Date:         Thu, 30 Mar 1995 11:01:10 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      Catechism, 10
     Q: Which is the fifth commandment?
     A: 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
  How is this command built up?
  1. The command itself: Honour thy father and thy mother.
  2.  The promise annexed  to it: That  thy days may be  long upon the land
  which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
     Q: What is required in the fifth commandment?
     A:  The fifth  commandment requireth  the preserving  the honour,  and
     performing the duties, belonging to  every one in their several places
     and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.
     Q: What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
     A: The  fifth commandment forbiddeth  the neglecting of, or  doing any
     thing  against, the  honour and duty  which belongeth to  every one in
     their several places and relations.
  It is required that I give all honour, love and fidelity to my father and
  mother, and also to all who are my superiors. Further, that I obey  their
  voice, that  is, that  I do  what they  say. Even  when my  superiors are
  somewhat harsh, I ought to obey him. As long  as they ask from me things,
  which are not against  God's Word, I will obey them.  It is God, Who  has
  given me my  parents, and my  other superiors. Also  my behaviour   to my
  inferiors will  be kindly, careful, and the like. And  I ought to love my
  equals likewise. All these things are expressed in the Bible.  The first,
  my behaviour towards my superiors,  is expressed in the following places:
  "Submitting  yourselves one to another in  the fear of God. Wives, submit
  yourselves unto your  own husbands, as unto  the Lord." (Eph.5:21,22) The
  children and  servants have  to obey  their higher: "Children,  obey your
  parents in the  Lord. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters
  according  to the  flesh." (Eph.6:1,5)  And Paul  states in  general that
  everybody must be  subject to his  superiors: "Let every soul  be subject
  unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that
  be are  ordained of God." (Rom.13:1) And the  reason is, that every power
  is ordained by  God. So, the police  in the country are ordained  by God.
  Likewise  the   government,  the  army,   and  all  the   higher  powers.
  Disobedience  towards them is therefore not only a crime towards men, but
  also towards God. Strike is a great  sin, committed against God. And when
  you say, that your boss gives  too little money, then I answer:  "That is
  but so in your  opinion, and in the opinion of the  others. But remember,
  God  asks obedience,  not striking".  Transgressions of  the laws  of the
  government  are  sins against  this fifth  commandment.  Even the  little
  transgressions, even those who nobody sees, but God.
     The superiors, on  their turn, have to be  well-disposed towards their
  lowers, like the  Scriptures say:  "And, ye masters,  do the same  things
  unto them,  forbearing threatening: knowing  that your Master  also is in
  heaven; neither  is there  respect of  persons with him."  (Eph.6:9) Also
  herein is sinned  much. Some masters are  so bad, that they, as  it were,
  urge their people  to rebel against them. Although rebellion is sin, also
  the  causing of  rebellion  is  sin against  God  and  men. This  command
  requires our good  behaviour towards the other.  When this commandment is
  followed  up,  how righteous  would  it  be!  Reader,  remember that  the
  commandments  of God  are given  to our benefit.  However, who  will obey
     Q: What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
     A: The  reason annexed to the fifth commandment,  is a promise of long
     life and prosperity  [as far  as it  shall serve for  God's glory  and
     their own good] to all such as keep this commandment.
  It is like the  apostle Paul said: "Honour thy father  and mother; (which
  is the first  commandment with promise;) That  it may be well  with thee,
  and thou  mayest live long  on the earth."  (Eph.6:2,3) And,  in contrast
  herewith, says the  Scripture, that who  curses his father or  mother, he
  will soon come to an end: "And he that curseth his father, or his mother,
  shall surely  be put to death." (Exod.21:17) This  promise of a long life
  in case of obedience, is given, in order that we have  a spur to obey the
  more our fathers and mothers.
     We cannot  turn this  the other  way around,  and say,  that who  dies
  early, must  necessary be  a sinner  against this commandment.  For, that
  does not follow. There may be another reason, or the sole divine will. Of
  course, the  punishment of  sin is death.  While we  all are  sinners, we
  deserve the death.  Therefore, when God  promises a  long life on  earth,
  this  is pure grace. And let we keep this in mind, and not make God being
  obliged to do us well.
  Concerning the commands in general, when you feel yourself utterly unable
  to keep them,  know that you feel  the truth. Those commandments  must be
  kept by us, but we are utterly unable to do that  in due manner. The more
  you try  to keep the  commandments, the more you  see your impossibility.
  When you, on the  other hand, get the  idea that you are keeping the  law
  rather well, it  is time that God  opens your eyes  to see the  truth. We
  have to obey, and who  not does so will inevitably perish.  "Cursed be he
  that  confirmeth not all  the words of  this law to do  them. And all the
  people shall say, Amen." (Deut.27:26) The sinner will be cursed, for  God
  asks righteousness of us.
     For all those,  who no longer see  the possibility to keep the  law, I
  have the next message: Believe in Jesus  Christ, to the forgiving of your
  sins. I say not: believe  in Christ to stay a sinner,  but I say: Believe
  in Him,  in order  that He  makes you  righteous. Do  not abuse grace  by
  continuing in your  sins, but be thankful.  Those who are unable  to obey
  God in due manner,  must seize the last opportunity which I  offer you in
  the Name of God: Believe in Christ.
     About all  those  who were  sinners, and  now believe,  is said:  "Nor
  thieves, nor  covetous, nor  drunkards, nor  revilers, nor  extortioners,
  shall inherit the kingdom of  God. And such were some of  you: but ye are
  washed,  but ye are sanctified,  but ye are justified in  the name of the
  Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor.6:10,11)
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands
     End of Catechism, 10

file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-010.txt