10 October 2004
Exodus 20:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:4, 1 Corinthians 7:2, Matthew 5:28 & Ephesians 4:29
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 70. Which is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Q. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity, in heart, speech and behaviour.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.70. What is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is: You shall not commit adultery.
Q.71. What does the seventh commandment require?
A. The seventh commandment requires us and everyone else to keep sexually pure in heart, speech, and action.
1. What is meant by the word “chastity”?
The word “chastity” means a hatred of all uncleanness, no matter whether it be in the body or in the mind and affections (Job 31:1).
2. What is the two-fold duty involved in the keeping of this commandment?
The two-fold duty involves both ourselves and others, there is an equal responsibility here.
3. How can the seventh commandment be broken?
It can be broken by an act, but also by impure thoughts; and it should be recognised that it is from within the heart of a man that sin comes. Therefore the real source of violations of this commandment is the sinful heart.
4. How can we preserve both our own and our neighbour’s chastity?
We can best preserve it by keeping in the right relationship with our Lord. If we do that, then there will be certain characteristics about us such as: loving with a pure heart (1 Peter 1:22); speaking in a way that will only edify ourselves and our neighbour (Ephesians 4:29); behaving in such a way that we are always a testimony for Jesus Christ, never giving any cause for criticism in this area (1 Peter 3:1,2).
5. How can we best keep in that right relationship with the Lord in this regard?
We must be watchful over our hearts and spirits, over our eyes and ears. We must be diligent in our walk with the Lord remembering we can never take even “minute vacations” from our watchfulness. We must follow after temperance in all things. We must be careful of the company we keep, the marriages we contract. We must seek the mind of Christ with regard to things sinful and unclean. We must study the Word and pray daily.
6. Why must we be careful to keep this commandment?
We must be careful to keep it because it is a command of God, but one which in this age is bypassed time and time again by society.