What is the Truth about Commandments Three to Five?

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.


1. What was the meaning and purpose of the Old Testament Sabbath day?

Gen.2:3  And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because he rested in it from all his work which God had created to make.

  1. On the seventh day God rested from his creative work.  Everything was perfect.  God made it a holy day in which the human race could enjoy his fellowship and blessings.  This day was not closed with the words “There was evening and there was morning,” for it inaugurated a blessed state which was to continue.
  2. Adam’s sin ended this blessed state and erected a barrier of sin which separated the human race from God and his blessings.

Heb.4:3,9  For we who have believed enter that rest, just as he has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” and yet his works were finished from the foundation of the world. . . Consequently, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

  1. God had declared that the Israelites in the exodus would never enter his rest.  By saying he has a rest for his people to enter, he revealed that the blessed fellowship the human race once enjoyed with him on the seventh day has been prepared for his people in heaven.
  2. Since God’s creativity ceased on the seventh day, this heavenly rest was prepared during the time of creation.  See Matthew 25:34 also.

Ex.35:1,2  “These are the things which the Lord commanded you to do. For six days work may be done, but the seventh day will be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord.”

  1. God commanded the Jews to set aside the seventh day of each week as a holy day of Sabbath rest dedicated to him for worship and fellowship.  No physical work could be done on that day.  The word Sabbath means rest.

Col.2:16,17  Therefore, let no one judge you in food or in drink, or in respect of a feast-day or of a New Moon festival or of Sabbath days, which are a shadow of the things that were to come, but their reality is in Christ.

  1. The Sabbath day was a shadow of the rest that was to come in Christ Jesus, who said, “Come to me...I will give you rest...you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28,29).  The Sabbath day was a reminder of the eternal rest to be obtained through the forgiveness of sins and salvation Christ would give.
  2. Now that Christ has come, his shadow in the Sabbath day is no longer needed or binding on us.  Every day can be a day for worship.  In Christian liberty the church chose Sunday--the first day of creation, and the day of Christ’s resurrection--for worship, though it worships on other days of the week as well.

Heb.4:1-3,10  Therefore, let us be afraid lest, while a promise of entering his rest remains, anyone of you should seem to have been excluded from it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us just as they (the Israelites in the exodus) also did, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not blended with faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, . . . For the one who has entered into his rest also himself rests from his works, just as God did from his own works.

  1. We who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ have the true rest for our souls and will enter into the heavenly rest God has prepared for us through him.
  2. When we enter God’s heavenly rest, we will have rest from all the labors and burdens we now have in this world.
The Truth Is:

1. The Old Testament Sabbath day set aside each Saturday as a day for physical rest to enjoy the blessings of God’s fellowship in worship.  It was a reminder of the true Sabbath rest for the soul and for eternity which Christ, the Savior, would bring.
2. Since Christ has come and fulfilled the Sabbath, we are no longer bound by it.
3. We enter the blessedness of God’s rest through faith in Christ, which gives rest to our souls and will deliver us from all that burdens us now.

2. How does this third commandment apply to us today?

Ro.10:14  How, then, shall they call upon the one in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without someone preaching to them?

  1. We enter God’s rest through faith in Jesus.  But we cannot call on him and believe in him if we have never heard of him.  And the only way for us to hear of him is through his Word.  God’s will for us is that we gather for fellowship with him in worship to hear his Word.

Jn.10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, . . .

  1. Today the voice of Jesus is heard in his Word.  His sheep will hear his Word preached and with believing hearts will follow him into God’s rest and heavenly salvation.
  2. Since Jesus’ sheep listen to his voice and his voice is heard in his Word, we will not despise the preaching of his Word but will gladly hear and learn it.

Lk.10:16  The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me; and the one who rejects me rejects the One who sent me.

  1. When we hear the Word preached, we will accept it as if Jesus himself was speaking to us.
  2. We will not reject the Word that is preached or despise it by refusing to hear it.

Jn.17:17  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

  1. When we hear the Word preached, we will accept it as the divine truth.

Col.3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, with thankfulness singing in your hearts to God.

  1. We will desire to hear the Word of Christ regularly so it may fill our hearts.
  2. We will gather with our fellow Christians for worship to hear the Word of Christ, which is also proclaimed to us in the psalms and the hymns the congregation sings.

Heb.10:25  . . . not forsaking the meeting of ourselves together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and by so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

  1. The Lord tells us to gather in worship with our fellow Christians so we can encourage one another in the faith.  The closer the day of judgment comes, the more we need to gather for such encouragement.

Mt.10:32, 33  Every one who will confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever should repudiate me before men, I will also repudiate him before my Father who is in heaven.

  1. We confess our faith in Christ publicly by attending his worship services.  Our failure to attend his worship services says he is not our Lord and Savior.  Actions speak louder than words, as does our attendance or absence in his church services.

Ps.122:1  I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

  1. This verse and the next state what is the Christian’s spirit and feelings about going to worship the Lord.

Ps.84:1, 2  How lovely are your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts. My soul longs, yes, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh shout for joy to the living God.

  1. We do not consider going to our church’s worship services an imposition that deprives us of doing other things.  We desire and are happy to go for our spiritual well being.
  2. If we worship the Lord at home, he does not say that we are relieved from worshipping him in his church.  We do not have an either/or choice but a both/and desire.
The Truth Is:

Today this third commandment teaches us that:
1. We must not despise the preaching of God’s Word and refuse to hear it. Rather we should gladly hear and learn it, accept it as the truth of God and the voice of Jesus, who brings us God’s rest for our souls and for eternity.
2. We must not forsake worshipping our Lord in church, but desire to attend the services regularly and joyfully for our spiritual encouragement in the faith.


The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and mother,
in order that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.

3. What does this commandment forbid?

Pro.30:17  The eye that mocks a father, And despises obedience to a mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young vultures will devour it.

  1. This fourth commandment forbids making fun of parents and refusing to obey them.

Mk.7:10-13  For Moses said, “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER,” and, “THE ONE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF HIS FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM BE PUT TO DEATH.” But you say, “If a man should say to his father or his mother, “Whatever thing of mine may have helped you is ‘Corban,’ that is, ‘A sacrificial offering for God,’ you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother, thereby invalidating the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many such things like that.

  1. This fourth commandment forbids cursing, or speaking evil of, parents.
  2. This fourth commandment forbids failing, or refusing, to help parents.

Ro.13:1,2  Let every person subject himself to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except it is by God, and those authorities which exist are established by God. For this reason he who resists the authority sets himself against what God has established, and those who set themselves against what God has established will receive condemnation.

  1. This fourth commandment forbids disobeying and rebelling against the government and its officials.

Lk.10:16  The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me; and the one who rejects me rejects the One who sent me.

  1. This fourth commandment forbids rejecting and disobeying God’s servants in his church who proclaim his Word.

Tit.2:9  Urge slaves to subject themselves to their own masters in everything, to be pleasing, not contradicting, . . .

  1. This fourth commandment forbids disobeying one’s master or employer.
The Truth Is:

This fourth commandment forbids contempt, disobedience, disrespect, and rebellion against those in authority:
1. Parents in the home (teachers at school).
2. The government and its officials.
3. Leaders in the church.
4. Employers and supervisors at work.

4. What does this command demand?

Col.3:20  Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord.

  1. This fourth commandment demands children to obey their parents.

Ro.13:1,3  Let every person subject himself to the governing authorities. . . Do what is good. . .

  1. This fourth commandment demands everyone to subject himself to the government’s authority and to obey its laws.

Heb.13:17  Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls, as men who will give an account, . . .

  1. This fourth commandment demands Christians to obey their church leaders and to subject themselves to the authority of their leaders who are proclaiming God’s Word.

1 Pet.2:18  House slaves, subject yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are bad-tempered.

  1. This fourth commandment demands slaves and employees to subject themselves to their masters’ or employers’ authority and to respect them.
The Truth Is:

This fourth commandment demands obedience, honor, and respect to those in authority:
1. Parents in the home (teachers in school).
2. The government and its officials.
3. Leaders in the church.
4. Employers and supervisors at work.


The Fifth Commandment

You shall not murder.


5. What does this commandment forbid?

Ps.31:15  My times are in your hand.

  1. A person’s life rests in God’s hands.  Only he has the divine right to take a person’s life.

Acts 17:26,27  . . . and he made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their prescribed times and the fixed boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope after him and find him, although he is not far from each one of us.

  1. God gives all people their time of life on earth to use to come to him as the God of their salvation through repentance and faith.  This is known as their time of grace.
  2. Murder not only ends a person’s life on earth but ends the time he has to come to faith in Christ for his eternal salvation.

Gen. 9:6  Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood will be shed, . . .

  1. This fifth commandment forbids murder to protect everyone’s life and time of grace.
  2. God does give governments the right of capital punishment, as the next verse also clearly states.

Ro.13:4  For he (the government) is God’s servant to you for good. But if you should do what is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword for no purpose. For he is God’s servant, an avenger of wrath, to the one who does what is evil.

Ro. 12:19  Do not take your own revenge, beloved, but give an opportunity for God’s wrath, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL INDEED REPAY,” says the Lord.

  1. This fifth commandment forbids getting even and taking revenge.  God is the judge who will right all wrongs, which he may do directly himself or through his servant, the government.
  2. This fifth commandment forbids lynch mobs, kangaroo courts, or other organizations which take it upon themselves to make their own laws and codes of justice.  Such groups take to themselves the God-given authority belonging to the government.

1 Cor. 6:19,20  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not our own? For you have been bought for a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

  1. We are to honor God with our body.  This fifth commandment forbids mutilating or harming it, and committing suicide.

Ps.56:5-7  All day long they distort my words; All their plots are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they lurk, They watch my steps, as they lie in wait to take my life. Because of their wickedness shall they escape? In your anger cast down the peoples, O God.

  1. This fifth commandment forbids ruining a person’s enjoyment of his God-given life and making his life miserable by slandering him and his reputation, threatening him, conspiring or plotting his harm or death, or hurting or harming him.

Mt.5:21, 22 “You have heard that it was said to the men of ancient times, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER.” And whoever should commit murder will be answerable to the court. But I indeed say to you that every one who is angry with his brother will be answerable to the court. And whoever should say to his brother, ‘Raca’ (a term of abuse meaning empty head or numbskull) will be answerable to the Sanhedrin. And whoever should say, ‘You fool!’ will be answerable to the hell of fire.

  1. This fifth commandment forbids unwarranted, unjustified anger.
  2. This fifth commandment forbids insulting a person with abusive, demeaning names.

Eph.4:31  Put away from you all bitterness and anger and wrath and shouting and slander, along with all malice.

  1. This fifth commandment forbids lingering resentment.
  2. This fifth commandment forbids the rage and wrath of a bad temper.
  3. This fifth commandment forbids shouting matches and slanderous arguments and fights.
  4. This fifth commandment forbids bearing wicked, evil thoughts and intentions toward another person.

1 Jn.3:15  Every one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

  1. This fifth commandment forbids hating anyone.

Ps.139:13-16  For you certainly created my inmost parts; You weaved me in my mother’s womb. I will give you thanks, because I am wonderfully and admirably made; Wonderful are your works, my soul knows this very well. My body was not hidden from you, When I was made in secret, And I was formed in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my undeveloped body, And all the days predestined for me were written in your book, When there was not yet one of them.

  1. Preborn children are God’s creations of body and soul.  They are living human beings in the eyes of God whose length of life he knows even before they are born.
  2. The fifth commandment forbids the murder of preborn children.  Abortion is murder. For detailed information about abortion and pro-life issues, link to Christian Life Resources.

2 Kgs.20:1-2,4-6  In those days Hezekiah became sick to the point of dying.  Then Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, because you will die and you will not live.’ ” Then he (Hezekiah) turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, . . . And it came to pass that Isaiah had not gone out of the middle court when the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you will go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add fifteen years to your days.” ’ ”

  1. This fifth commandment forbids euthanasia, or mercy killing.  The lives of the elderly and sick rest in God’s hands.  Individuals are forbidden to have someone put to death because of their age or ill health.  Had that been done to Hezekiah, because he was certainly going to die, he would have been cheated of fifteen years of life, and God’s will for him would have been thwarted.
The Truth Is:

This fifth commandment forbids:
1. Murder, in order to protect everyone’s body and life and time of grace.
2. Individuals, mobs, or organizations to assume the government’s authority to take revenge.
3. Self-mutilation, physically harming oneself, suicide.
4. Making a person’s life miserable by words or deeds which threaten his body and life.
5. Unjustified anger and insulting others with abusive, demeaning names.
6. Resentment, rage, angry shouting and arguments, and malicious thoughts.
7. Hatred.
8. Abortion.
9. Euthanasia, or mercy killing.

6. What does this commandment demand?

1 Jn.3:11,16,17  For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; . . . By this we know the love, that he laid down his life for us; and we on our part are obligated to lay down our lives for our brothers. Now whoever has the worldly goods needed for life and sees his brother in need and shuts off his affections from him, how can the love of God remain in him?

  1. This fifth commandment demands we love our fellow man with mercy, kindness, and aid.


  1. This fifth commandment demands we love even our enemies.  Our kindness may win them over.

Eph.4:32  And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also forgave you.

  1. This fifth commandment demands we forgive those who sin against us as God forgives us.
The Truth Is:

This fifth commandment demands us to:
1. Be merciful and kind to our fellow man, even to our enemies, and help him and be a friend to him in his every bodily need.
2. Forgive those who sin against us as God forgives us for Jesus’ sake.