who do evil.
  • “The Sword” (i.e., death penalty) is a real consequence for evil, that God authorizes by His word.
for what purpose should a person be put to death
For What Purpose Should a Person Be Put to Death?
  • As a Deterrent or “Cause of Fear” So That Others Will Not Commit the Same Crime:

Rom 13:3a For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil…

Rom. 13:4b … But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing…

for what purpose should a person be put to death1
For What Purpose Should a Person Be Put to Death?
  • As Punishment for Committing Evil:

Rom. 13:4b (NASU) But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

1 peter 2 13 14 nasu
1 Peter 2:13-14 (NASU)

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

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This Follows the Biblical Principle: “Whatever a Man Sows, That He Will Also Reap” (Galatians 6:7).
for what purpose should a person be put to death2
For What Purpose Should a Person Be Put to Death?
  • To Fulfill the Wrath of God:

Rom. 13:4b (NASU) …But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

    • No one has an inherent right to kill another person.
    • Man is merely God’s instrument to carry out justice or “divine wrath.”
for what purpose should a person be put to death3
For What Purpose Should a Person Be Put to Death?
  • To Protect Mankind: The Innocent and Society Need Protection from Harm (Rom. 13:1-5).
  • Gen 9:5-6 (NASU) 5 "Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man. 6 " Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.
how shall capital punishment be decided
How Shall Capital Punishment Be Decided?
  • There Must Be Evidence of Guilt.
    • Authorities Should Be Seekers of Truth.

Prov. 23:23 (NASU) 23 Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

    • There Should Be Respect for Truth & Justice.

Zech 8:16-17 (NIV) 16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; 17 do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this," declares the LORD.

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Prov 17:23-24 (NIV) 23 A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice. 24 A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
  • Judgment Should Be Rendered Without Partiality, Bias, or Prejudice.
  • Lev 19:15 (NASU) 15' You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.

-- Compare to 1 Timothy 5:19-22; Jn. 7:24

how shall capital punishment be decided1
How Shall Capital Punishment Be Decided?
  • The Punishment Must Fit the Crime (e.g., In the case of Jesus, it did not! – Luke 23:20-25)
luke 23 20 22 nasu
Luke 23:20-22 (NASU)

20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, "Crucify, crucify Him!" 22 And he said to them the third time, "Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him…

luke 23 23 25 nasu
Luke 23:23-25 (NASU)

23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.

what if governing authorities make a mistake
What if Governing Authorities Make a Mistake?
  • Though Governing Authorities Are “Established by God” (Rom. 13:1), They Do Not Have the Authority to Do Wrong (John 19:11ff.).
  • Never Should Man’s Laws Be Followed in Violation of God’s Laws (Acts 5:29).
  • No Governing Authority Will Render Justice Perfectly (Rom. 3:23), Yet it Still Has a Duty to Punish Evildoers (Rom 13:1-5).
  • If in a Position of a Governing Authority, a Person Must Follow Their Conscience (Rom. 14:23) and Most Importantly Judge with a Righteous Judgment (John 7:24; 12:48).
what about forgiveness and redemption
What About Forgiveness and Redemption?
  • The Victim and/ or Victim’s Family May Forgive the Criminal Provided He/ She Repents (Luke 17:3; cf. Mat. 6:14-15; Eph. 4:32).
  • Ultimately, Only God Alone Can Grant a Complete “Pardon” (i.e., Forgiveness) For Those Who Transgress His Law (Mark 2:7b; Luke 7:48-49; cf. Ps. 130:3-4; Isa. 43:25).
what about forgiveness and redemption1
What About Forgiveness and Redemption?
  • The Guilty Can Be Forgiven in Christ (Acts 2:38), Yet, There Still Remains Consequences for Evil Actions (Rom. 13:1-5; Gal. 6:7).
  • Sometimes Punishment or the Face of Death Leads People to Repentance (e.g., the Thief on the Cross – Luke 23:39-43).