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Commandments

 

Following Jesus is about the way we behave as well as what we believe. 

 

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments set out fundamental principles of how we are to treat God and how we are to treat our fellow human beings. For centuries they have been at the centre of what Christians learned about their faith.

 

I am the Lord your God: you shall have no other gods but me.
You shall not make for yourself any idol.
You shall not dishonour the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Honour your father and mother.
You shall not commit murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not be a false witness.
You shall not covet anything which belongs to your neighbour.

 

The text of the Commandments is found in two places in the Bible. In Exodus 20.1–17, God speaks these words after the people of Israel have consecrated themselves at Mount Sinai. They are inscribed on two tablets of the covenant, ‘written with the finger of God’, the first and most important part of the Law of God, and they are a gift of God to the people of Israel – and through them to the whole of humankind.

 


Like all Scripture, the Commandments need to be interpreted in order to be understood and used by the Church and by individual Christians. Our understanding of the Commandments is informed by other parts of the Bible. They especially need to be interpreted through the life and ministry and teaching of Jesus.

 

Summary of the Law

Jesus taught that the greatest Commandment is to love:

 

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself."

 

 

It's clear from the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus tells that loving our neighbour applies not just to our nearest and dearest but to everyone whom God brings across our path (Luke 10.25–37).

 

What then is our duty towards God?

  • To worship him as the only true God, to love, trust, and obey him, and by witness of my words and deeds to bring others to serve him. 
  • To allow no created thing to take his place, but to use my time, my gifts, and my possessions as one who must give an account to God. 
  • To reverence God in thought, word, and deed and to keep the Lord’s day for worship, prayer, and rest. 

 

What is our duty towards your neighbour?

  • To love, respect, and help our parents.
  • To obey those in authority over us in all things lawful and good and to fulfil our duties as citizens. 
  • To hurt nobody by word or deed.
  • To bear no grudge or hatred in our hearts.
  • To promote and seek peace.
  • To be courteous to all.
  • To be kind to all God’s creation.
  • To be honest and fair in all we do and not steal or cheat.
  • To seek justice, freedom, and plenty for all people.
  • To keep our tongues from lying, slandering, and harmful gossip, and never by silence let others be wrongly condemned.
  • To be thankful and generous.
  • To do our duty cheerfully, and not to be greedy or envious.
  • To be be mindful of our thoughts, words, and deeds through reflection so that through the power of the Holy Spirit we may grow to be more like Christ.

 

This way we acknowledge God’s reign and try to live as a citizen of his kingdom, fighting against evil wherever we find it, in ourselves, or in the world around us.
 

 

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