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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Q135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves1 and others2 by resisting all thoughts and purposes,3 subduing all passions,4 and avoiding all occasions,5 temptations,6 and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any;7 by just defence thereof against violence,8 patient bearing of the hand of God,9 quietness of mind,10 cheerfulness of spirit;11 a sober use of meat,12 drink,13 physic,14 sleep,15 labour,16 and recreations;17 by charitable thoughts,18 love,19 compassion,20 meekness, gentleness, kindness;21 peaceable,22 mild and courteous speeches and behaviour;23 forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil;24 comforting and succouring the distressed and protecting and defending the innocent.25
1 Ephesians 5:28-29: In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
2 1 Kings 18:4: And when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.
3 Jeremiah 26:15-16: "Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears." Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God." Acts 23:12, 16-17, 21, 27: When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. ... Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him." ... "But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent." ... "This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen."
4 Ephesians 4:26-27: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
5 2 Samuel 2:22: And Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?" Deuteronomy 22:8: When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it.
6 Matthew 4:6-7: And said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Proverbs 1:10-11, 15-16: My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason. ... My son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
7 1 Samuel 24:12: May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. 1 Samuel 26:9-11: But David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord's anointed and be guiltless?" And David said, "As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord's anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go." Genesis 37:21-22: But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him" — that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father.
8 Psalm 82:4: Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Proverbs 24:11-12: Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? 1 Samuel 14:45: Then the people said to Saul, "Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As the Lord lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day." So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die.
9 James 5:7-11: Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. Hebrews 12:9: Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
10 1 Thessalonians 4:11: And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you. 1 Peter 3:3-4: Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear — but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. Psalm 37:8-11: Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
11 Proverbs 17:22: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
12 Proverbs 25:16, 27: If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. ... It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.
13 1 Timothy 5:23: No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
14 Isaiah 38:21: Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover."
15 Psalm 127:2: It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
16 Ecclesiastes 5:12: Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 12: For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. ... Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Proverbs 16:20: Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
17 Ecclesiastes 3:4, 11: A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. ... He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
18 1 Samuel 19:4-5: And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?" 1 Samuel 22:13-14: And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?” Then Ahimelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king's son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house?
19 Romans 13:10: Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
20 Luke 10:33-34: But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
21 Colossians 3:12-13: Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
22 James 3:17: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
23 1 Peter 3:8-11: Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For "Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. Proverbs 15:1: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Judges 8:1-3: Then the men of Ephraim said to him, "What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight against Midian?" And they accused him fiercely. And he said to them, "What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?" Then their anger against him subsided when he said this.
24 Matthew 5:24: Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Ephesians 5:2, 32: And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. Romans 12:17: Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
25 1 Thessalonians 5:14: And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. Job 31:19-20: If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or the needy without covering, if his body has not blessed me, and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep. Matthew 25:35-36: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Proverbs 31:8-9: Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.