Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Brief Catechism

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IV. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD

Q. 186. Who gave the Ten Commandments?
A. The Lord God Himself gave the Ten Commandments through Moses, the prophet, on Mount Sinai, on the 50th day of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt.
Q. 187. Why must the Christians keep the Ten Commandments?
A. The Christians must keep the Ten Commandments because the Lord Jesus Christ bade to keep them, as is seen from the Gospel. (Mat. XIX: 17-19.)
Q. 188. What is the first Commandment of the Law of God?
A. The First Commandment of the Law of God: "I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods beside Me."
Q. 189. What does the First Commandment bid us to do?
A. The First Commandment bids us to acknowledge one God in thought; to believe in Him with our heart, and love Him; to glorify Him by words of our mouth, and to serve Him with our whole being.
Q. 190. What regard should we have for the Angels and for the Saints of God?
A. We should venerate Angels and the Saints of God as the servants of God, and, because, they pray for us to God, because of their love for us.
Q. 191. What is the Second Commandment of God?
A. The Second Commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in the heaven, or that in. the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them."
Q. 192. What does God forbid by the Second Commandment?
A. By the Second Commandment God forbids the worship of idols.
Q. 193. What is an idol?
A. An idol (handmade statue, or figure) is a representation of a false deity. Such, as the Hebrews, who fashioned the likeness of a calf in gold, and worshiped it, naming it their god. (Exod. 32:4.)
Q. 194. What is an Icon (holy picture)?
A. Icons, the Holy Pictures we use in Church, are representations of Jesus Christ and of His Saints. They are rightly used for the religious remembrance of the works of God and of His Saints, and it is right to pray before them to God and to His Saints. Nevertheless, this right and godly honor of Icons becomes the sin of idolatry when any one honors only the Holy Icons themselves, and puts his trust, and does not lift up his mind and heart to Christ and His Saints who are represented by them.
Q. 195. What is the Third Commandment?
A. The Third Commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."
Q. 196. In the Third Commandment of His Law, what does God forbid?
A. In the Third Commandment of His Law God forbids us to use His name wrongly.
Q. 197. When may we rightly use the Name of God?
A. It is right for us to use the Name of God in prayer and in religious instruction; and with mindful fear and reverence we may use the name of God when lawful authority requires us to be sworn.
Q. 198. But in common talk may we exclaim, as many do, or swear by the name of God?
A. To exclaim or swear by the Name of God in common talk or to use His Holy Name carelessly and disrespectfully at any time, is forbidden by God Himself in the Third Commandment of His Law.
Q. 199. What is the Fourth Commandment of God's Law?
A. The Fourth Commandment: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labor and do all thy work: but the seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.''
Q. 200. In the Fourth Commandment of His Law, what does God require of us?
A. In the Fourth Commandment of His Law God commands us to work six days in the week and to all that belongs to our worldy callings; but the seventh day God commands us to keep holy to Him.
Q. 201. Why does God command us to keep the seventh day holy?
A. God commands us to keep the seventh day holy because He made the world in six days, and on seventh day He rested from all His works.
Q. 202. Which particular day of the seven ought we keep holy?
A. In olden times people kept Saturday as the seventh day; but since the Resurrection of Christ, the Orthodox Christian Church keeps Sunday as the seventh day, because on that day Christ rose from the dead.
Q. 203. In addition to the 7th day, set apart, to be kept holy by the Fourth Commandment of God, what other days are set apart to be kept holy by Commandment of the Orthodox Christian Church?
A. Our Holy Orthodox Christian Religion requires us to keep as holy days, first the Feasts of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; secondly, the Feasts of the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary; thirdly, the Feasts of the Saints; and, fourthly, the days of fasting, which are to be kept holy by observing such abstinence as is commanded by the Church.
Q. 204. What is the Fifth Commandment of God's Law?
A. Honor thy Father and thy Mother, that it may be well with thee, and that thy days may be long upon the earth.
Q. 205. In the Fifth Commandment of His Law, what does God require of us?
A. In the Fifth Commandment of His Law God commands us to honor and obey our parents.
Q. 206. Does the Fifth Commandment of God's Law require of us that we, honor and obey our parents only?
A. The Fifth Commandment of God's Law commands us to honor and obey not only our parents, but also those who in different ways stand to us in the place of parents: such as the Government of our Country, our spiritual fathers, Bishops and Priests, our teachers in school, God father and God mother.
Q. 207. What is the Sixth Commandment of God's Law?
A. Thou shalt not kill.
Q. 208. In the Sixth Commandment of His Law, what does God forbid?
A. In the Sixth Commandment of His Law God forbids us to take away any person's life by force or by guile, or in any way to disturb the peace of our neighbor. In this Commandment, therefore, God forbids all strife, wrath, hatred, envy and cruelty.
Q. 209. What is the Seventh Commandment of God's Law?
A. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Q. 210. In the Seventh Commandment of His Law, what does God forbid?
A. In the Seventh Commandment of His Law God forbids adultery, and all unclean pleasures of the body. In this same Commandment He also forbids everything that may tend to excite unlawful desires; such as drunkenness, indecent and shameful words or gestures, the reading of immoral books, singing or listening to immoral songs, and looking upon immoral pictures or shows.
Q. 211. What is the Eighth Commandment of God's Law?
A. Thou shalt not steal.
Q. 212. In the Eighth Commandment of His Law, what does God forbid?
A. In the Eighth Commandment of His Law God forbids us to take by force or secretly anything that belongs to others.
Q. 213. What is the Ninth Commandment of God's Law?
A. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Q. 214. In the Ninth Commandment of His Law, what does God forbid?
A. In the Ninth Commandment of His Law God forbids us to bear false witness against any person in court or out of court; or to slander anyone, or damage his reputation in any way; or to revile anyone, either to his face or behind his back; or under any circumstances to lie or deceive.
Q. 215. What is the Tenth Commandment of God's Law?
A. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, nor his land; nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant; nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any of his cattle; nor anything that is thy neighbor's.
Q. 216. In the Tenth Commandment of His Law, what does God forbid?
A. In the Tenth Commandment of His Law God not only forbids us to do evil, but also forbids us even so much as to desire it, or to think of it, that we may not from evil thoughts and desires go on to evil deeds.
Q. 217. How are we to keep ourselves from evil desires; and evil thoughts?
A. We must never forget that Almighty God at every moment sees what we do. At the first thought of sin we should say, with Joseph the son of Jacob, "How shall I do this wickedness, and sin against God?"

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