Lord's Day 35

Week 34 :: Week 35 :: Week 36


The ninth commandment deals with watching what we say. James 3:5-8 says, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue-- a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” 

It is important for us to remember why our words are so important. Along with the fact that the words we say reveal our true character (Matt 12:34), we must also keep in mind the nature of the God whom we worship. It was the word of God which brought everything into being, the word of God which called us into relationship with Him, the word of God which brings us life, the Word of God incarnate (John 1:1-4) who brought us peace and salvation. Words have power, and the words we speak and listen to are very important. Thus the apostle writes, “but speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph 4:15). 

So God’s commandment calls us to speak and promote the truth. But this means more than just blatant honesty. It means working to protect our integrity, and to defend the integrity and respect our neighbors. It means avoiding, and also putting an end to gossip, slander, and the spreading of lies. It also means telling simply the truth, not becoming flatterers, exaggerating the goodness of others for our own gain. We should also consider that this commandment says something about what we listen to as well.


Almighty God, by your word we have our life and our hope, in Jesus, your Word made flesh, we find your truth. Guide us by your Word, and may our words be pleasing before you, building one another up in the likeness of Christ, and, by the power of your Spirit, bring you glory and honor, now and forevermore. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 76

Q. 76. Which is the ninth commandment

A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Scripture Proofs

Ex. 20:16.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Question 77

Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness bearing.

Scripture Proofs

Zech. 8:16;

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

3 John 1:12;

Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.

Prov. 14:5;

A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies.

Prov. 14:25.

A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.

Question 78

Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor’s good name.

Scripture Proofs

1 Sam. 17:28;

Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

Lev. 19:16;

You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

Ps. 15:3.

who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;