The Moral Law: Questions 39 to 84

The Moral Law

Questions 39-40

Q. 39. What is the duty which God requires of man?
A. The duty which God requires of man is obedience to his revealed will.[a]

[a]. Deut 29:29; Mic 6:8; 1 John 5:2-3

Q. 40. What rule did God at first reveal to man for his obedience?
A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience was the moral law.[a]

[a]. Rom 2:14-15; Rom 10:5

The Moral Law: Brief Summary

Questions 41-42

Q. 41. Where is the moral law set out briefly?
A. The moral law is set out briefly in the Ten Commandments.[a]

[a]. Deut 4:13; Mat 19:17-19

Q. 42. What is the sum of the Ten Commandments?
A. The sum of the Ten Commandments is to love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.[a]

[a]. Mat 22:37-40

The Moral Law: The Ten Commandments

Questions 43-81

Q. 43. What is the preface to the Ten Commandments?
A. The preface to the Ten Commandments is: I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:2; Deut 5:6

Q. 44. What does the preface to the Ten Commandments teach us?
A. The preface to the Ten Commandments teaches us that because God is the LORD and our God and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.[a]

[a]. Luk 1:74-75; 1 Pet 1:14-19

Q. 45. Which is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is: You shall have no other gods before me.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:3; Deut 5:7

Q. 46. What is required in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment requires us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly.[a]

[a]. 1 Chr 28:9; Isa 45:20-25; Mat 4:10

Q. 47. What is forbidden in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment forbids the denial of,[a] or failure to worship and glorify, the true God as God[b] and our God;[c] and it forbids giving that worship and glory to any other which is due to God alone.[d]

[a]. Psa 14:1
[b]. Rom 1:20-21
[c]. Psa 81:10-11
[d]. Eze 8:16-18; Rom 1:25

Q. 48. What do the words “before me” in the first commandment teach us?
A. These words “before me” in the first commandment teach us that God, who sees all things, takes notice of and is much displeased with the sin of having any other God.[a]

[a]. Deut 30:17-18; Psa 44:20-21; Eze 8:12

Q. 49. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is: 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. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:4-6; Deut 5:8-10

Q. 50. What are the duties required in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment requires us to receive, observe, and keep pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God has appointed in his Word.[a]

[a]. Deut 12:32; Mat 28:20

Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbids the worship of God by images,[a] or any other way not appointed in his Word.[b]

[a]. Deut 4:15-19; Rom 1:22-23
[b]. Lev 10:1-2; Jer 19:4-5; Col 2:18-23

Q. 52. What are the reasons attached to the second commandment?
A. The reasons attached to the second commandment are God’s authority as our lawgiver,[a] the fact that we belong to him,[b] and the zeal he has for his own worship.[c]

[a]. Psa 95:2-3, 6-7; Psa 96:9-10
[b]. Exo 19:5; Psa 45:11; Isa 54:5
[c]. Exo 34:14; 1 Cor 10:22

Q. 53. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is: You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:7; Deut 5:11

Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s name, titles,[a] attributes,[b] ordinances,[c] Word,[d] and works.[e]

[a]. Deut 10:20; Psa 29:2; Mat 6:9
[b]. 1 Chr 29:10-13; Rev 15:3-4
[c]. Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 11:27-28
[d]. Psa 138:2; Rev 22:18-19
[e]. Psa 107:21-22; Rev 4:11

Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbids all unworthy use of anything by which God makes himself known.[a]

[a]. Lev 19:12; Mat 5:33-37; Jas 5:12

Q. 56. What is the reason attached to the third commandment?
A. The reason attached to the third commandment is that through the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the LORD your God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgement.[a]

[a]. Deut 28:58-59; 1 Sam 3:13; 1 Sam 4:11

Q. 57. Which is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is: Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 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/stranger within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but he rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the seventh day and made it holy.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:8-11; Deut 5:12-15

Q. 58. 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, in particular, one whole day in seven.[a]

[a]. Exo 31:13, 16-17

Q. 59. Which day of the seven has God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?
A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath,[a] but thereafter he appointed the first day of the week, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath.[b]

[a]. Gen 2:2-3; Exo 20:11
[b]. Mark 2:27-28; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2; Rev 1:10

Q. 60. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath is to be kept holy by resting all that day from our work and recreations,[a] and spending the whole time in the public and private worship,[b] except the time spent in works of necessity and mercy.[c]

[a]. Exo 20:10; Neh 13:15-22; Isa 58:13-14
[b]. Exo 20:8; Lev 23:3; Luk 4:16; Acts 20:7
[c]. Mat 12:1-13

Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment forbids the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the misuse of the day by idleness, sinful acts, or unnecessary thoughts, words or works about our worldly affairs and recreations.[a]

[a]. Neh 13:15-22; Isa 58:13-14; Amos 8:4-6

Q. 62. What are the reasons attached to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons attached to the fourth commandment are God’s allowance of six days for worldly tasks,[a] his claim to special ownership of the seventh, his own example, and his blessing of the sabbath day.[b]

[a]. Exo 20:9; Exo 31:15; Lev 23:3
[b]. Gen 2:2-3; Exo 20:11; Exo 31:17

Q. 63. Which is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is: Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:12; Deut 5:16

Q. 64. What is required in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment requires us to preserve the honour and perform the duties belonging to everyone in their different positions and relationships in life.[a]

[a]. Rom 13:1, 7; Eph 5:21-22, 24; Eph 6:1, 4-5, 9; 1 Pet 2:17

Q. 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment forbids us to neglect or to do anything against the honour and duty which belongs to everyone in their various positions and relationships in life.[a]

[a]. Mat 15:4-6; Rom 13:8

Q. 66. What is the reason attached to the fifth commandment?
A. The reason attached to the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (so far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good) to all those who keep this commandment.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:12; Deut 5:16; Eph 6:2-3

Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is: You shall not murder.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:13; Deut 5:17

Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment requires all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life and the life of others.[a]

[a]. Eph 5:28-29

Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment forbids us to take our own life or to take unjustly the life of our neighbour, or anything tending to these ends.[a]

[a]. Gen 9:6; Mat 5:22; 1 John 3:15

Q. 70. Which is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is: You shall not commit adultery.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:14; Deut 5:18

Q. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment requires us to preserve our own and our neighbour’s chastity in heart, speech, and behaviour.[a]

[a]. 1 Cor 7:2-3, 5; 1 Thes 4:3-5

Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment forbids all impure thoughts, words, and actions.[a]

[a]. Mat 5:28; Eph 5:3-4

Q. 73. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is: You shall not steal.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:15; Deut 5:19

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment requires us to obtain lawfully, and to further, the wealth and material well-being of ourselves and others.[a]

[a]. Lev 25:35; Eph 4:28 b; Phil 2:4

Q. 75. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment forbids whatever does or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour’s wealth and material well-being.[a]

[a]. Pro 28:19-20, 22, 24, 27; Eph 4:28 a; 2 Thes 3:10; 1 Tim 5:8

Q. 76. Which is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:16; Deut 5:20

Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment requires us to maintain and promote truth between men, and our own and our neighbour’s good name,[a] especially when called upon to bear witness.[b]

[a]. Zec 8:16; Acts 25:10; 3 John 1:12
[b]. Pro 14:5, 25

Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment forbids whatever misrepresents truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour’s good name.[a]

[a]. Lev 19:16; Psa 15:3; Pro 6:16-19; Luk 3:14

Q. 79. Which is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is: You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or his donkey, or anything which belongs to your neighbour.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:17; Deut 5:21

Q. 80. What is required in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment requires full contentment with our own condition,[a] and a right and charitable attitude toward our neighbour and all that is his.[b]

[a]. Psa 34:1; Php 4:11; 1 Tim 6:6; Heb 13:5
[b]. Luk 15:6, 9, 11-32; Rom 12:15; Php 2:4

Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbids all discontent with our own state;[a] envying and grieving at the good of our neighbour, together with all ungoverned longings and desires for things that belong to him.[b]

[a]. 1 Cor 10:10; Jas 3:14-16
[b]. Gal 5:26; Col 3:5

The Moral Law: Transgression and Penalty

Questions 82-84

Q. 82. Is any man able to keep the commandments of God perfectly?
A. No mere human person, since the fall, is able to keep the commandments of God perfectly in this life, but breaks them daily in thought, word, and deed.[a]

[a]. Gen 8:21; Rom 3:9-18, 23

Q. 83. Are all transgressions of the law equally sinful?
A. Some sins, because of their nature and the circumstances, are more sinful in the sight of God than others.[a]

[a]. Eze 8:6, 13, 15; Mat 11:20-24; John 19:11

Q. 84. What does every sin deserve?
A. Every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse, both in this life and the life that is to come.[a]

[a]. Mat 25:41; Gal 3:10; Eph 5:6; Jas 2:10