Murder is a grave sin before God, but it is not bigger than other sins. Although this might shock many, there’s no “big” or “small” sin before the eyes of God; however, the consequences of murder are more serious than that of other sins. Many people find it believable that God can forgive “small” sins such as lying but find it hard to believe that He can pardon “big” sins like murder. So, does God forgive murderers?
God forgives all sinners, including murderers, provided they come to Him in humility and ask for forgiveness and repentance. However, murderers will still face the consequences of their sin, for instance. The Bible, in 1st John 2:2, teaches that Christ died to pay the penalty for all the sins of mankind, including murder.
What does the Bible say about murder? Is murder a sin, according to the Bible? Can God forgive murderers after they repent their sins? How many times can God forgive a murderer? What are some of the stories about murder in the Bible? What Bible verses talk about murder? To answer all these questions and learn more about what the Scriptures tell us about murder, stick around.
What does the Bible say about murder?
The Bible strongly rebukes murder, with the most popular warning being the sixth commandment in Exodus 20:13, which says, “You shall not murder.” The Bible forbids anyone from taking an innocent life, and God strongly addresses this in Exodus 23:7, saying, “Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.” Revelation 21:8 suggests the fate of murderers if they do not confess and repent their sins, saying, “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord,” implying that murdering as a form of revenge is also a grave sin. Jesus, in Matthew 5:21, warns against murder, saying, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.”
Romans 13:9 refers back to the commandments that forbid anyone from murdering, saying, “The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In 1st John 3:11-12, Christians are warned not to be like Cain, who murdered his brother Abel saying, “For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”
Numbers 35:19, which says, “The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death; when the avenger comes upon the murderer, the avenger shall put the murderer to death,” implies that legal executions are, however, not sin.
Many theologians and Christian scholars believe manslaughter (accidental) murders aren’t sins. Still, if the accidental death occurred due to sins such as fighting or drinking, murder becomes a serious sin. Similarly, scholars also believe that killing amidst war isn’t a sin.
Is murder a sin, according to the Bible?
Yes, murder is a sin according to the Bible, as Christians have been warned even in the ten commandments not to murder. In the New Testament, Jesus also emphasizes the same. Proverbs 6:16-19 suggests that murder is among the sins that God hates saying, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
Exodus 21:12, “ Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death,” implies that murder is a sin punishable by death.
Can God forgive murderers after they repent their sins?
God can forgive murderers if they confess their sins, ask for forgiveness, and repent. John 3:16, “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him,” suggests that Jesus Christ paid for the sins of all mankind, including murderers.
1st John 1:9 says, “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” implying that God forgives all sins if the sinner confesses their sin and repents.
According to the Scriptures, all sin, murder included, was forgiven when Christ was crucified, died, and was resurrected. As seen from famous Biblical examples like David and Saul alias Apostle Paul, God forgives murderers, provided that they confess and repent. It is crucial to know that if a murderer confesses their sin and asks God for forgiveness, they still have to bear the consequences of their sin. According to theologians, bearing the consequences of your sins is part of repenting.
How many times can God forgive a murderer?
There is no limit to how many times God can forgive a murderer, provided that the sinner confesses, asks for forgiveness in sincerity and humility, and repent. The Bible teaches that God’s forgiveness is endless. In Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times,” Jesus teaches Christians not to keep tabs on how many times they’ve forgiven someone, implying that God, too, doesn’t count how many times He forgives.
Saul, who later became Apostle Paul, once imprisoned, persecuted, and killed many Christians, and God forgave him after he decided to change his ways and repent.
Stories about murder in the Bible
There are numerous stories about murder in the Bible, the most popular ones being the story of David, who orchestrated the death of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. 2nd Samuel 12:9, “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife as your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.”.
Another story about a murder in the Bible is the story of Cain, who murdered his brother Abel. Genesis 4:8 says, “ Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Moses also murdered an Egyptian after he witnessed him brutally beating a Hebrew. Exodus 2:14-15, “The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.”
In 2nd Samuel 3:30, “Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon,” we also learn about Joab, who murdered Abner as revenge.
In Mark 6:26, “So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison,” we learn about John the Baptist’s death after Herod ordered for him to be beheaded.
Pharaoh also ordered the murder of all Israelites’ baby boys who were born in Exodus 1:16, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”
What Bible verses talk about murder?
Among the ones already mentioned earlier, numerous Bible verses discuss murder, including; Leviticus 24:17, “Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death,” Genesis 9:6, “ Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind,” and James 2:11, “ For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder. If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker,”
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.