The Tenth Commandment

What is the New Testament meaning of the tenth commandment?

We should honor and love God by recognizing and respecting our neighbor's inherent right to happiness in the unmolested use of that which is his, by our refusing to gain possession of his property or companion through deceptive means whether it is by cleverness or pretext of law, by assisting and serving him in the preservation of his own.

This commandment deals with the desire of the human heart. It forbids one to desire that which he cannot lawfully have, and forbids one to desire to get unlawfully that which he may lawfully have.

Usually as a man thinks in his heart he will speak with his tongue and act with his hand. In the heart is where sin is conceived, therefore, one should stand guard at the door of his heart lest there enter the sins of evil desire.

Desires are evil when they create in one's heart an affection for that which he cannot lawfully have, such as another man's wife, or the gaining of his possessions by deceitful and fraudulent methods.

Christian grace can change the lustful and covetous desires of the human heart. It is done by the Holy Spirit so filling one with divine love that sinful love is crowded out altogether. It is positive power of divine love that changes the total base structure of one's inward urges.

Instead of being jealous of another's honor, one becomes joyful in promoting his good name. Instead of being lustful toward his neighbor's wife, he prayerfully hopes for their marital happiness. Instead of desiring to hurt or injure his neighbor's life, he gladly assists him in his health and well-being.

Covetousness is in the desire of the human heart. By God's grace evil desires can be taken out and good desires can be put in.

Assignment for this lesson:

Exodus 10:17; Numbers 11:1-35; 16:1-50; 20:2-11; Luke 12:13-40; 22:1-41; 31:1-16; Malachi 3:1-18; Matthew 19:16-20; James 5:1-6.

Copyright in 1978 by R.O. Corvin. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.