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In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we continue our exhaustive discussion on the Ten Commandments, which is the summary of the moral law. This section consists of an expansion of questions 69-72 in the Keach Catechism and the Baptist Catechism on the Fifth Commandment. Because of the essential agreement between Reformed Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists on the use and function of the law, the extended answers are very similar to questions 123-133 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the additional questions added and the expanded questions below.
Q. 113: What is the fifth commandment?
A: The fifth commandment is: Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.1
1. Exodus 20:12
Q. 114: To whom does father and mother refer in the fifth commandment?
A: Father and mother refer not just to our natural parents1 but to all superiors in age2 and gifts3; and specifically to those whom God has ordained to be over us in positions of authority, whether in our family,4 the church,5 or civil government.6 The terms father and mother remind those in authority that, like natural parents, they are responsible for and should act in a loving and tender way, appropriately reflecting their particular relationship, toward those under them;7 and those under them are also encouraged to accept their authority more willingly and cheerfully, as if they were their natural parents.8
4. 2 Kings 5:13
6. Isaiah 49:23
Q. 115: What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
A: The general scope of the fifth commandment is the performance of those duties which we owe to others, depending upon our particular relationship to them, whether over, under, or equal to them.1
Q. 116: What kind of honor is owed to those over us?
A: Those over us deserve respect in our hearts,1 our words,2 and our actions.3 We must pray and give thanks for them,4 emulate their virtues and gifts,5 willingly heed and obey their lawful commands and advice,6 submit to their correction,7 be faithful to them,8 and defend9 and support their persons and authority, as is appropriate to their rank and position.10 We must also tolerate their imperfections and infirmities and cover them with our love,11 so that we will be an honor to them and to their authority.12
8. Titus 2:9-10
Q. 117: What are the particular sins against those in authority by those under them?
A: The sins of those under authority against those over them are: any failure to perform what is required by them;1 being envious of,2 holding in contempt,3 or rebelling4 against their person or position5 as reflected in their lawful advice,6 commands, and correction;7 cursing at or making fun of them8 or any kind of stubborn resistance and disgraceful display that brings shame and dishonor to their person and authority.9
Q. 118: What is required of those in authority towards those under them?
A: As is appropriate to the position of power they have received from God and to the particular relationship involved, those in authority should love,1 pray for,2 and bless those under them.3 They should teach,4 advise, and warn them,5 approving,6 praising,7 and rewarding those that do well8 while disapproving,9 blaming, and punishing those who do wrong.10 They should also protect those under them11 and provide the things they need for soul and body.12 Those in authority should also be examples of serious, wise, and holy behavior so as to bring glory to God14 and honor to themselves15 and thereby maintain the authority God has bestowed on them.16
6. 1 Peter 3:7
8. Esther 6:3
14. 1 Kings 3:28
15. Titus 2:15
Q. 119: What are the particular sins of those in authority?
A: In addition to failing to do what is required of them1 and using their position for their own glory,2 ease, profit, or pleasure,3 the sins of those in authority include: commanding things that are unlawful4 or that cannot be accomplished by those under them;5 persuading,6 encouraging,7 and rewarding those under them for doing evil;8 dissuading, discouraging, and not rewarding them for doing good;9 excessive punishment;10 carelessly exposing or allowing them to do wrong and to be put in the way of temptation or danger;11 provoking them to anger;12 and anything that dishonors themselves or undermines their authority by being unjust, imprudent, too severe, or lax.13
12. Ephesians 6:4
Q. 120: What is required of equals?
A: Equals are required to pay attention to the dignity and worth of each other1 by honoring each other above themselves and by rejoicing in each others’ gifts and successes as if their own.2
1. 1 Peter 2:17
Q. 121: What are the particular sins of equals?
A: In addition to failing to do what is required of them,1 the sins of equals include undervaluing the worth of each other,2 envying their gifts,3 grieving over their success or prosperity,4 and trying to lord it over them.5
1. Romans 13:8
Q. 122: What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A: The reason added to the fifth commandment is in these words: so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.1 These words expressly promise long life and prosperity to all who keep this commandment, if these glorify God and are for their good.2
1. Exodus 20:12