New City Catechism


Question: What does God require in the fourth and fifth commandments?

Answer: Fourth, that on the Sabbath day we spend time in public and private worship of God, rest from routine employment, serve the Lord and others, and so anticipate the eternal Sabbath. Fifth, that we love and honor our father and our mother, submitting to their godly discipline and direction.

Commentary: The word of God…commands things against the grain which you don’t do. It tells you: Your God is one (Dt 6:4); worship one God. What you want is to put away the one God.… You are told to observe the Sabbath in a spiritual way, in hope of the future rest which the Lord has promised you.… But you, the reason you want to rest is in order to work, whereas you ought to be working in order to rest. You are told, Honor you father and mother (Ex 20:12). [But] you heap insults on your parents, which you certainly don’t want to endure from your children. In the Holy Spirit, that is, in the gift of God, everlasting rest is promised us.…

Of that we have already received the pledge. That’s what the apostle says: Who gave us the Spirit as a pledge (2 Cor 1:22). If we have received a pledge so that we may be at peace in the Lord and in our God…we shall also in him from whom we have received the pledge be at rest forever. That will be the sabbath of sabbaths.… So the…commandment about the Sabbath…we should acknowledge in a spiritual way.… God hallowed the seventh day when he had made all his work, as we read it written in Genesis…God rested from his works (Gn 2:2–3). It was not because God was tired that it had to say God rested from his works, but that word contains a promise of rest for you as you toil away.… God rested, to give you to understand that you too will rest…and rest without end. Honor you father and mother (Ex 20:12). It’s your parents you see when you first open your eyes.… If anyone fails to honor his parents, is there anyone he will spare?…

Change you ways. You used to love the world; love God. You used to love the futilities of wickedness, you used to love passing, temporary pleasures; love your neighbor.