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Right Conduct Toward Others (Exodus 20:13-17)

Of profound importance is the fact that God has always called His people to the highest standard of holiness, Himself (Leviticus 20:26; 1Peter 1:16). While the sixth through the eighth Commandments set forth basic prohibitions (do not murder, commit adultery, or steal), they only provide the minimum standard by which His people are to demonstrate justice. His Commandments set forth the context in which His people are further called to be holy and to love their God with all their heart, soul and might (Deuteronomy 6:4). The Commandments are therefore basic principles of what it means to be just. They were never meant to be exhaustive. Jesus corrected this mistaken presumption in His Sermon on the Mount (“you have heard it said” Matthew 5:21).

Acting as a false witness (the ninth Commandment) is not only condemned in Scripture for its disastrous effect in life, it undermines the very character of God whose image we were created to reflect. The tenth and final commandment goes to the heart of the matter. To allow ones heart to covet goes beyond the scope of the previous four commandments. While they focus on actions committed or words spoken, the tenth commandment focuses on a persons heart. To allow your heart to covet someone else’s property violates the center of what is to govern human relationships. Left unchecked it can become the motivation for theft, adultery, and murder.

God takes personally the treatment of his own (Matthew 25:40-45). How does the Ten Commandments govern your conduct toward others?

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