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Shorter Catechism

𝒬 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?

𝒜. The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor's good name,1 especially in witness bearing.2

  1. Zechariah 8:16

    These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

    Acts 25:10

    But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well.

    3 John 1:12

    Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. (ESV)

  2. Proverbs 14:5

    A faithful witness does not lie,
    but a false witness breathes out lies.

    Proverbs 14:25

    A truthful witness saves lives,
    but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

𝒜. The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man,1 and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own;2 appearing and standing for the truth;3 and from the heart,4 sincerely,5 freely,6 clearly,7 and fully,8 speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice,9 and in all other things whatsoever;10 a charitable esteem of our neighbors;11 loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name;12 sorrowing for,13 and covering of their infirmities;14 freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces,15 defending their innocency;16 a ready receiving of a good report,17 and unwillingness to admit of an evil report,18 concerning them; discouraging talebearers,19 flatterers,20 and slanderers;21 love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth;22 keeping of lawful promises;23 studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.24

  1. Zechariah 8:16

    These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

    Ephesians 4:25

    Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (ESV)

  2. 3 John 1:12

    Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. (ESV)

  3. 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. (ESV)

  4. Psalm 15:2

    He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
    and speaks truth in his heart; (ESV)

  5. 2 Chronicles 19:9

    And he charged them: “Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart: (ESV)

  6. 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?” (ESV)

  7. Joshua 7:15-20

    And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.’”

    So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel near tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was taken. And he brought near the clans of Judah, and the clan of the Zerahites was taken. And he brought near the clan of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: (ESV)

  8. 2 Samuel 14:18-20

    Then the king answered the woman, “Do not hide from me anything I ask you.” And the woman said, “Let my lord the king speak.” The king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” The woman answered and said, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, one cannot turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has said. It was your servant Joab who commanded me; it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your servant. In order to change the course of things your servant Joab did this. But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the earth.”

    Acts 20:27

    for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. (ESV)

  9. Leviticus 19:15

    “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.

    Proverbs 14:5

    A faithful witness does not lie,
    but a false witness breathes out lies.

    Proverbs 14:25

    A truthful witness saves lives,
    but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. (ESV)

  10. 2 Corinthians 1:17-18

    Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No.

    Ephesians 4:25

    Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

    Colossians 3:9

    Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices (ESV)

  11. Hebrews 6:9

    Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.

    1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (ESV)

  12. Romans 1:8

    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.

    2 John 1:4

    I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.

    3 John 1:3-4

    For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (ESV)

  13. 2 Corinthians 2:4

    For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

    2 Corinthians 12:21

    I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

    Psalm 119:158

    I look at the faithless with disgust,
    because they do not keep your commands. (ESV)

  14. Proverbs 17:9

    Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

    1 Peter 4:8

    Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (ESV)

  15. 1 Corinthians 1:4-5

    I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—

    1 Corinthians 1:7

    so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

    2 Timothy 1:4-5

    As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. (ESV)

  16. 1 Samuel 22:14

    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? (ESV)

  17. 1 Corinthians 13:6-7

    it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (ESV)

  18. Psalm 15:3

    who does not slander with his tongue
    and does no evil to his neighbor,
    nor takes up a reproach against his friend; (ESV)

  19. Proverbs 25:23

    The north wind brings forth rain,
    and a backbiting tongue, angry looks. (ESV)

  20. Proverbs 26:24-25

    Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
    and harbors deceit in his heart;
    when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
    for there are seven abominations in his heart; (ESV)

  21. Psalm 101:5

    Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
    I will destroy.
    Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
    I will not endure. (ESV)

  22. Proverbs 22:1

    22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
    and favor is better than silver or gold.

    John 8:49

    Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.

    2 Corinthians 11:1-12:13

    11:1 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

    Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

    And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

    I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not with the Lord's authority but as a fool. Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

    But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

    If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

    12:1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong! (ESV)

  23. Psalm 15:4

    in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    but who honors those who fear the Lord;
    who swears to his own hurt and does not change; (ESV)

  24. Philippians 4:8

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.