21 November 2004
Exodus 20:17, Hebrews 13:5, Romans 12:15, Philippians 2:4 & 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 79. Which is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet they neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.
Q. 80. What is required in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbour, and all that is his.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.79. What is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is: You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant, or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
Q. 80. What does the tenth commandment require?
A. The tenth commandment requires us to be completely satisfied with our own status in life and to have a proper, loving attitude toward others and their possessions.
1. Generally speaking, what is required in the tenth commandment?
The tenth commandment requires that a believer keep the other nine commandments. If he is able to do so by the grace of God, this commandment will be fulfilled.
2. What does it mean by the word ‘covet’ in this commandment?
The word ‘covet’ in this commandment would include both aspects of the Greek words as they are found in the New Testament. It would mean an ‘insatiable desire of getting the world’ and would also include an ‘inordinate love of the world.’ It would mean the person is wholly taken up with the world, he sets his heart upon worldly things, and sometimes he is not too careful of how he attains his desired end.
3. What does the commandment require in regard to ourselves?
This commandment requires that we be content with what we have and this is the best possible defence against covetousness.
4. What does it mean to be content with what we have and how can we attain to it?
It means to be satisfied with what God, in His providential dealings with us, has given us and recognise that such is best for us. We can only attain to this state by His grace. The road to this is the road plainly marked “Godliness” in our lives. We must covet spiritual things more than worldly things.
5. What does this commandment require as to our neighbour?
We are required to have a right and charitable spirit toward all that belongs to our neighbour. We are to promote and rejoice in the welfare of our neighbour, always striving to help him, showing a pattern of good works toward him.