(a) Matt.18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matt.18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Matt.18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matt.18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 1 Cor.5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 1 Cor.5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 1 Cor.5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor.5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Cor.5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 2 Thess.3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 2 Thess.3:15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2 Cor.2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 2 Cor.2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 2 Cor.2:8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
The Third Part - Of Thankfulness
32. Lord's Day
Question 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery, merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?
Answer: Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit, after his own image; that so we may testify, by the whole of our conduct, our gratitude to God for his blessings, (a) and that he may be praised by us; (b) also, that every one may be assured in himself of his faith, (c) by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation others may be gained to Christ. (d)
(a) Rom.6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Rom.12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Rom.12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 1 Pet.2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Pet.2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Pet.2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1 Cor.6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (b) Matt.5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 1 Pet.2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Pet.1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 1 Pet.1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (c) 2 Pet.1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: Matt.7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Gal.5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Gal.5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Gal.5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (d) 1 Pet.3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 1 Pet.3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Rom.14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Question 87. Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to God?
Answer: By no means; for the holy scripture declares that no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (a)
(a) 1 Cor.6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Cor.6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Eph.5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph.5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
33. Lord's Day
Question 88. Of how many parts does the true conversion of man consist?
Answer: Of two parts; of the mortification of the old, and the quickening of the new man. (a)
(a) Rom.6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom.6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rom.6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Rom.6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Eph.4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; Eph.4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Eph.4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Col.3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: Col.3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: Col.3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. Col.3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Col.3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Col.3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 1 Cor.5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 2 Cor.7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Question 89. What is the mortification of the old man?
Answer: It is a sincere sorrow of heart, that we have provoked God by our sins; and more and more to hate and flee from them. (a)
(a) Rom.8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Hos.6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
Question 90. What is the quickening of the new man?
Answer: It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ, (a) and with love and delight to live according to the will of God in all good works. (b)
(a) Rom.5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Rom.14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Isa.57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (b) Rom.6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Rom.6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Gal.2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Question 91. But what are good works?
Answer: Only those which proceed from a true faith, (a) are performed according to the law of God, (b) and to his glory; (c) and not such as are founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men. (d)
(a) Rom.14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (b) Lev.18:4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. 1 Sam.15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Eph.2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (c) 1 Cor.10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (d) Deut.12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Ezek.20:18 But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: Ezek.20:19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; Isa.29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Matt.15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, Matt.15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Matt.15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
34. Lord's Day
Question 92. What is the law of God?
Answer: God spake all these words, Exodus 20:1-17 and Denteronomy 5:6-21, saying: I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
1st commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2nd commandment: 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.
3rd commandment: 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.
4th commandment: 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 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.
5th commandment: Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
6th commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
7th commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8th commandment: Thou shalt not steal.
9th commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 10th commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Question 93. How are these commandments divided?
Answer: Into two tables; (a) the first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbour. (b)
(a) Exod.34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. Deut.4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. Deut.10:3 And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. Deut.10:4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me. (b) Matt.22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matt.22:38 This is the first and great commandment. Matt.22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matt.22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Question 94. What does 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, (a) sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, (b) invocation of saints, or any other creatures; (c) and learn rightly to know the only true God; (d) trust in him alone, (e) with humility (f) and patience submit to him; (g) expect all good things from him only; (h) love, (i) fear, (j) and glorify him with my whole heart; (k) so that I renounce and forsake all creatures, rather than commit even the least thing contrary to his will. (l)
(a) 1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 1 Cor.6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Cor.6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor.10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 1 Cor.10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (b) Lev.19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. Deut.18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. Deut.18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Deut.18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. Deut.18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (c) Matt.4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Rev.19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev.22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Rev.22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. (d) John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (e) Jer.17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. Jer.17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. (f) 1 Pet.5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 1 Pet.5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (g) Heb.10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Col.1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Rom.5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; Rom.5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 1 Cor.10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Philip.2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: (h) Ps.104:27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. Ps.104:28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Ps.104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Ps.104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. Isa.45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (i) Deut.6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Matt.22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (j) Deut.6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Ps.111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Prov.1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov.9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Matt.10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (k) Matt.4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Deut.10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. Deut.10:21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. (l) Matt.5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matt.5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matt.10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
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. (a)
(a) Eph.5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 1 Chron.16:26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Philip.3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) Gal.4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. Eph.2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 1 John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. John 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
35. Lord's Day
Question 96. What does God require in the second commandment?
Answer: That we in no wise represent God by images, (a) nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word. (b)
(a) Deut.4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Deut.4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, Deut.4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, Deut.4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: Deut.4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. Isa.40:18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? Isa.40:19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. Isa.40:20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. Isa.40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? Isa.40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: Isa.40:23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Isa.40:24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. Isa.40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Rom.1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Rom.1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. (b) 1 Sam.15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. Deut.12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Deut.12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. Deut.12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Matt.15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Question 97. Are images then not at all to be made?
Answer: God neither can, nor may be represented by any means: (a) 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 or to serve God by them. (b)
(a) Isa.40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. (b) Exod.23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. Exod.23:25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. Exod.34:13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: Exod.34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exod.34:17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. Num.33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: Deut.7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. Deut.12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Deut.16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. 2 Kin.18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 2 Kin.18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
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 taught, not by dump images, (a) but by the lively preaching of his word. (b)
(a) Jer.10:8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Hab.2:18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Hab.2:19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. (b) Rom.10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Rom.10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Rom.10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 2 Pet.1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Tim.3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim.3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
36. Lord's Day
Question 99. What is required in the third commandment?
Answer: That we, not only by cursing (a) or perjury, (b) but also by rash swearing, (c) must not profane or abuse the name of God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; (d) and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence; (e) so that he may be rightly confessed (f) and worshipped by us, (g) and be glorified in all our words and works. (h)
(a) Lev.24:11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) Lev.24:12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. Lev.24:13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Lev.24:14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. Lev.24:15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. Lev.24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death. (b) Lev.19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. (c) Matt.5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. (d) Lev.5:1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Prov.29:24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not. (e) Jer.4:2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. Isa.45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (f) Rom.10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Rom.10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Matt.10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (g) Ps.50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. 1 Tim.2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (h) Rom.2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 1 Tim.6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. Col.3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col.3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
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 endeavour, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?
Answer: It undoubtedly is, (a) for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God, than the profaning of his name; and therefore he has commanded this sin to be punished with death. (b)
(a) Prov.29:24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not. Lev.5:1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. (b) Lev.24:15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. Lev.24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.
37. Lord's Day
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 neighbour: for such an oath is founded on God's word, (a) and therefore was justly used by the saints, both in the Old and New Testament. (b)
(a) Deut.6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Deut.10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. Isa.48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. Heb.6:16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. (b) Gen.21:24 And Abraham said, I will swear. Gen.31:53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac. Gen.31:54 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount. Jos.9:15 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. Jos.9:19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 1 Sam.24:22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold. 2 Sam.3:35 And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down. 1 Kin.1:28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 1 Kin.1:29 And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 1 Kin.1:30 Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. Rom.1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 2 Cor.1:23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
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 falsely; (a) which honour is due to no creature. (b)
(a) 2 Cor.1:23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. Rom.9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, (b) Matt.5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Matt.5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Matt.5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
38. Lord's Day
Question 103. What does God require in the fourth commandment?
Answer: First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained; (a) and that I, especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest, diligently frequent the church of God, (b) to hear his word, (c) to use the sacraments, (d) publicly to call upon the Lord, (e) and contribute to the relief of the poor. (f) 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 begin in this life the eternal sabbath. (g)
(a) Tit.1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 2 Tim.3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 2 Tim.3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim.5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Cor.9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 1 Cor.9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 1 Cor.9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 2 Tim.2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (b) Ps.40:10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Ps.40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. Ps.68:27 There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali. Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (c) 1 Tim.4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 Cor.14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 1 Cor.14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 1 Cor.14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (d) 1 Cor.11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. (e) 1 Tim.2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 1 Tim.2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 1 Tim.2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 1 Tim.2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 1 Tim.2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 1 Tim.2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 1 Tim.2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 1 Cor.14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? (f) 1 Cor.16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (g) Isa.66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
39. Lord's Day
Question 104. What does God require in the fifth commandment?
Answer: That I show all honour, love and fidelity, to my father and mother, and all in authority over me, and submit myself to their good instruction and correction, with due obedience; (a) and also patiently bear with their weaknesses and infirmities, (b) since it pleases God to govern us by their hand. (c)
(a) Eph.5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Eph.6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Eph.6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) Eph.6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Eph.6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Eph.6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Col.3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Col.3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Col.3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Col.3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: Col.3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Col.3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. Prov.1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Prov.4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. Prov.15:20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother. Prov.20:20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness. Exod.21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. Rom.13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Rom.13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Rom.13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: Rom.13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Rom.13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Rom.13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Rom.13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (b) Prov.23:22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Gen.9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. Gen.9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 1 Pet.2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (c) Eph.6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Eph.6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. Col.3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Col.3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Col.3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Rom.13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Rom.13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: Matt.22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
40. Lord's Day
Question 105. What does God require in the sixth commandment?
Answer: That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonour, hate, wound, or kill my neighbour, by myself or by another: (a) but that I lay aside all desire of revenge: (b) also, that I hurt not myself, nor wilfully expose myself to any danger. (c) Wherefore also the magistrate is armed with the sword, to prevent murder. (d)
(a) Matt.5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: Matt.5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matt.26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Gen.9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. (b) Eph.4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Rom.12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Matt.5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Matt.18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (c) Rom.13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Col.2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. Matt.4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (d) Gen.9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. Exod.21:14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. Matt.26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Rom.13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
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 envy, (a) hatred, (b) anger, (c) and desire of revenge; and that he accounts all these as murder. (d)
(a) Prov.14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. Rom.1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (b) 1 John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. (c) James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Gal.5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Gal.5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Gal.5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (d) 1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
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 love our neighbour as ourselves; (a) to show patience, peace, meekness, mercy, and all kindness, towards him, (b) and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies; (c) and that we do good, even to our enemies. (d)
(a) Matt.7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matt.22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Rom.12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; (b) Eph.4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Gal.6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Gal.6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Matt.5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matt.5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matt.5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Rom.12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 1 Pet.3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Col.3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Rom.12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Rom.12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. (c) Exod.23:5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him. (d) Matt.5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt.5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Rom.12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Rom.12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
41. Lord's Day
Question 108. What does the seventh commandment teach us?
Answer: That all uncleanness is accursed of God: (a) and that therefore we must with all our hearts detest the same, (b) and live chastely and temperately, (c) whether in holy wedlock, or in single life. (d)
(a) Lev.18:27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) Lev.18:28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. (b) Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (c) 1 Thess.4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 1 Thess.4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 1 Thess.4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: (d) Heb.13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 1 Cor.7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 1 Cor.7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 1 Cor.7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. 1 Cor.7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
Question 109. Does 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, gestures, words, (a) thoughts, desires, (b) and whatever can entice men thereto. (c)
(a) Eph.5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Eph.5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 1 Cor.6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 1 Cor.6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Cor.6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (b) Matt.5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: Matt.5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (c) Eph.5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 1 Cor.15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
42. Lord's Day
Question 110. What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?
Answer: God forbids not only those thefts, (a) and robberies, (b) which are punishable by the magistrate; but he comprehends under the name of theft all wicked tricks and devices, whereby we design to appropriate to ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbour: (c) whether it be by force, or under the appearance of right, as by unjust weights, ells, measures, fraudulent merchandise, (d) false coins, usury, (e) or by any other way forbidden by God; as also all covetousness, (f) all abuse and waste of his gifts. (g)
(a) 1 Cor.6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (b) 1 Cor.5:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. Isa.33:1 Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee. (c) Luke 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. 1 Thess.4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. (d) Prov.11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. Prov.16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work. Ezek.45:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD. Ezek.45:10 Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. Ezek.45:11 The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part of an homer: the measure thereof shall be after the homer. Ezek.45:12 And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh. Deut.25:13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. Deut.25:14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. Deut.25:15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Deut.25:16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God. (e) Ps.15:5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. (f) 1 Cor.6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (g) Prov.23:20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: Prov.23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Prov.21:20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
Question 111. But what does God require in this commandment?
Answer: That I promote the advantage of my neighbour in every instance I can or may; and deal with him as I desire to be dealt with by others: (a) further also that I faithfully labour, so that I may be able to relieve the needy. (b)
(a) Matt.7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (b) Eph.4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
43. Lord's Day
Question 112. What is required in the ninth commandment?
Answer: That I bear false witness against no man, (a) nor falsify any man's words; (b) that I be no backbiter, nor slanderer; (c) that I do not judge, nor join in condemning any man rashly, or unheard; (d) but that I avoid all sorts of lies and deceit, as the proper works of the devil, (e) unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God; (f) likewise, that in judgment and all other dealings I love the truth, speak it uprightly and confess it; (g) also that I defend and promote, as much as I am able, the horror and good character of my neighbour. (h)
(a) Prov.19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. Prov.19:9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish. Prov.21:28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly. (b) Ps.15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. Ps.50:19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Ps.50:20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. (c) Rom.1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Rom.1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (d) Matt.7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matt.7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (e) John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (f) Prov.12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. Prov.13:5 A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame. (g) 1 Cor.13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Eph.4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (h) 1 Pet.4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
44. Lord's Day
Question 113. What does 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, and delight in all righteousness. (a)
(a) Rom.7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Question 114. 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 obedience; (a) yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all the commandments of God. (b)