What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?

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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.

Romans 13:9

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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.”

Commentary

Man cannot even keep the Ten Commandments. And yet he talks glibly about keeping the Sermon on the Mount, and of imitating Christ…. The Jews were a race of people to whom God had already given his law through his servant Moses and they could not keep it. They could not keep the Ten Commandments. Nobody has ever kept them perfectly…. And if a man cannot keep the Ten Commandments, as they understand them, what hope have they of keeping the Ten Commandments as they have been interpreted by the Lord Jesus Christ? That was the whole trouble with the Pharisees, who so hated him and who finally crucified him. They thought they were keeping the Ten Commandments and the moral law. Our Lord convinced them and convicted them of the fact that they were not doing so. They claimed that they had never committed murder. Wait a minute, said our Lord. Have you ever said to your brother, 'Thou fool’? If you have, you are guilty of murder. Murder does not only mean actually, physically, killing a man, it means that bitterness and hatred in your heart…. And he taught the same, you remember, with regard to adultery. They claimed that they were guiltless. But wait a minute, says our Lord, you say you have never committed adultery? ‘But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart’ (Mt 5:28). He is guilty; he has coveted, he has desired.… A thought and an imagination are as reprehensible in the sight of God as the act committed.

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981). A Welsh medical doctor and Protestant minister, Lloyd-Jones is best known for preaching and teaching at Westminster Chapel in London for thirty years. He would take many months, even years, to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. Perhaps his most famous publication is a 14 volume series of commentaries on Romans.

From The Cross (Wheaton: Crossway, 1986), 176–177.

Further Reading

“Teacher” and “Love” in Concise Theology, by J. I. Packer.

Prayer

O M0ST merciful God and Father, who dost vouchsafe to build Thy spiritual temple among us, not with wood and stone, but with the edifying of the Holy Ghost, who abideth in those that believe, grant, we heartily beseech Thee, that we may not be left, under the power of any temptation, to defile that temple by our sins, but yielding ourselves to God as dear children, may continually glorify Thee by holy obedience, till we come to behold as with open face Thy glory, which we now only see reflected in Thy word, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

John Calvin (1509–1564). A theologian, administrator, and pastor, Calvin was born in France into a strict Roman Catholic family. It was in Geneva however where Calvin worked most of his life and organized the Reformed church. He wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Geneva Catechism, as well as numerous commentaries on Scripture.

From “A Prayer of John Calvin” in General Liturgy and Book of Common Prayer, prepared by Samuel Miles Hopkins (New York: Barnes, 1883), 47.