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The Ten Commandments

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The Ten Commandments

July 7, 1996


Scripture:  Exodus 20:1-17




Introduction:  Murphy's Law

          Murphy's Law seems humorous to us because of its adverse viewpoint on how things sometimes seem to always work against us, almost to the point of being natural principle.  It would be sad if that were really true.  We would have no hope.  But God's laws actually work for us even though they may condemn our behavior and attitude.  They were given by God for the following reasons:

          1.       The Law shows us our guilt before God and stops us from attempting to justify ourselves: 

# Rom 3:19 ¶ Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

          2.       The Law brings us to the knowledge of sin: 

# Rom 3:20  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

          3.       The Law defines sin and shows us the depth of sin: 

# Rom 7:7 ¶ What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."

          4.       The Law was designed for the very purpose of being a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ as our mediator between sinful man and holy God: 

# Gal 3:24  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

          John Wesley said, "Before I can preach love, mercy, and grace, I must preach sin, Law, and judgment."  In writing to a young friend, he went so far as to advise, "Preach 90% Law and 10% grace."

          Charles Spurgeon, the 'Prince of Preachers,' also used the Law of God to bring conviction toward repentance and salvation.  He preached, "But more, there is war between thee and God's Law.  The Ten Commandments are against thee.  The first comes forward and says, 'Let him be cursed, for he denies Me.  He has another god besides Me, his god is his belly, he yieldeth homage to his lust.'  All the Ten Commandments, like ten great cannons, are pointed at thee today, for you have broken all God's statutes, and lived in daily neglect of all His commands.  Soul! thou wilt find it a hard thing to go to war with the Law---What will ye do when the Law comes in terror, when the trumpet of the archangel shall tear you from your grave, when the eyes of God shall burn their way into your guilty soul, when the great books shall be opened, and all your sin and shame shall be punished?'

          Such preaching is not popular today.  It seems that people demand to be wooed into submission before Almighty God and that the Church has no right to tell it like it is, that we are all sinners---woeful, hopelessly lost, pitiful sinners---reserved for the burning fires of hell except for the matchless love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But our condition drives us to Him to cry out, "What must I do to be saved?"  The Bible says in Rom. 10:13 that, "All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."  With all his strength and emotion, a drowning man calls for help---he doesn't whisper.  If he doesn't realize he is drowning, he won't call out.  In the same way, only those who see themselves drowning in their sins cry out, "God have mercy upon me!"

          Spurgeon said, "They must be slain by the Law before they can be made alive by the gospel!"  D.L. Moody said, "The Law was given not to save men, but to measure them.  The Law was never meant for men to save themselves by, but to show us ourselves in our true colors."

          It is this Law which Ezra read in Neh. 8 before the hearing of all the people as they stood assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate inside the newly rebuilt walls of Jerusalem that Nehemiah, cupbearer to the king, returned from exile to rebuild against impossible odds.  There the people wept with both repentance and joy as they experienced revival under the reading, and the conviction, of the Law.  Neither should we ever forget these "words spoken by God" to His people.  They are as valid today as then for any people who would please God and know peace.  The whole purpose of the Law was to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:19-25) for the forgiveness of sin through faith and repentance because none of us are able to keep the Law without Him.

          The Ten Commandments were proclaimed about three days after Israel's arrival at Mount Sinai in the third month after their departure from Egypt.  Historically, the Jews celebrate this giving of the Law at the time of Pentecost, which for N.T. Christians was the birth of the Church through the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This is significant because through the Holy Spirit, the Law is now written on our hearts rather than on tablets of stone, 2Cor. 3:3.  For the N.T. Christian, love is the highest expression of the Law whereby by willingly obey God primarily because we love Him rather than just because we fear Him (1John 4:18, 5:3; Rom. 8:4) as predicted by the New Covenant promise of Jer.31:33.

# Jer 31:33  "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

          The N.T. frequently draws on the Ten Commandments for its moral teaching, whether as a quotation or as a framework, and treats it as fulfilled, but not set aside, by love.  The Mosaic ritual laws which attended the Ten Commandments are shown to be superseded and the administrative details of the O.T. are not carried over into the New Covenant.  So the Ten Commandments retain their force but stand clear of their supporting regulations.

          The voice of God announced these words in the hearing of the whole assembly and the finger of God inscribed them on both sides of two stone tablets which Moses received on the mountain, forty days after the making of the covenant.  The original tablets were broken by Moses upon discovery of the people's quick return to idolatry, but God reaffirmed the covenant, inscribing the Ten Commandments again Himself on two fresh tablets prepared by Moses.  In time, the tablets were placed in the Ark of the Covenant.

          In this "Sinaitic Covenant," God gives a conditional pledge to be Israel's God if they will totally consecrate themselves to Him as His people who live by His rule and serve His purposes in history, Ex. 19:5-8.  In this passage, God poses the question and the people answer affirmatively.

# Ex 19:5-8  Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,

6  you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."

7  So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak.

8  The people all responded together, "We will do everything the LORD has said." So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD.

          The Ten Commandments summarize all the requirements of the Law given to Moses by God.  All the commands are spoken to the individual.  As to their demands on the person addressed, the 1st, 5th, and 10th concern our inner commitment and attitudes, and the remainder safeguard the practical expression of them in the spheres of worship and society.  When an evil is forbidden in one of the commandments, its opposite good must be understood as being encouraged.  It is easier to state in few words what a believer cannot do.  One's freedom to obey God opens up more possibilities than the reverse; hence the law can be stated negatively more precisely.  The negative form also strives to meet the strong current of evil in the human heart.

I.       Right Relations With God (Godward commands #1-3)

          [Love toward God; First great commandment, Mk. 12:30, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."]

1 ¶ And God spoke all these words:

2  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  (Positive)

          The first command, indeed the whole series, rests on this statement about the Lord:  who He is, whose He is, and what He has done.  "I am" precedes and underlies "You shall."

                   ---Because He is God

                   ---Because He is their (our) God

                   ---Because He is their God which has delivered them (us)

          These first four commandments concern our duty toward God and it is fitting that they are first before "loving neighbor as yourself" because man had a Maker to love before he had a neighbor to love.  It cannot be expected that one could be true to his neighbor who is false to his God.  These concern the inward worship of our affections, and the outward worship of solemn address and attendance.


          A.      The First Commandment (Negative)

                   ["Love the Lord your God with all your heart."  God must be                  pre-eminent in our desire.]

3  "You shall have no other gods before me.


                   1.       This commandment discusses the object of worship as                             Yahweh alone.  This precept is the foundation of the Law.

                   2.       God is saying that we shall not prefer other gods to Him,                         and that He will not give His glory to another (Is. 42:8).                          There is none beside Him but what is before Him.  We                      can have no other god but what He will know it.

                   3.       All that Yahweh is, says, and does is embodied in this one                       affirmation, "I am Yahweh."  The rest of the statement,                           "who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of                                       slavery (vs.2)," is one of the great formulas of Scripture                       used 125 times to describe the character and graciousness                              of God.

          B.      The Second Commandment (Negative - with a warning)

                   ["Love the Lord your God with all your soul."  God must be pre-            eminent in our devotion.]

The Precept:

4  "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

5  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,

The Penalty:

punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

6  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

                   1.       This commandment discusses the manner of worship.

                   2.       The precept:  we are commanded not to offer religious                             worship to false deities because God is jealous.  Our                      worship must be governed by the power of faith, not by                         the power of imagination.  His jealousy means that He                         demands exclusive devotion, He will direct anger against                         all who oppose Him, and He will apply the energy of His                         character toward setting His people apart for His own                          glory.  All idolatry is spiritual adultery to the honor, glory,                      and esteem due unto God and will excite His zealousness                             for the consistency of His own character and being.                        Every form of substitution, neglect, or contempt for the                           worship of God is rejected in this commandment.                                   Absolutely anything we could worship besides God would                       be a created thing (Rom. 1:25).

                   3.       The penalty:  children who repeat the sins of their fathers                        evidence it in personally hating God, so they too are                       punished like their fathers.  The effects of disobedience                             last for some time, but the love of God, "to a thousand                        generations," endures far beyond the effects of                                 disobedience.  God has bound all lives together for good                         and for ill.  God draws toward Himself all those who                     would realize His love and would return His love to Him                      through obedience.

                   4.       The Catholics ignore this command by leaving it out,                      claiming it is part of the first and making up the ten by                       dividing the last.

          C.      The Third Commandment (Negative - with a warning)

                   ["Love the Lord your God with all your mind."  God must            be pre-eminent in our depiction.]

7  "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

                   1.       This commandment deals, not with internal worship as                            the first or external worship as the second, but with the                        profession of the mouth in true adoration of God.

                   2.       God's Name should not be used in vain.  Some vain uses                         include expressions of surprise, fill the gaps in speech and                       prayer, or confirm something that is false.

                   3.       If God's Name is used lightly, how shall the righteous run                        to it for safety in times of distress?  (Prov. 18:10)  This is                          like crying 'wolf'.

                   4.       It is part of God's self-giving; not to be exploited, but to                           enable men to call on Him in truth.

                   5.       "Not hold guiltless," may suggest a primary context of                             perjury; a false oath may gain earthly acquittal, but not                            heavenly.

II.      Right Relations in the Worship of God (Godward command #4)

          [Love toward God - First great commandment, Mk. 12:30]

          A.      The Fourth Commandment (Positive - with exposition)

                   ["Love the Lord your God with all your strength."  God must be             pre-eminent without distraction.]

8  "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

                   THEREFORE:  (Negative)

9  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

10  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

                   1.       This connects the two great commandments, showing that                        what is God's due is also our neighbor's blessing as they                          rest along with us, also having opportunity to worship                        God and to receive blessing.

                   2.       Some of the most frequently seen advertising in the last                           few years is, "Now open on Sunday."  The command                           reads, "nor the alien within your gates," and would seem                     to imply that we should not make anyone else work on the                            Sabbath either.

                   3.       The Sabbath is the sign of this Sinaitic Covenant, Ex.                     31:13.  Its observance identifies the people of God.  It is                            an important witness for the people of God to come                         together in the worship of God on a specified day.

# Ex 31:13  "Say to the Israelites, 'You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.

                   4.       Dt. 5:15 also bears witness of the context of slavery                       which God delivered Israel from when they had no                                    freedom from work in which to worship God.  There is                        freedom in obeying God.

                   5.       This command is couched in the creation context in                        which we are to remember God's creative act and His                            purpose for our existence.  He created us to worship Him.                       Our Sunday sabbath commemorates the new creation                         through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  It                       is foretold in Lev. 23:36 as the sacred assembly.

                   6.       But the Jews got around their own legalism too, i.e., the                           recent news about Jewish communities in Chicago putting                       a wire around them on the utility poles to establish a                          larger "home" wherein it is "lawful" to carry things on the                           Sabbath.

                   7.       Some public service jobs are necessary.  The law reads                            "one day in seven."  We may have a job wherein we need                        to take a different day to rest and worship.

                   8.       In a sense, the Sabbath is a tithe of time wherein we                        oppose the temptation to work every day to provide for                             our own needs, take one day in seven to honor God with                          worship, and receive mental, spiritual, and physical rest                           for our bodies - all the while giving witness to our faith in                        God to fulfill our needs for the one day we didn't work.                           When we work constantly, we diminish our capability to                      produce and therefore prove God's Law right from the                           beginning.

III.    Right Relations With Society (Manward commands #5-10)

          [Love toward others; Second great commandment, Mk. 12:31, "Love      your neighbor as yourself."  God must be pre-eminent in our   participation with the community of His created order.  As true religion toward God is essential to righteousness, so righteousness           toward men is essential toward true religion.]

          A.      The Fifth Commandment (Positive - with a promise)

12 ¶ "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

                   1.       This commandment is part of the divine created order that                       pictures God's heavenly authority extended to parents as                         His primary appointed earthly authority to train each                      succeeding generation in the way that they should go                        (Eph. 6:4), that is to honor God.  The command is to the                        children to honor parents, but we are all children and none                      escape.  So the command is also to parents as the                               generations intertwine.  If we don't honor our parents, our                      children will not honor us.  If we don't honor our parents,                         our children will not honor God as the Creator parent of                          us all.  If we do not honor God, we will not train our                     children in the way they should go in honoring us or God.                         The context of this command is to obey the authority of                       our parents by virtue of their God appointed position                              rather than because of their personal qualities.  But our                          first obedience is to God if ever they should conflict.

                   2.       If we do not obey our parents ("in the Lord" - Eph. 6:1) as                       our primary earthly authority we will certainly not obey                       God as our heavenly authority.  That is why this                                command comes with a promise, "that you might live                      long in the land" (quantity of life) and more specifically                            for us as in Eph. 6:3 "long on the earth" with the                                      additional phrase "that it may go well with you" (quality                       of life) [c.f. Dt. 5:16].  Neither quantity nor quality of life                         is possible without honoring God which is a key issue in                          our honor of parents.  To honor is more than to obey.  It is                             to respect and esteem.  It is the form love assumes                                  towards those who are placed above us by God.

                   3.       Most certainly, parents can abuse this God-given authority                      and confuse the appropriate picture of God's authority in                        the lives of their children.  And as well, children can rebel                      in refusal of all authority, Godly or not.  That is why it is                           so reassuring to know what God said in Ez. 18:20-24).

                   4.       Gen. 9:20-27; Ham's behavior is not excused by Noah's                                     lapse.

                             Ex. 21:17; Dt. 21:18-21; to curse or defy father or mother                                  were capital offenses.

                             Lk. 9:59ff; Christ overrode its customary expression.

                             Mt. 15:4ff; 1Tim. 5:4, 8; But Christ gave no pretext for                                      evading it.

                   5.       How does our culture violate this command?

                                      Nursing homes

                                      Parental abuse

                                      Marriage decisions

                   THEREFORE:  (Honoring the godly instruction of godly parents would surely lend obedience to the rest of the commandments and bring honor upon those parents as well as ourselves.  In Lk. 11:27-28, a woman honors the righteousness of Christ by blessing His mother but Christ defers the honor to anyone who would choose to obey God.  Ultimately, it is God as our Heavenly Father whom we honor.)

          B.      The Sixth Commandment (Negative)

13  "You shall not murder.

                   1.       This commandment is in respect of God's creation of                      human life in His image which we have no right to usurp.

                   1.       We should do nothing to harm our own or another                                   person's body unjustly.  This is one of the laws of nature                        given to Noah after the flood (Gen. 9:6).  Even earlier                        God protected Cain (Gen. 4:15) after his murder of Abel,                          but Lamech flaunted it (Gen. 4:24).  Even so, Christ gave                              a higher law of forgiveness (Mt. 18:22).

                   2.       Murder is different than kill.  It does not preclude lawful                         war, self defense or justice.

                   3.       Christ applied this commandment to anyone indulging in                         anger, insults and quarrel (Mt. 5:21-26), and pointed out                         the spiritual kinship of the murderer to the devil who was                         "a murderer from the beginning" (Jn. 8:44).

                   4.       How does our culture violate this command?

                                      Kevorkian suicide/euthanasia

                                      Artificial extension of life/organ transplants, etc.


                                      Violence in the media/on the streets/music

                                      Child abuse

          C.      The Seventh Commandment (Negative)

14  "You shall not commit adultery.

                   1.       This commandment gives us God's model of how we are                          to participate with Him in the privilege of reproducing                        human life that He created in His image.  This is a picture                           of our covenant relationship to Him in worship.

                   2.       We should be as much afraid of that which defiles the                     body (sexual sin) as of that which destroys it (murder).

                   3.       Adultery is sexual intercourse between a man and a                        married woman, but the command in essence refers to all                             sexual sin.  The OT strongly denounces all extramarital                     sexual intercourse, condemning the male offender more                         strongly than the female (Hos. 4:14).  A man commits                            adultery against both his own and another man's marriage,                      a woman only against her own.  The penalty for adultery                             is stronger (death) than for fornication because of the                          covenant involved (Dt. 22:22-29).

                   4.       See Prov. 5:15-23.

                   5.       Christ showed that the commandment could be violated                           by thought as well as deed (Mt.5:27ff), and even under                        the cover of legality through the divorce of a faithful                          partner (Mt. 5:31ff).

                   6.       How does our culture violate this command?

                                      Rampant divorce rates

                                      Sexual promiscuity in dress/pornography

                                      Proliferation of lust in the media/computer assisted

                                      Public school teaching of no moral absolutes

          D.      The Eighth Commandment (Negative)

15  "You shall not steal.

                   1.       This commandment also refers back to God's creative                     capability which we are to trust implicitly by not taking                           for ourselves that which He has not given.  We must rely                          upon Him in faith to supply our needs in response to our                            efforts without overstepping His authority.

                   2.       The discipline for this offense is to repay up to five times                         that which was stolen (Ex. 22:1-4) not only as a penalty                          but that we might learn to trust God all the more to                                 provide.  The OT also condemns various forms of indirect                            theft: e.g. exploitation (Ex. 22:25-27), fraud (Amos 8:5b),                             dispossession (Mic. 2:2), and the withholding of dues                     from man and God (Prov. 3:27f; Mal. 3:8ff).

                   3.       The NT endorses this command and goes further,                                     charging the former thief to honesty and hard work as                              well as to charitable giving (Eph. 4:28).  This is an                               example of not only restitution but of a complete reversal                          of character made possible through the life of Christ in us.

                   4.       How does our culture violate this command?

                                      Many live in wasteful extravagance

                                      Many live in wasteful welfare

                                      Our government feeds itself while starving the                                           people

                                      We withhold our gifts from the work of God

                                      Employee theft

                                      Employer dishonesty with employees


          E.      The Ninth Commandment (Negative)

16  "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

                   1.       This command upholds due process of law by enforcing                          the truthfulness of testimony in the manner of God's own                     attribute of absolute truthfulness.  Just as we can rely                        upon what God says, we must be able to rely upon what                     we say, especially under the conviction of oath in a court                         of law under the institution of government which God                              created for man's good.

                   2.       There is the context here of refraining from any                               falsehood, but especially in a court of law where truth is                          to be severely depended upon to prevent injustice.  A                       minimum safeguard of two witnesses are required for a                              criminal charge (Deut. 19:15-21) and a false witness is                              liable to the penalty to which he exposed the accused.                              This legal safeguard fails when conscience fails as in the                           trial of Naboth (1Kings 21:13f) and that of Christ (Mt.                        26:59ff).

                   3.       We speak well of God when we do not speak ill of others                         either purposefully or unnecessarily.  Speaking the truth                         n love is the NT model (Eph. 4:15, 25).  In fact, all these                          manward commandments explain how we are to love one                     another.

                   4.       How does our culture violate this command?

                                      We have fallen away from the absolute truth of                               God by believing that truth is relative.  It has been                                  redefined as whatever fits the moment.  This has                                      left us with a culture we cannot trust - a culture                                 without a sure foundation.  The phrase, "Do you                                     affirm that what you are about to say is the truth,                                    the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help                                 me God?" seems to carry little impact today.  For                                      the Christian, it should be a way of life.

          F.      The Tenth Commandment (Negative - with exposition)

17  "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

                   1.       All the previous manward commands forbid any desire to                        do injury to our neighbor.  This command forbids any                        desire to have that which is not ours merely for our own                      gratification.

                   2.       This command charges us to honor God by not failing to                          believe that He Himself as our Creator will fulfill our                      deepest desires more than anything He has created.

                   3.       It strikes at the heart of the discontent and envy which                             prod us toward injurious acts to others.  This command is                      the looking glass into the others.  It is the chief root of the                      manward sins, the chief negation of love.  Herein is the                      basis for Christ's explanation of the inward truth of the                              Law through His beatitudes which expanded, or rather                             distilled, the Ten Commandments from constitutional law                        into the ethic of the kingdom of God (Mt. 5:17) in which                       love is the highest expression.

                   4.       None of the previous commandments can be observed                              merely from a purely external or formal act.  It is not                              enough merely to deal with crime once it has been                                committed; the law must also attempt to attack the roots                            of crime.  If covetous desires are eliminated, then that                              natural desire which is rooted within each person may be                         directed more and more toward God.

                   5.       Lk. 12:15 tells us to watch out for greed for material gain.

                             Gal. 5:16-18 says not to gratify the desires of the sinful                                      nature but to live by the Spirit.

                             James 1:14 calls it a precondition of sin.

                             1John 2:16 calls it the craving for worldly satisfactions.

                             Mt. 5:28 tells us that adultery is found in this attitude.

                             Mt. 15:19 tells us that sin is a matter of the heart.

                   6.       How does our culture violate this command?

                                      Rampant materialism/consumerism/mall rats

IV.    Conclusion

                   1.       The Ten Commandments begin and end with matters of the heart.

                   2.       The Law was put into place to reveal sin as a matter of the heart before God, Rom. 5:13; 7:7-13.  (Illus. about parking meter installed after car was parked and a ticket was incurred.)

                   3.       To break one law is to break them all, James 2:10.  There can be no favorites.  (Illus. about ten link chain - break one, break the whole.)

                   4.       In context with the Ten Commandments, to break any breaks the greatest which is to have no other gods.  They all come down to following selfish interest rather than Godly devotion.

                   5.       The Rich Young Man in Mt. 19:18 asked "Which ones?" to Jesus' statement that he must keep the commandments in order to obtain eternal life.  He answered affirmative to all the manward commands but was exposed on his love for another god, the god of possessions.  His concern for others was merely a front for his selfish interest.

                   6.       The Ten Commandments are to the Law as the Lord's Prayer is to prayer.  There were many laws given by God just as there are many things to pray about, but God gave us a summary into which all else fits.  Jesus distilled it even further into two laws of which the first was the greatest without compromising or leaving out any of them.  They all fit under having (and loving) no other god but God.  Anything besides God is not God for God created all things.

                   7.       The NT indwelling of the H.S. supersedes all law as believers, through faith in Christ, now have His law on their hearts to obey in love (# Gal 3:25  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law..)  Without the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, the requirements of the Law would consume us before the holy zeal of God's righteousness.  The Law is a brushfire that quickly and mercilessly bears down on us for destruction, but Christ is the "burned over" place that disarms it, because there is "no one righteous," (Rom. 3:10).

#2Cor 5:21  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Spurgeon's Notes:  (5940-70)


 40  Q  What did God reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?

 A  The rule which God first revealed to man for his obedience,

 is the moral law,

 # De 10:4 Mt 19:17

 which is summarised in the ten commandments.


 41  Q  What is the sum of the ten commandments?

 A  The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God

 with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and

 with all our mind; and our neighbour as ourselves.

 # Mt 22:37-40


 42  Q  Which is the first commandment?

 A  The first commandment is, "Thou shalt have no other gods

 before me."


 43  Q  What is required in the first commandment?

 A  The first commandment requires us to know

 # 1Ch 28:9

 and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God,

 # De 26:17

 and to worship and glorify him accordingly.

 # Mt 4:10


 44  Q  Which is the second commandment?

 A  The second commandment is, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any

 graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,

 or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the

 Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers

 upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that

 hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me,

 and keep my commandments."


45  Q  What is required in the second commandment?

 A  The second commandment requires the receiving, observing,

 # De 32:46 Mt 28:20

 and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances

 as God has appointed in his Word.

 # De 12:32


46  Q  What is forbidden in the second commandment?

 A  The second commandment forbids the worshipping of God

 by images,

 # De 4:15,16

 or any other way not appointed in his Word.


 47  Q  Which is the third commandment?

 A  The third commandment is, "Thou shalt not take the name of

 the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless

 that takes his name in vain."


 48  Q  What is required in the third commandment?

 A  The third commandment requires the holy and reverent

 use of God's names,

 # Ps 29:2

 titles, attributes,

 # Re 15:3,4


 # Ec 5:1


 # Ps 138:2

 and works.

 # Job 36:24 De 28:58,59


 49  Q  Which is the fourth commandment?

 A  The fourth commandment is, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep

 it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the

seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt

not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant,

 nor thy maidservant, nor they cattle, nor thy stranger that is within

 thy gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,

 and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the

 Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."


 50  Q  What is required in the fourth commandment?

 A  The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such

 set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole

 day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself.

 # Le 19:30 De 5:12


 51  Q  How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

 A  The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that

 day, even from such worldly employments and recreations

 as are lawful on other days,

 # Le 23:3

 and spending the whole time in the public and private

 exercises of God's worship,

 # Ps 92:1,2 Isa 58:13,14

 except so much as is taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

 # Mt 12:11,12


52  Q  Which is the fifth commandment?

 A  The fifth commandment is, "Honour thy father and thy mother:

 that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."


53  Q  What is required in the fifth commandment?

 A  The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honour, and

 performing the duties belonging to every one in their various

 positions and relationships as superiors,

 # Eph 5:21,22 6:1,5 Ro 13:1


 # Eph 6:9

 or equals.

 # Ro 12:10


54  Q  What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?

 A  The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of

 long life and prosperity -- as far as it shall serve for God's glory,

 and their own good -- to all such as keep this commandment.

 # Eph 6:2,3


55  Q  Which is the sixth commandment?

 A  The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill."


56  Q  What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?

 A  The sixth commandment forbids the taking away of our own life,

 # Ac 16:28

 or the life of our neighbour unjustly,

 # Ge 9:6

 or whatever tends to it.

 # Pr 24:11,12


57  Q  Which is the seventh commandment?

 A  The seventh commandment is, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."


58  Q  What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?

 A  The seventh commandment forbids all unchaste thoughts,

 # Mt 5:28 Col 4:6


 # Eph 5:4 2Ti 2:22

 and actions.

 # Eph 5:3


59  Q  Which is the eighth commandment?

 A  The eighth commandment is, "Thou shalt not steal."


 60  Q  What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?

 A  The eighth commandment forbids whatever does or may unjustly

 hinder our own,

 # 1Ti 5:8 Pr 28:19 21:6

 or our neighbour's wealth, or outward estate.

 # Eph 4:28


61  Q  Which is the ninth commandment?

 A  The ninth commandment is, "Thou shalt not bear false witness

 against thy neighbour."


62  Q  What is required in the ninth commandment?

 A  The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting

 of truth between man and man,

# Zec 8:16

 and of our own,

 # 1Pe 3:16 Ac 25:10

 and our neighbour's good name,

 # 3Jo 1:12

 especially in witness-bearing.

 # Pr 14:5,25


63  Q  What is the tenth commandment?

 A  The tenth commandment is, "Thou shalt not covet thy

 neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife,

 nor his manservant, or his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass,

 nor anything that is thy neighbour's."


64  Q  What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?

 A  The tenth commandment forbids all discontentment with our own


 # 1Co 10:10

 envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour,

 # Ga 5:26

 and all inordinate emotions and affections to anything that is his.

 # Col 3:5


 65  Q  Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?

 A  No mere man, since the fall, is able in his life perfectly to

 keep the commandments of God,

 # Ec 7:20

 but does daily break them in thought,

 # Ge 8:21


 # Jas 3:8

 and deed.

 # Jas 3:2


 66  Q  Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?

 A  Some sins in themselves, and by reason of various aggravations,

 are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

 # Joh 19:11 1Jo 5:15


 67  Q  What does every sin deserve?

 A  Every sin deserves God's wrath and curse, both in this life

 and that which is to come.

 # Eph 5:6 Ps 11:6


 68  Q  How may we escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?

 A  To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, we

 must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,

 # Joh 3:16

 trusting alone to his blood and righteousness. This faith is

 attended by repentance for the past

 # Ac 20:21

 and leads to holiness in the future.


 69  Q  What is faith in Jesus Christ?

 A  Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace,

 # Heb 10:39

 whereby we receive,

 # Joh 1:12

 and rest upon him alone for salvation,

 # Php 3:9

 as he is set forth in the gospel.

 # Isa 33:22


 70  Q  What is repentance to life?

 A  Repentance to life is a saving grace,

 # Ac 11:18

 whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sins,

 # Ac 2:37

 and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ,

 # Joe 2:13

 does with grief and hatred of his sin turn from it to God,

 # Jer 31:18,19

 with full purpose to strive after new obedience.

 # Ps 119:59

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