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The Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 63

Dear Neighbor, Question 63: Which is the Fifth Commandment? Answer: The Fifth Commandment is, "honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." The fithth commandment is recorded for us in Exodus 20:12 (NASB) “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” I find it interesting that in my writing about the shorter catechism, that this commandment should come during the week proceeding Father’s Day. The next three questions ask what is required in the commandment, what is forbidden in the commandment and what is annexed to the commandment. I am looking forward to thinking about the implication of this commandment for the Christian in the new covenant, as it was mentioned by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostle Paul in his letters to the churches. Michael Peek Your Servant for Jesus’ sake

The Westminster Shorter Catechism 62

Dear Neighbor, Question 62:  What are the reasons annexed to the Fourth Commandment? Answer:  The reasons annexed to the Fourth Commandment are, God's allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, His challenging a special propriety in the seventh, His own example, and His blessing the Sabbath-day. All of the proof text for this answer come from the Old Testament, and are, therefore, proof text for the Old Covenant.  Exodus 31:15-16 For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ Leviticus 23:3 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings. Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between

The Lord’s Day, June 13, 2021

“The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” ~Luke 18:27 Dear Neighbor, I am always amazed how God brings me to the right text of scripture, at just the right time. One week ago I read the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark’s gospel and today I read the same in Luke’s gospel. In both stories Jesus uses the Ten Commandments to bring the knowledge of sin and closes the mouth. The rich young ruler’s sin was covetousness. Salvation is not possible with people but is possible with God. God has given us a tool by which we might show people their need for salvation and that tool is the Ten Commandments. In Romans 3, the apostle Paul asked, If both Jew and Gentile are guilty, “then what advantage has the Jew?” The answer is that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. In Romans 3:19-20, he wrote: Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; beca

What is Forbidden in the Fourth Commandment?

Dear Neighbor, The Westminster Puritans asked in the shorter catechism: What is forbidden in the Fourth Commandment? The answer that they gave:  The Fourth Commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations. The proof text given for this answer (Mal. 1:13, Ez. 23:38, Isa. 58:13) all speak of defilement of the sanctuary of the Lord and profaning the Sabbath Day. Using these Old Testament text alone, one would conclude, what the Westminster Puritans concluded about the Sabbath Day; however, what is ignored in the answer is of much importance. The sanctuary of the Lord is not our church buildings. The Temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. The sanctuary of the Lord is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn. 2:19)  The Ol

How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

Dear Neighbor, The Westminster Puritans asked in Question 60 of the Shorter Catechism:  How is the Sabbath to be sanctified? They answer that they gave:  The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy. I should tell you that I have disagreement with the Westminster Puritans regarding this answer. If the question was asked in regards to the Mosaic or Sinaic covenant alone, then I would say that they answered correctly. But the question is asked of a Christian, and of Sunday, because the 59th question and answer declared the Sabbath day changed from the last day of the week to the first day of the week. The truth is, at no time in the New testament, is the New Covenant Christian commanded to keep the Sabbath. In fact, Jesus defended his

Which Day of the Seven Has God Appointed to Be the Weekly Sabbath?

Dear Neighbor, This question implies required sabbath observance; therefore, the Westminster Puritans answer the question thusly: From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath. I previously stated that at no time in the New Testament is sabbath observance commanded of the Christian. In fact, the seventh day, in many instances in the New Testament is missing. In the 19th chapter of the Gospel According to John, Jesus is left buried in a tomb on the day proceeding the sabbath, then the 20th chapter of the Gospel According to John begins on the 1st day of the week.  Genesis 2:3 speaks of God resting after His creative work on the seventh day; and therefore, God sanctified the seventh day. However, in the Gospel According to John we see a change from the storyline of Genesis. In John’s storyline, t

What is Required in the Fourth Commandment?

Dear Neighbor, The Westminster Puritans answered the question thusly:  The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself. This commandment is different than the other nine, because at no time in the New Testament is the Christian commanded to keep the sabbath day. All other nine commandments are expressed in the New Testament but the keeping of the sabbath is not. What is the sabbath? The sabbath is an every seventh day rest from labor in honor of the God of Israel. The first time that the sabbath is mentioned in Scripture is Genesis 2:1-3. As God’s covenant people, He began to form their lives in the pattern of seven days. Working six days and resting on the seventh. In the Mosaic covenant, the sabbath was connected with the gathering of manna. (cf. Exodus 16)  All of scripture points to Christ, so how should the Christian understand this commandment? What  is real