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New City Catechism - Question 11
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Posted by Paul Coumos, Cornerstone elder




Q11: What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?


A: Sixth, that we do not hurt, or hate, or be hostile to our neighbor, but be patient and peaceful, pursuing even our enemies with love.

Seventh, that we abstain from sexual immorality and live purely and faithfully, whether in marriage or in single life, avoiding all impure actions, looks, words, thoughts, or desires, and whatever might lead to them.

Eighth, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else, nor withhold any good from someone we might benefit.


Kids' Answer:

Sixth, that we do not hurt, or hate our neighbor, but be patient and peaceful, pursuing even our enemies with love.

Seventh, that we live purely and faithfully.

Eighth, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else.



Romans 13:9 "For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”



Sixth commandment: Exo 20:13; Deut 5:17; Mat 5:21-26; Jas 4:1-2

Seventh commandment: Exo 20:14; Deut 5:18; Mat 5:27-32; Eph 5:3-14; 1Thes 4:3-8

Eighth commandment: Exo 20:15; Deut 5:19; Pro 30:8-9; Eph 4:28; 2 Thes 3:6-14



Question 11 of the New City Catechism summarizes the 6th thru 8th commandments. Each was given to Moses in negative form, forbidding ungodly behaviors that are inconsistent with the character of God and contradictory to the ways of God. By deduction, three biblical values are affirmed by these commandments - the sanctity of human life, the sacredness of marriage, and the stewardship of property. 


The 6th commandment declares “You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13), restraining man’s sinful tendency to destroy other persons whom God created in His own image (Gen. 1:26-28). When we harm others through hatred, hostility, aggression, assault, and even murder, we do violence to God Himself by defacing His image in man (Gen 9:6). Putting on Christ means that all our anger, bitterness, wrath and malice must be put off, and that all our murderous thoughts and deeds be themselves put to death (Eph 4:31). We uphold the sanctity of human life when we treat others with respect, kindness, dignity, love, and mercy, for this is how God treats His creation in Christ!  (Eph 4:32).


The 7th commandment says “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).  This command to live pure and holy lives is required of us because we serve a God who is Himself pure and holy! He is the covenant-keeping God (Deut. 7:9) and He intends for His creatures to keep covenant with one another (Mal. 2:14). A divinely created bond is formed between a man and a woman who enter into the covenant of marriage, but sexual immorality and marital unfaithfulness violate and break apart that covenant bond. God’s own covenant faithfulness can be most remarkably seen in the work of Christ who redeemed His bride, the church, by laying down His life for her. This pattern of sacrificial love is reflected in His creation when we hold the marriage covenant to be sacred and unbreakable.   


The 8th commandment, “You shall not steal “(Ex. 20:15), is necessitated because God is the owner of all things. He provides for mankind and calls us to be stewards of all things entrusted to us so that we would use them for the glory of God and the benefit of mankind. We hold our possessions loosely, knowing that it is God who intended for us to use them for the accomplishment of His purposes (Deut 8:17-18). We also respect the property of others, not coveting it or stealing it from them, because God has given it to them as well. The giving of our tithe demonstrates our acknowledgement of His ultimate claim of ownership on all that we have (Mal 3:8-11).


CONNECTION TO CORNERSTONE’S STATEMENT OF FAITH: The 8th through the 12th questions in the NCC focus on the law of God as given in the 10 Commandments.  Mankind’s rejection of God’s perfect law, his fall into sin, and his need for salvation are identified in Cornerstone’s statement of faith.  Take a few moments to review the related portions of our Statement of Faith.


A. We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the Inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of man, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life. (II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Pet. 1:20, 21; Mt. 5:17, 18; II Pet. 1:3, 4)


D. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men of sin, regenerate the believing sinner, to indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service. (Jn. 16:7-14; Jn. 3:5-7; Titus 3:5; I Cor. 6:19; Eph.1: 13; Jn.16: 13; Rom. 8:26,27; II Cor. 3:6)


E. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the agent of the new birth. At the moment of conversion/ salvation, a believer is regenerated, indwelt, sealed and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the strength and guide of the believer's life. The believer is commanded to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit, which is yielding to the control of God in our lives. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is the Biblical prescription for power in serving Christ. (Jn. 3:5-7; 16:13; I Cor. 6:19; 12:13; Eph. 4:4-6; 5:18)


G. We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin, and is therefore lost, and that only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained. (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7, 22; 3:1-6; Rom. 3:9-12, 23; 5:12, 18; 6:23; Jn. 3:3, 5-7) 


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