Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #42

Doctrinal Standard #42

  • Q. What is the essence of the Ten Commandments?
  • A. The essence 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 to love everyone else as we love ourselves.

Memory Verses

  • “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27, ESV).


  • Study Passage: I Samuel 18:1-4; 20:17-42
  • Support Passages:  I Corinthians 2:9 (Isaiah 64:4), Joshua 22:5, Psalm 97:10, 116:1-2, 119:97; Proverbs 10:12; Amos 5:15; John 8:42, 13:35, 15:13; Romans 12:9, 13:8-10
  • Bible Story: Luke 10:29-37


  • When Jesus was asked which is the greatest of all the commandments he responded love God and love your neighbor. The catechism tells us that this is the essence of the Ten Commandments. Jesus teaches us that “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40). The pinnacle of all of God’s law is first to love God and second to love those around you. All of God’s command teach, direct, and guide an individual on how they can practically love God and love their neighbor. For example, the Ten Commandments:  you shall have no other gods before me, you shall not make for yourself a carved image, you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, observe the Sabbath day, honor your father and your mother, you shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, and you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife all provide specific commands on how we are to love God and love our neighbor. Scripture is filled with commands beyond the Ten Commandments on how we are to practically love God and our neighbor. But if we are to be obedient to the first and second greatest commandment it requires that we know and understand the scriptures.

Discussion Questions

  • What are the two greatest commandments?
  • How is the command to love God and your neighbor the essences of the Ten Commandments?
  • Provide evidence from the Ten Commandments or other scripture that teach us how to love God.
  • Provide evidence from the Ten Commandments or other scripture that teach us how to love our neighbor.
  • What does our obedience to God’s law prove about our faith? Explain

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warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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