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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 79-81 in the Keach Catechism and the Baptist Catechism on the Eighth 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 140-142 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the expanded questions below.
Q. 129: What is the eighth commandment?
A: The eighth commandment is You shall not steal.1
1. Exodus 20:15
Q. 130: What is required in the eighth commandment?
A: The eighth commandment requires us to act truthfully, faithfully, and justly in our contractual and business relationships with our fellow human beings so that we give to all what they deserve.1 We are to make restitution for anything we have unlawfully acquired from its rightful owner;2 we should give and lend freely, according to our ability and the needs of others;3 we must moderate our judgment, will, and inclinations about worldly goods;4 we must exercise prudence in the acquisition,5 maintenance, use, and disposition of the things that we need and are appropriate to sustain us humanly and that match our condition in life;6 we should find something lawful to do in life7 and work hard at it;8 we should be frugal;9 and we should avoid unnecessary lawsuits10 and should not become liable by putting up security for others or by similar commitments.11 Finally, we must do our best, by all just and lawful means, to acquire, preserve, and increase our own and others’ money and possessions.12
Q. 131: What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A: In addition to failing to do what is required,1 the eighth commandment forbids: theft and robbery,2 kidnapping,3 and receiving stolen goods.4 It also forbids fraud and dishonest measures,5 removing boundary markers,6 injustice or bad faith in our contractual relationships or trust agreements.7 It also forbids oppression,8 extortion,9 usury,10 bribery,11 harassing lawsuits,12 and unjust expropriation and dispossession of others’ land.13 It also forbids hoarding goods to increase their price,14 illegal work or activities,15 and all other unjust or sinful ways of taking, withholding, or enriching ourselves from what belongs to others.16 It also forbids the excessive attachment to or display of our worldly goods.17
It also forbids allowing ourselves to become distracted from trusting God in the way that we acquire, maintain, and use worldly goods.18 It also forbids envying the prosperity of others.19 It also forbids laziness,20 extravagance, wasteful gambling, and all the other ways that needlessly jeopardize our money and possessions21 and defraud ourselves of the use and comfort of the things God has given us.22
10. Psalm 15:5
14. Proverbs 11:26
15. Acts 19:19-25