This Week’s Catechism – 5/12

Doctrinal Standard #69

  • Q. What does the sixth commandment forbid?
  • The sixth commandment forbids taking one’s own life or the lives of others unjustly or doing anything that leads to suicide or murder.

Memory Verses

  • “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’ (Romans 12:19,ESV).


  • Study Passage: Romans 12:9-21
  • Support Passages: Deuteronomy 32:35; Matthew 5:38-48; James 2:1-13; Genesis 9:1-7; Romans 5:20-21; Acts 25:11; Luke 23:39-43
  • Bible Story: Acts 21:1-14


  • Below is taken from Training Hearts, Teaching Minds page 229-231.
  • “Murder is an act that God forbids. Hatred and holding grudges are attitudes that God forbids. Hatred for someone usually begins with anger over something the person has done that we did not like. This kind of anger is self-centered and therefore sinful. Today, people teach that we must be sure to feel enough anger when someone wrongs us and we should express it freely. If we do not, these people tell us, we will not be healthy. People who have been hurt are encouraged to keep thinking and talking about what it was that hurt them and to keep feeling the anger again.
    The Bible teaches exactly the opposite. When people hurt us (and they will), we must forgive them and go on with our lives. The 37th psalm speaks of wicked people who hurt others. Even with people like these, this psalm tells us, we should trust God to take care of us and to do what is right in judging them. The psalm tells us several times not to ‘fret’ over what people do that is wrong. To fret over something is to continue to think about it and to continue to let it bother you. When we fret over what someone has done to hurt us, we nurture our anger and cause it to grow. It will quickly turn into hatred. God condemns both anger and hatred, not just murder. Read Psalm 37:7-9.”
  • Not only does this commandment forbid the attitudes of hatred and anger because they are the beginnings of murder, it also forbids the attitude of indifference. To be indifference is to be unconcerned, to not care. There are many people who need food or shelter and who have no money to buy what they need. Their needs are so great that they will die if someone does not help them. When we are aware of people like this and when we have enough money that we could help them, this commandment forbids us to be indifferent. It forbids us being unconcerned and ignoring such people. Job said that whenever he knew of someone in need, he helped him because he knew if he did not help him, he would be sinning against God. Read Job 31:16-23.” [1]

Discussion Questions

  • What does the sixth commandment forbid?
  • Before a person commits murder what is in their heart?
  • Is God only concerned with the act of murder itself? Explain.
  • How are we to guard ourselves from being murderous people in our heart?
  • How are we to help preserve life? Provide practical examples.



[1] Meade, Starr (2000). Training Heart, Teaching Minds. Phillipsburg, New Jersey, USA; P&R Publishing Company.

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