Q11: What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?
A: Sixth, that we do not hurt, or hate, or be hostile to our neighbor, but be patient and peaceful, pursuing even our enemies with love. Seventh, that we abstain from sexual immorality and live purely and faithfully, whether in marriage or in single life, avoiding all impure actions, looks, words, thoughts or desires, and whatever might lead to them. Eighth, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else, nor withhold any good from someone we might benefit (Crossway 2017).
Romans 13:9 “For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (ESV)
The Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
The passage of Romans 13:8-10 expresses the directive to love. Throughout scripture, Christ followers are directed to be obedient – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, ESV). Obedience glorifies God, which is our life’s purpose. Romans 13:10 states, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law” (ESV). By exercising love in these ways: love for our neighbors, in that we are peaceful towards them, we do not dishonor others (directly or indirectly) with sexual impurity, respect others’ possessions and property, we express love, which fulfills the Law, and thus glorifying God with obedience. Even though these commandments are focused on relationships with others, disobedience in these particular areas causes us to be at odds with glorifying our Lord.
- Matthew 22:37-40 “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’”
- Romans 12:9 “Let love be genuine. ‘Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.’”
- Colossians 2:23-25 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.”
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
When we have a true love for God and follow in obedience, it magnifies our love for others. God’s rightful place is to be the focus in our lives as expressed in Exodus 20:3-4. When He is exalted in our lives, then we will have the desire and capacity to love in such a way which glorifies God. Many of us may have to diligently strive to love others, but we will find that the more we love and obey God, the more natural it becomes to love others well.
- Romans 12:16a, 18 “Live in harmony with one another…,” “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
- 1 John 4:20 “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
- Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
As Scripture states, these commandments hinge on love. Because we love God and others, we love our neighbor; we do not dishonor others or ourselves sexually with impure thoughts, words, or deeds; and we respect others’ property. Practice reflecting on God’s rightful place in your heart and in your life. When He is at the center of our thoughts, our attitude, our words, and our actions, we will find ourselves honoring Him and reflecting Him towards others, which expresses the love we are so commanded to demonstrate.
- Romans 15:5-7 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”