Lord's Day 21

Week 20 :: Week 21 :: Week 22


“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” We all memorized the preamble to the constitution when we were children, for it serves to summarize the purpose and principles of the foundational document of our nation. 

Did you know, though, that there was a preamble to the Ten Commandments? So often our focus is on the commandments themselves that we overlook what the catechism calls the preface. However, the preface to the commandments remind us why these laws are essential to the Christian life. 

The preface states, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” reminding us, when we come to hear God’s will for our lives, that He is the God who delivered us. We, of course, were not physically delivered out of Egypt, but our deliverance is no less real. We were delivered from bondage to sin and slavery; we were delivered from Hell. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way, Jesus came to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb 2:14-15). 

Because God has delivered us He has proven Himself to be our God and our Redeemer. If God, then God is to be obeyed. Obedience is the proof of faith and of the regenerate spirit that has been redeemed from slavery to sin and death. We have been redeemed for a purpose; we were redeemed for righteousness. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (I Peter 2:24). The only way to be righteous is to live by faith in Christ. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2-3). 


Gracious God, thank you for delivering us from captivity to sin and death, and for freeing us for true life in the love of your Son. Strengthen us, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to follow your commandments, that we may live in righteousness, worthy of our calling. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 43

Q. 43. What is the preface to the ten commandments?

A. The preface to the ten commandments is in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Scripture Proofs

Ex. 20:2.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

Question 44

Q. 44. What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us?

A. The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us, that because God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.

Scripture Proofs

Luke 1:74-75;

that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

1 Peter 1:15-19.

 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.