14 November 2004
Proverbs 19:5, Luke 3:14, Psalm 15:3 & James 3:14
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsover is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour’s good name.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.78. What does the ninth commandment forbid?
A. The ninth commandment forbids anything that gets in the way of the truth or injures anyone’s reputation.
1. In general what does this commandment forbid?
This commandment forbids all falsehood, lying of any type. James 3:14 teaches this commandment: “Lie not against the truth.”
2. What does the Bible mean by a lie?
A lie, according to the Bible, would be to speak or express what we know to be false.
3. Name some ways we can lie and break God’s Law.
There are many ways we can lie according to the Bible. We can falsely accuse others. We can lie to make gain our own ends. We can invent stories that are not true. We can lie in order to make excuses for things we have not done. We can lie to try to cover our faults. We can lie in our jesting (coarse, foolish talking).
4. Who is the author and father of lies?
The author and father of lies is the devil (John 8:44).
5. How may we injure our own good name?
We may injure our own good name by doing something that would be offensive in the eyes of the world, such as adultery, theft or any kind of baseness and wickedness. We may injure it by false boasting. We may injure it by accusing ourselves when we are not guilty before God or by not using the gifts that God has given to us.
6. How may we injure the good name of our neighbour?
We may by false accusations or bearing false witness against him; by judging and censuring him over small, unimportant or doubtful matters; by talking about him in a way that would detract from his reputation; by listening to bad reports about him that are false.
7. What should we remember regarding the breaking of this commandment?
We should remember that at the last Day, we shall have to answer for our words and our actions. (Matthew 12:36,37)