Christianity is all about relationships, how we get along with each other, how we treat each other.  Obviously, we need a lot of help.  In the midst of sexism, racism, jealousy, envy, hatred, bigotry, intolerance, it is evident that we are far from the images of God whom we were created to be.  This commandment with questions 105-107 deal with these kinds of relationships and give some pretty pointed instructions and guidance as to how to relate to each other.  For example, revenge must be left to God.  Murder is out of the question.  Rather, give your enemies food and water, pray for them, make peace instead of allowing anger to be the overriding force.  It’s not easy, but with God’s help it has a chance.

Bob Haas

Q105. What is God’s will for us in the sixth commandment?

A. I am not to belittle, insult, hate, or kill my neighbor— not by my thoughts, my words, my look or gesture, and certainly not by actual deeds— and I am not to be party to this in others;1 rather, I am to put away all desire for revenge.2 I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself either.3 Prevention of murder is also why government is armed with the sword.4

1 Gen. 9:6; Lev. 19:17, 18; Matt. 5:21, 22; 26:52.

2 Prov. 25:21, 22; Matt. 18:35; Rom. 12:19; Eph. 4:26.

3 Matt. 4:7; 26:52; Rom. 13:11-14.

4 Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:14; Rom. 13:4.


Q106. Does this commandment refer only to killing?

A. By forbidding murder God teaches us that He hates the root of murder: envy, hatred, anger, vindictiveness.1 In God’s sight all such are murder.2

1 Prov. 14:30; Rom. 1:29; 12:19; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 John 2:9-11.

2 1 John 3:15.


Q107. Is it enough then that we do not kill our neighbor in any such way?

A. No. By condemning envy, hatred, and anger God tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves,1 to be patient, peace-loving, gentle, merciful, and friendly to him,2 to protect him from harm as much as we can, and to do good even to our enemies.3

1 Matt. 7:12; 22:39; Rom. 12:10.

2 Matt. 5:3-12; Luke 6:36; Rom. 12:10, 18; Gal. 6:1, 2; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 3:8.

3 Ex. 23:4, 5; Matt. 5:44, 45; Rom. 12:20, 21 (Prov. 25:21, 22).