Lord’s Day 34
Q & A 92
Q. What is God’s law?
A. God spoke all these words:
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT
“I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of slavery;
you shall have no other gods before me.”
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
“You shall not make for yourself an idol,
whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is on the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,
punishing children for the iniquity of parents,
to the third and fourth generation
of those who reject me,
but showing love to the thousandth generation of those
who love me and keep my commandments.”
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT
“You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God,
for the Lord will not acquit anyone
who misuses his name.”
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God;
you shall not do any work—
you, your son or your daughter,
your male or female slave,
or the alien resident in your towns.
For in six days the Lord made
the heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that is in them,
but rested the seventh day;
therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day
and consecrated it.”
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
“Honor your father and your mother,
so that your days may be long
in the land that the Lord your God is giving to you.”
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
“You shall not murder.”
THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
“You shall not commit adultery.”
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT
“You shall not steal.”
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT
“You shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor.”
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
or male or female slave,
or ox, or donkey,
or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”1
Q & A 93
Q. How are these commandments divided?
A. Into two tables.
The first has four commandments,
teaching us how we ought to live in relation to God.
The second has six commandments,
teaching us what we owe our neighbor.1
Q & A 94
Q. What does the Lord require
in the first commandment?
A. That I, not wanting to endanger my own salvation,
avoid and shun
all idolatry,1 sorcery, superstitious rites,2
and prayer to saints or to other creatures.3
That I rightly know the only true God,4
trust him alone,5
and look to God for every good thing6
humbly7 and patiently,8
and love,9 fear,10 and honor11 God
with all my heart.
that I give up anything
rather than go against God’s will in any way.12
Q & A 95
Q. What is idolatry?
A. Idolatry is
having or inventing something in which one trusts
in place of or alongside of the only true God,
who has revealed himself in the Word.1
Lord’s Day 35
Q & A 96
Q. What is God’s will for us
in the second commandment?
A. That we in no way make any image of God1
nor worship him in any other way
than has been commanded in God’s Word.2
Q & A 97
Q. May we then not make
any image at all?
A. God can not and may not
be visibly portrayed in any way.
Although creatures may be portrayed,
yet God forbids making or having such images
if one’s intention is to worship them
or to serve God through them.1
Q & A 98
Q. But may not images be permitted in churches
in place of books for the unlearned?
A. No, we should not try to be wiser than God.
God wants the Christian community instructed
by the living preaching of his Word—1
not by idols that cannot even talk.2
Lord’s Day 36
Q & A 99
Q. What is the aim of the third commandment?
A. That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God
by cursing,1 perjury,2 or unnecessary oaths,3
nor share in such horrible sins
by being silent bystanders.4
we should use the holy name of God
only with reverence and awe,5
so that we may properly
pray to God,7
and glorify God in all our words and works.8
Q & A 100
Q. Is blasphemy of God’s name by swearing and cursing
really such serious sin
that God is angry also with those
who do not do all they can
to help prevent and forbid it?
A. Yes, indeed.1
No sin is greater
or provokes God’s wrath more
than blaspheming his name.
That is why God commanded it to be punished with death.2
Lord’s Day 37
Q & A 101
Q. But may we swear an oath in God’s name
if we do it reverently?
A. Yes, when the government demands it,
or when necessity requires it,
in order to maintain and promote truth and trustworthiness
for God’s glory and our neighbor’s good.
Such oaths are grounded in God’s Word1
and were rightly used by the people of God
in the Old and New Testaments.2
Q & A 102
Q. May we also swear by saints or other creatures?
A legitimate oath means calling upon God
as the only one who knows my heart
to witness to my truthfulness
and to punish me if I swear falsely.1
No creature is worthy of such honor.2
Lord’s Day 38
Q & A 103
Q. What is God’s will for you
in the fourth commandment?
that the gospel ministry and education for it be maintained,1
and that, especially on the festive day of rest,
I diligently attend the assembly of God’s people2
to learn what God’s Word teaches,3
to participate in the sacraments,4
to pray to God publicly,5
and to bring Christian offerings for the poor.6
that every day of my life
I rest from my evil ways,
let the Lord work in me through his Spirit,
and so begin in this life
the eternal Sabbath.7
Lord’s Day 39
Q & A 104
Q. What is God’s will for you
in the fifth commandment?
A. That I honor, love, and be loyal
to my father and mother
and all those in authority over me;
that I submit myself with proper obedience
to all their good teaching and discipline;1
and also that I be patient with their failings—2
for through them God chooses to rule us.3
Lord’s Day 40
Q & A 105
Q. What is God’s will for you
in the sixth commandment?
A. I am not to belittle, hate, insult, or kill my neighbor—
not by my thoughts, my words, my look or gesture,
and certainly not by actual deeds—
and I am not to be party to this in others;1
rather, I am to put away all desire for revenge.2
I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself either.3
Prevention of murder is also why
government is armed with the sword.4
Q & A 106
Q. Does this commandment refer only to murder?
A. By forbidding murder God teaches us
that he hates the root of murder:
envy, hatred, anger, vindictiveness.1
In God’s sight all such are disguised forms of murder.2
Q & A 107
Q. Is it enough then
that we do not murder our neighbor
in any such way?
By condemning envy, hatred, and anger
God wants us
to love our neighbors as ourselves,1
to be patient, peace-loving, gentle,
merciful, and friendly toward them,2
to protect them from harm as much as we can,
and to do good even to our enemies.3
Lord’s Day 41
Q & A 108
Q. What does the seventh commandment teach us?
A. That God condemns all unchastity,1
and that therefore we should thoroughly detest it2
and live decent and chaste lives,3
within or outside of the holy state of marriage.
Q & A 109
Q. Does God, in this commandment,
forbid only such scandalous sins as adultery?
A. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, body and soul,
and God wants both to be kept clean and holy.
That is why God forbids
all unchaste actions, looks, talk, thoughts, or desires,1
and whatever may incite someone to them.2
Lord’s Day 42
Q & A 110
Q. What does God forbid
in the eighth commandment?
A. God forbids not only outright theft and robbery,
punishable by law.1
But in God’s sight theft also includes
all scheming and swindling
in order to get our neighbor’s goods for ourselves,
whether by force or means that appear legitimate,2
inaccurate measurements of weight, size, or volume;
or any other means forbidden by God.3
In addition God forbids all greed4
and pointless squandering of his gifts.5
Q & A 111
Q. What does God require of you
in this commandment?
A. That I do whatever I can
for my neighbor’s good,
that I treat others
as I would like them to treat me,
and that I work faithfully
so that I may share with those in need.1
Lord’s Day 43
Q & A 112
Q. What is the aim of the ninth commandment?
A. That I
never give false testimony against anyone,
twist no one’s words,
not gossip or slander,
nor join in condemning anyone
rashly or without a hearing.1
Rather, in court and everywhere else,
I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind;
these are the very devices the devil uses,
and they would call down on me God’s intense wrath.2
I should love the truth,
speak it candidly,
and openly acknowledge it.3
And I should do what I can
to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name.4
Lord’s Day 44
Q & A 113
Q. What is the aim of the tenth commandment?
A. That not even the slightest desire or thought
contrary to any one of God’s commandments
should ever arise in our hearts.
Rather, with all our hearts
we should always hate sin
and take pleasure in whatever is right.1
Q & A 114
Q. But can those converted to God
obey these commandments perfectly?
In this life even the holiest
have only a small beginning of this obedience.1
Nevertheless, with all seriousness of purpose,
they do begin to live
according to all, not only some,
of God’s commandments.2
Q & A 115
Q. Since no one in this life
can obey the Ten Commandments perfectly,
why does God want them
preached so pointedly?
A. First, so that the longer we live
the more we may come to know our sinfulness
and the more eagerly look to Christ
for forgiveness of sins and righteousness.1
Second, so that
we may never stop striving,
and never stop praying to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit,
to be renewed more and more after God’s image,
until after this life we reach our goal: