Q8: What Is the Law of God Stated in the Ten Commandments?

New City Catechism: Question 8


Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with John Yates, Rector of The Falls Church in Falls Church, Virginia, answers the question, "What is the Law of God stated in the Ten Commandments?”


Exodus 20:2-17 (ESV)

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



We can respond to question eight by reciting the Ten Commandments as given by God in Exodus 20:2–17.


John said God gave us the the Ten Commandments to give us a guideline for life and godliness and as an extension of His grace. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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We grow in relationship with God as we obey His commands. As an expression of love for God, we follow the Ten Commandments.


Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7. Take a moment to reflect on the Ten Commandments. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of the Ten Commandments, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you obey the Ten Commandments.



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