Lord's Day 31

Week 30 :: Week 31 :: Week 32


We’ve all heard of the seven deadly sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride). There are even Biblical lists of sins depicting the life apart from God: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Gal 5:19-21). Compared to these sins, dishonoring your mother and father, and those in authority over you, doesn’t really seem all that bad. 

However, in his letter to the Romans, Paul includes the neglect of the fifth commandment in his description of the fallenness of the gentile people. “They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (Rom 1:29-31). 

God has placed our mothers and fathers and others in authority over us to teach us His laws and to guide us in the way of righteousness. If we cannot submit to their authority, how will we ever learn to submit to God’s authority? Rebellious generations lead to further rebellion; those who do not honor their mothers and fathers usually fail to have their children honor them. 

There is a blessing attached to the commandment to honor our fathers and mothers: “So that our days may be long in the land God has given us.” When we submit and obey out of reverence for Christ, we live in peace with one another, we build each other up in faith and service, and we grow in grace and holiness, passing blessings from generation to generation. When we honor those who lead us and obey their just rule, we give glory to God on High who has placed them in authority over us. 


Gracious God, may we learn to honor one another that our lives may be lengthened and blessed in your promise, and may we build one another up in the likeness of Christ, that from generation to generation our children may learn to walk in your righteousness and truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 65

Q. 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honor and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.

Scripture Proofs

Matt. 15:4-6;

For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.

Ezek. 34:2-4;

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

Rom. 13:8.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Question 66

Q. 66. 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.

Scripture Proofs

Deut. 5:16;

“ ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Eph. 6:2-3.

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”