What doth the tenth commandment require of us?
Answer. That even the smallest inclination or thought, contrary to any of God's commandments, never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, [a] and delight in all righteousness.
But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?
Answer. No: but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this [b] obedience; yet so, that with a [c] sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all of the commandments of God.
Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?
Answer. First, that all our lifetime we may learn [d] more and more to know our sinful nature, and thus become the more earnest in seeking the remission of sin, [e] and righteousness in Christ; likewise, that we constantly endeavor and pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may become more and more conformable to the image of God, till we arrive at the perfection proposed to us, in a life to come. [f]
[a]: Rom. 7:7ff
[b]: Rom. 7:14
[c]: Rom. 7:15ff; James 3:2
[d]: 1 Jn 1:9; Rom. 3:20; Rom. 5:13; Rom. 7:7
[e]: Rom. 7:24
[f]: 1 Cor. 9:24; Phil. 3:12,13,14