Ten Commandments

Lord's Day 34

Question 92.

What is the law of God?

Answer. (Ex 20; Deut 5),

i. God spake all these words saying: I am the Lord thy God, which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

II. Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down 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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

III. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain.

IV. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy 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.

V. Honor thy father and they mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord they God giveth thee.

VI. Thou shalt not kill.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII. Thou shalt not steal.

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.”

Question 93.

How are these commandments divided?

Answer. Into two [a] tables; the [b] first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor.

Question 94.

What doth God enjoin in the first commandment?

Answer. That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry, [c] sorcery, [d] soothsaying, superstition, [e] invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn [f] rightly to know the only true God; [g] trust in him alone, with humility [h] and patience [i] submit to him; [j] expect all good things from him only; [k] love, [l] fear, and [m] glorify him with my whole heart; so that I renounce [n] and forsake all creatures, rather than [o] commit even the least thing contrary to his will.

Question 95.

What is idolatry?

Answer. Idolatry is, instead of, or besides that one true God, who has manifested himself in his word, to contrive, or have any other object, in which men place their trust. [p]

[a]: Ex. 34:28,29
[b]: Deut. 4:13; Deut. 10:3,4
[c]: 1Cor. 6:9,10; 1Cor 10:7,14
[d]: Lev. 18:21; Deut. 18:10,11,12
[e]: Mat. 4:10; Rev. 19:10
[f]: John 17:3
[g]: Jer. 17:5,7
[h]: Heb. 10:36; Col. 1:11; Rom. 5:3,4; Phil. 2:14
[i]: 1Pet. 5:5,6
[j]: Psa. 104:27; Isa. 45:7; James 1:17
[k]: Deut. 6:5; Mat. 22:37
[l]: Deut. 6:5; Mat. 10:28
[m]: Mat. 4:10
[n]: Mat. 5:29,30; Acts 5:29; Mat. 10:37
[o]: Mat. 5:19
[p]: 2Chron. 16:12; Phil. 3:18,19; Gal. 4:8; Eph. 2:12

Lord's Day 35

Question 96.

What doth God require in the second commandment?

Answer. That we in no wise [a] represent God by images, nor worship [b] him in any other way than he has commanded in his word.

Question 97.

Are images then not at all to be made?

Answer. God neither can, nor [c] may be represented by any means: but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them [d] or to serve God by them.

Question 98.

But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?

Answer. No: for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people [e] taught, not by dumb images, [f] but by the lively preaching of his word.

[a]: Deut. 4:15; Isa. 40:18; Rom. 1:23ff; Acts 17:29
[b]: 1Sam. 15:23; Deut. 12:30
[c]: Deut. 4:15,16; Isa. 46:5; Rom. 1:23
[d]: Ex. 23:24; Ex. 34:13,14; Numb. 33:52; Deut. 7:5
[e]: 2Tim. 3:16; 2Pet. 1:19
[f]: Jer. 10:1ff; Hab. 2:18,19

Lord's Day 36

Question 99.

What is required in the third commandment?

Answer. That we, not only by cursing or [a] perjury, but also by [b] rash swearing, must not profane or abuse the name of [c] God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence; so that he may be rightly [d] confessed and [e] worshipped by us, and be glorified in all our words and works.

Question 100.

Is then the profaning of God's name, by swearing and cursing, so heinous a sin, that his wrath is kindled against those who do not endeavor, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?

Answer. It undoubtedly is, [f] for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God, than the profaning of his name; and therefore he has commanded this [g] sin to be punished with death.

[a]: Lev. 24:11; Lev. 19:12; Mat. 5:37; Lev. 5:4
[b]: Isa. 45:23,24
[c]: Mat. 10:32
[d]: 1Tim. 2:8
[e]: 1Cor. 3:16,17
[f]: Lev. 5:1
[g]: Lev. 24:15

Lord's Day 37

Question 101.

May we then swear religiously by the name of God?

Answer. Yes: either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects; or when necessity requires us thereby to confirm [a] fidelity and truth to the glory of God, and the safety of our neighbor: for such an oath is [b] founded on God's word, and therefore was justly [c] used by the saints, both in the Old and New Testament.

Question 102.

May we also swear by saints or any other creatures?

Answer. No; for a lawful oath is calling upon God, as the only one who knows the heart, that he will bear witness to the truth, and punish me if I swear [d] falsely; which honor is [e] due to no creature.

[a]: Ex. 22:11; Neh. 13:25
[b]: Deut. 6:13; Heb. 6:16
[c]: Gen. 21:24; Jos. 9:15,19; 1Sam. 24:22; 2Cor. 1:23; Rom. 1:9
[d]: 2Cor. 1:23
[e]: Mat. 5:34,35

Lord's Day 38

Question 103.

What doth God require in the fourth commandment?

Answer. First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be [a] maintained; and that I, especially on the sabbath, [b] that is, on the day of rest, [c] diligently frequent [d] the church of God, to hear his word, to use the sacraments, [e] publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of the [f] poor, as becomes a christian. Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by his Holy Spirit in me: and thus [g] begin in this life the eternal sabbath.

[a]: Deut. 12:19; Tit. 1:5; 1Tim. 3:14,15; 1Cor. 9:11; 2Tim. 2:2; 1Tim. 3:15
[b]: Lev. 23:3
[c]: Acts 2:42,46; 1Cor. 14:19,29,31
[d]: 1Cor. 11:33
[e]: 1Tim. 2:1
[f]: 1Cor. 16:2
[g]: Isa. 66:23

Lord's Day 39

Question 104.

What doth God require in the fifth commandment?

Answer. That I show all honor, love and fidelity, to my father and mother, and all in authority over me, and [a] submit myself to their good instruction and correction, with due obedience; and also patiently bear with their [b] weaknesses and infirmities, since it pleases [c] God to govern us by their hand.

[a]: Eph. 6:1ff; Col. 3:18,20; Eph. 5:22; Rom. 1:31
[b]: Prov. 23:22
[c]: Eph. 6:5,6; Col. 3:19,21; Rom. 13:1-8; Mat. 22:21

Lord's Day 40

Question 105.

What doth God require in the sixth commandment?

Answer. That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonor, hate, wound, or [a] kill my neighbor, by myself or by another; but that I lay [b] aside all desire of revenge: also, that I [c] hurt not myself, nor willfully expose myself to any danger. Wherefore also the magistrate [d] is armed with the sword, to prevent murder.

Question 106.

But this commandment seems only to speak of murder?

Answer. In forbidding murder, God teaches us, that he abhors the causes thereof, such as [e] envy, [f] hatred, anger, and desire of revenge; and that [g] he accounts all these as murder.

Question 107.

But is it enough that we do not kill any man in the manner mentioned above?

Answer. No: for when god forbids envy, hatred, and anger, he commands us to [h] love our neighbor as ourselves; to show [i] patience, peace, [j] meekness, [k] mercy, and all kindness, towards him, [l] and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies' and that we [m] do good, even to our enemies.

[a]: Mat. 5:21,22; Prov. 12:18; Mat. 26:52
[b]: Eph. 4:26; Rom. 12:19; Mat. 5:39,40
[c]: Mat. 4:5,6,7; Col. 2:23
[d]: Gen. 9:6; Mat. 26:52; Rom. 13:4
[e]: James 1:20; Gal. 5:20
[f]: Rom. 1:29; 1John 2:9
[g]: 1John 3:15
[h]: Mat. 22:39; Mat. 7:12
[i]: Rom. 12:10
[j]: Eph. 4:2; Gal. 6:1,2; Mat. 5:5; Rom. 12:18
[k]: Ex. 23:5
[l]: Mat. 5:45
[m]: Rom. 12:20

Lord's Day 41

Question 108.

What doth the seventh commandment teach us?

Answer. That all uncleanness is accursed [a] of God: and that therefore we must with all our hearts [b] detest the same, and live [c] chastely and temperately, whether in [d] holy wedlock, or in single life.

Question 109.

Doth God forbid in this commandment, only adultery, and such like gross sins?

Answer. Since both our body and soul are temples of the Holy Ghost, he commands us to preserve them pure and holy: therefore he forbids all unchaste actions, [e] gestures, words, thoughts, [f] desires, and whatever [g] can entice men thereto.

[a]: Lev. 18:27
[b]: Deut. 29:20-23
[c]: 1Thes. 4:3,4
[d]: Heb. 13:4; 1Cor. 7:4-9
[e]: Eph. 5:3; 1Cor. 6:18
[f]: Mat. 5:28
[g]: Eph. 5:18; 1Cor. 15:33