The Ten Commandments Project

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"...thy commandments are exceeding broad." - Psalm 119:96

Here is an explanation of each of the Commandments.

I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

The First Commandment forbids worshipping a god other than the one, true God: the God of Creation who has revealed Himself to us through the Bible. Our allegiance to Him and His laws comes before all obligations to family, friends, employers and governments. Laws, regulations or orders that in any way challenge or contradict God’s authority cannot be binding.

II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

The Second Commandment forbids bowing or praying to any statue or picture. Also forbidden is making any object for the purpose of the worship of a god, even the one, true God. “God is a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. -John 4:24

III. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

The Third Commandment prohibits the use of God’s name in any manner that does not express reverence and godly fear. Cursing that uses any of the names of God, jokes involving God, and our sinful conduct that brings dishonor to the name of God are all sins of blasphemy. Using vain expressions like “O, God” or “Good Lord” are also violations of this command.

IV. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hollowed it.

The Fourth Commandment commands us to order our lives with six consecutive days of labor and one day of rest. Works of mercy and necessity may be done, but all other work on the Sabbath day is prohibited. Commercial activities on the Sabbath, such as; shopping, attending sporting events, eating at restaurants violate the Sabbath and unnecessarily deprive others of enjoying a day of rest. The Sabbath is 24 hours, extending from the evening of one day to the evening of the next.

V. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

The Fifth Command requires that children respect and obey their parents. Likewise, respect is to be given to all people who are in lawful authority: teachers, police officers, employers and spiritual leaders, such as pastors. As adults, children are not under a continuing obligation to obey their parents, but they are required to respect, care for, and speak well of them.

VI. Thou shalt not kill.

The Sixth Commandment forbids murder in all its forms including, suicide, abortion, and euthanasia. God allows us to vigorously defend ourselves and others, but thoughts, words, and deeds that display contempt for others and that support a spirit of hatred are sin. Cruelty, sarcastic remarks, unforgiveness, revenge and name calling using terms like “fool,” “dummy,” or “idiot” violate this command. We are to be considerate of the feelings of others, we are not to make others the brunt of our jokes, and we are to defend those who are so mistreated.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Marriage between a man and woman was instituted by God as His first institution. It is sacred and is to be for life. Sexual interest in anyone other than one's spouse is sin. Sensual touching or kissing before marriage is also prohibited. Also forbidden is anything that promotes these sins, such as books, movies, music and immodest dress. Sodomy: homosexuality, and other forms of sexual perversion are expressly forbidden.

VIII. Thou shalt not steal.

The Eighth Commandment forbids theft and robbery and requires honesty in all matters concerning property. It forbids not only taking money, but obtaining anything of value by deceit. This included vandalism. We are to respect the right of others to own and use what God has entrusted to them. It requires an honest day’s work, an honest day’s pay, and diligence in paying our debts.

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

The Ninth Commandment forbids perjury, lying, exaggeration or any deception that seeks to veil any or all of the truth from those who have a right to know it. Also included is slander and aiding someone in their crimes by remaining silent.

X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

The Tenth Commandment forbids us to desire or long after any of the possessions of another person. Not being thankful to God and others for what they have done for us is at the heart of coveting. Envy, jealousy and ill-will regarding the possessions, reputation and happiness that others enjoy violates this command. Murmuring and complaining are sins rooted in covetousness. God requires us to rejoy in the lawful success of others. It concerns not only material possessions, but can include our attitude about the respect, admiration, and honor that is given to someone else.