28 November 2004
1 Corinthians 10:10, Galatians 5:26 & Colossians 3:5
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.81. What does the tenth commandment forbid?
A. The tenth commandment forbids any dissatisfaction with what belongs to us, envy or grief at the success of others, and all improper desire for anything that belongs to someone else.
1. How do we show lack of contentment with our own estate?
We show lack of contentment with our own estate by not being pleased with the place and possessions the Lord has given us; by complaining against the Lord because of our state; by thinking we are due far more than the Lord has given us.
2. What is envy?
It is the desire to have the better circumstances of our neighbour or any of his superior privileges. It is the desire to have what God does not want us to have, whether it be in the physical, mental or material realm.
3. Why should we refrain from envy?
We should refrain from envy because it is a sin before God. It is a sin that has a great effect on us and is the foundation of many evil deeds. (James 3:16)
4. What is meant in this commandment by the term “inordinate motions and affections?”
These are the unlawful purposes, intentions and desires that arise in the heart. It is especially concerned here with these unlawful acts as they pertain to our neighbour.
5. What are these “inordinate motions and affections” found in man?
These arise from the soul, these are the first stirrings of corruption which lead us on to the consent of the will.
6. What should this teach us as believers in Jesus Christ?
This should teach us that it is only by His grace we are saved and only by His grace that we are able to stand against the evil that rises from within us. We should ever be careful to keep ourselves in that relationship with Him that will lead us in the ways of righteousness.