Catechism, Chapter 2: Sin & the Law

Q. 11. In what condition are we born because of Adam’s sin?
A. Because of Adam’s sin, we are conceived and born with a sinful nature, very far gone from original righteousness, and continually inclined towards evil.

Q. 12. What did God give to reveal our sin?
A. God revealed our sin by giving us the moral law, which is summarized in the Ten Commandments, and requires us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves.

Q. 13. What does God teach you in the preface to the Ten Commandments, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery”?
A. The preface to the Ten Commandments teaches me that because God is the Lord, and my God, and redeemer, I am bound to keep all his commandments.

Q. 14. What is required and forbidden in the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me”?
A. The first commandment requires me to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and my God. It forbids me from giving to any other the worship and glory which is due to him alone. For God sees all things and is greatly displeased with the sin of having any other god.

Q. 15. What is required and forbidden in the second commandment, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image”?
A. The second commandment requires me to keep the religious worship and ordinances which God has appointed in his Word, looking to God alone for my hope, happiness, and security. It forbids me from making images of the divine nature or worshiping God in ways that are not appointed in his word.

Q. 16. What is required and forbidden in the third commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”?
A. The third commandment requires me to reverently use God’s name and all other means by which he makes himself known. It forbids whatever profanes or abuses God’s holy name, such as hypocrisy, blasphemy, perjury, cursing, and swearing rash or unnecessary oaths. Those who break this commandment shall not escape God’s righteous judgment.

Q. 17. What is required and forbidden in the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”?
A. The fourth commandment requires me to observe the times which God has appointed in his Word, especially one whole day in seven as a holy day of rest and worship, resting also in God from evil works, and so anticipating the eternal Sabbath. It forbids me from profaning the Lord’s Day or neglecting to assemble with God’s people to hear God’s word.

Q. 18. What is required and forbidden in the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and your mother”?
A. The fifth commandment requires me to honor my parents and all who are in authority over me, receiving their good instruction and being patient with their shortcomings. It forbids me from disobeying their lawful commands, despising them, or mocking them. And to those who keep this commandment, God promises long life and prosperity, insofar as it shall serve for his glory and their own good.

Q. 19. What is required and forbidden in the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder”?
A. The sixth commandment requires me to treasure and preserve God’s gift of life. It forbids whatever brings unjust harm to my neighbor’s life, or tends towards it, such as anger, hatred, hostility, revenge, malice, murder, and abortion.

Q. 20. What is required in the seventh commandment, “You shall not commit adultery”?
A. The seventh commandment requires me to preserve my chastity and that of my neighbor, both within and outside of holy marriage. It forbids all unchaste thoughts, words, looks, and behaviors, such as lust, immodesty, fornication, adultery, pornography, homosexuality, polyamory, and unlawful divorce.

Q. 21. What is required and forbidden in the eighth commandment, “You shall not steal”?
A. The eighth commandment requires me to honestly procure and generously share my wealth, showing special care for the poor, widows, and orphans. It forbids whatever unjustly hinders my neighbor’s estate or tends towards it, such as greed, miserliness, theft, swindling, extortion, excessive interest, fraud, and tax evasion.

Q. 22. What is required and forbidden in the ninth commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”?
A. The ninth commandment requires me to speak the truth, and nothing but the truth, in love, upholding my neighbor’s good reputation and putting the best construction on everything. It forbids all harmful and self-serving speech, such as lying, deceit, doublespeak, gossip, backbiting, and slander.

Q. 23. What is required and forbidden in the tenth commandment, “You shall not covet”?
A. The tenth commandment requires me to be fully content with whatever good gifts I have received from the Father’s hand and to rejoice in my neighbor’s success. It forbids all discontented and ungrateful attitudes, such as envy, covetousness, and complaining.

Q. 24. Have you kept all of God’s commandments?
A. I have sinned against God by doing what should never be done and leaving undone what God has commanded, falling short of his glory in my words, thoughts, and deeds.

Q. 25. What are the just consequences of our sin and rebellion?
A. By our sin and rebellion we have lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.