24 October 2004
Exodus 20:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Romans 12:17, Proverbs 27:23 & Philippians 2:4
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 73. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.
Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.73. What is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is: You shall not steal.
Q.74. What does the eighth commandment require?
A. The eighth commandment requires that we lawfully acquire and increase our own and others' money and possessions.
1. What is the main subject matter of this commandment?
The main subject matter of this commandment is the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.
2. May we use any means to acquire our wealth and outward estate?
No, our means must be consistent with the Word of God, our means must be lawful in the sight of God.
3. What means would we consider to be consistent with the Word of God?
Means that are consistent with the Word would be labour and industry in some honest calling in the sight of God (Ephesians 4:28)
4. Could you name some lawful means that would be consistent with the Word of God?
Some lawful means would be: (1) Asking God to lead us to a calling that would be His will for us (1 Cor. 7:20, 24); (2) Praying that we will do our task in a way that is well-pleasing in His sight, in an honest and decent way (Romans 12:17); (3) Endeavouring to live in a sober way before the Lord, not wasteful (Titus 2:12); (4) Being always diligent in our work (Proverbs 13:11); (5) Remembering always that we have a duty towards others, a duty to have a public spirit (1 Cor. 10:24).
5. What would be a good rule to remember when we are dealing with the wealth and outward estate of others?
A good rule to remember is found in Matthew 7:12
6. What is our duty toward the poor in this commandment?
Our duty toward the poor is to relieve them whenever possible for such is the way of charity and is to the glory of God (Proverbs 19:17).