9th commandment, confessing baptist, false witness, gossip, injustice, keach catechism, law of God, lawsuits, london baptist confession, lying, ninth commandment, perjury, reputation, slander, ten commandments, third use of the Law, threefold division of the law, westminster larger catechism
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 82-84 in the Keach Catechism and the Baptist Catechism on the Ninth 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 143-145 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the expanded questions below.
Q. 132: What is the ninth commandment?
A: The ninth commandment is: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.1
1. Exodus 20:16
Q. 133: What is required in the ninth commandment?
A: The ninth commandment requires that we maintain and promote truthfulness in our dealings with each other and the good reputation of others as well as ourselves.1 We must come forward and stand up for the truth,2 speaking the truth and nothing but the truth from our hearts,3 sincerely, freely, clearly, and without equivocation,4 not only in all matters relating to the law and justice5 but in any and every circumstance whatsoever.6 We must have a charitable regard for others,7 loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good reputation8 as well as regretting9 and putting the best light on their failings.10 We must freely acknowledge their talents and gifts,11 defending their innocence,12 readily receiving a good report about them and reluctantly admitting a bad one.13 We should discourage gossips, flatterers, and slanderers;14 we should love and protect our own good reputation and defend it when necessary;15 we should keep every lawful promise we make no matter what;16 and finally we should do the best we can to focus our lives and thoughts on things that are true, noble, lovely, and admirable.17
3. Psalm 15:2
16. Psalm 15:4
17. Philippians 4:8
Q. 134: What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A: The ninth commandment forbids everything detrimental to the truth and the good reputation of others as well as our own,1 with special reference to legal matters in the courts.2 We must not give untrue evidence,3 commit perjury,4 knowingly appear and plead on behalf of an evil cause, or engage in overbearing and boastful exaggeration.5 We should never participate in passing an unjust sentence,6 call evil good or good evil, or reward the wicked in a way appropriate to the righteous or the righteous in a way appropriate to the wicked.7 Forgery is forbidden,8 as is concealing the truth, remaining silent in a just cause,9 and not taking it on ourselves to reprove10 or complain to others about some wrong.11 We must not speak the truth at an inappropriate time,12 or maliciously to promote a wrong purpose,13 nor pervert it into a wrong meaning,14 into ambiguous equivocations, or in such ways as to undermine truth and justice.15
Also forbidden are: saying anything untrue;16 lying, slandering, backbiting;17 belittling, gossiping, whispering, ridiculing, reviling;18 expressing any kind of judgmental opinion that is rash, harsh, or prejudiced;19 misconstruing intentions, words, and actions;20 flattery and ostentatious boasting;21 thinking or speaking too highly or too poorly of ourselves or others;22 denying the gifts of God or the effects of his grace on us;23 exaggerating the significance of trivial faults;24 concealing, excusing, or rationalizing our sinful behavior when we are called to confess it voluntarily;25 gratuitously revealing the problems and failings of others;26 spreading false rumors, receiving and approving evil reports, and refusing to listen to a just defense;27 harboring evil suspicions;28 being envious of or grieved by the deserved honors others receive, trying to discredit those honors, and rejoicing at someone else’s disgrace or evil reputation;29 scornful contempt and foolish admiration;30 breaking our lawful promises;31 and, finally, failing to promote everyone’s good name,32 and doing, not avoiding, or not hindering in others, as we can, those things that give people a bad name.33
4. Acts 6:13
7. Isaiah 5:23
11. Isaiah 59:4
12. Proverbs 29:11
16. Isaiah 59:13