Lord's Day 20

Week 19 :: Week 20 :: Week 21


The Shorter Catechism has, to this point, clearly demonstrated the tremendous grace of our God. God created humanity, called us into relationship with him, and in his sovereign care, provided for our every need. When we had fallen in sin and were unable to glorify God, even then God provided our salvation in Jesus Christ, and through faith in Him we have the blessed assurance of everlasting life. 

Now the catechism takes a very practical turn by asking what is required of man. If our chief purpose in life is that we are to glorify God and enjoy him forever, how do we go about this? To put it quite simply, we glorify God by obeying His will as expressed in the Ten Commandments. We may see these commandments in three ways. First, the law is given to demonstrate our sinfulness and to cause us to seek a redeemer. When we examine our lives in light of the law of God, we realize just how far we have fallen short of perfect obedience. Secondly, the law is used 

to restrain sin within society – that is it defines morality and protects the righteous. The third use of the law is the revelation of what is pleasing to God. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). If we are made alive in Christ, our greatest joy is doing that which pleases our Father. Jesus summarized the commandments, saying to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all our soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourselves.” Through God’s law we find the clearest definition of how we can live for God’s glory. 


Almighty God, through your commandments you have revealed how we may live for your praise and glory. Strengthen us with your Holy Spirit that we may continue to grow in righteousness and truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 39

Q. 39. What is the duty which God requireth of man?

A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.

Scripture Proofs

Micah 6:8;

He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?

1 Sam. 15:22.

And Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Question 40

Q. 40. What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?

A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law.

Scripture Proofs

Rom. 2:14-15;

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

Rom. 10:5.

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.

Question 41

Q. 41. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?

A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments.

Scripture Proofs

Deut. 10:4;

And he wrote on the tablets, in the same writing as before, the Ten Commandments that the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me.

Matt. 19:17.

And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

Question 42

Q. 42. What is the sum of the ten commandments?

A. The sum of the ten commandments is, to love the Lord our God, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.

Scripture Proofs

Matt. 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.”