The Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 40

Question & Answer 105

Q: What is God's will for you in the sixth commandment?

A: I am not to belittle, insult, hate, or kill my neighbor-
not by my thoughts, my words, my look or gesture,
and certainly not by actual deeds-
and I am not to be party to this in others;1
rather, I am to put away all desire for revenge.2
I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself either.3
Prevention of murder is also why
government is armed with the sword.4

1 Gen. 9:6; Lev. 19:17-18; Matt. 5:21-22; 26:52
2 Prov. 25:21-22; Matt. 18:35; Rom. 12:19; Eph. 4:26
3 Matt. 4:7; 26:52; Rom. 13:11-14
4 Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:14; Rom. 13:4

Question & Answer 106

Q: Does this commandment refer only to killing?

A: By forbidding murder God teaches us
that he hates the root of murder:
envy, hatred, anger, vindictiveness.1
In God's sight all such are murder.2

1 Prov. 14:30; Rom. 1:29; 12:19; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 John 2:9-11
2 1 John 3:15

Question & Answer 107

Q: Is it enough then that we do not kill our neighbor in any such way?

A: No.
By condemning envy, hatred, and anger
God tells us
to love our neighbors as ourselves,1
to be patient, peace-loving, gentle,
merciful, and friendly to them,2
to protect them from harm as much as we can,
and to do good even to our enemies.3

1 Matt. 7:12; 22:39; Rom. 12:10
2 Matt. 5:3-12; Luke 6:36; Rom. 12:10, 18; Gal. 6:1-2; Eph. 4:2;
Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 3:8
3 Ex. 23:4-5; Matt. 5:44-45; Rom. 12:20-21 (Prov. 25:21-22)