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New City Catechism 8.2

Question 8: What is the law of God stated in the Ten Commandments?


1. You shall have no other gods before me.

2. 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.

3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

5. Honor your father and your mother.

6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not give false testimony.

10. You shall not covet.

The last six commands of the Ten Commandments focus on how we relate to others. The fifth commandment teaches us to honor those who are older, especially our own parents, not only by obeying their commands when we are young, but also by treasuring their faithful heritage passed down to us throughout our lives and caring for them in their old age.

The sixth commandment forbids murder in order to honor the value of human life. It is based on the theological principle that all people are made in God’s image. The seventh commandment honors the sanctity of marriage and forbids the breaking of the marriage covenant through sexual union outside of marriage.

The eighth commandment honors the goodness of private property and teaches us to respect our neighbors by respecting what they own as theirs. The ninth commandment teaches us to honor the truth and forbids us from seeking to damage others through lies and deceit.

Suggested passage for family or personal reading: Exodus 20:12-16. What does each commandment teach us about our obligations to others?

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