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Explain how the Ten Commandments inform Christian about duties to God and neighbour.

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Introduction

Explain how the Decalogue informs the Christian about duties to God and neighbour. The Decalogue, otherwise known as the Ten Commandments were a set of 10 rules given by Yahweh to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. To many, they contain the most fundamental principles of moral life. The commandments were given by God to guide the Israelites in everyday life, TD Alexander comments on this saying ?it sets out how people must live in order to be a holy nation. It is interesting to note that they are apodictic in form, in which God gives order, but no punishments are listed. Many people believe this is due to the absolutist form of the commandments, in which they were never expected to be broken. There are as noted ten commandments in all, four of which define duties towards God himself, five of which define duties towards other humans and the final commandment is based on the controlling of ones thoughts and desires. Throughout this essay I will describe each sector of the Decalogue as described above, and explain how this informs a Christian of their duties. ...read more.

Middle

Huesman believes this commandment has ?a humanitarian motive.? In contrast, Houston disagrees with this, he believes the ?primary emphasis is on the character of the day.? He believes the focus is solely on God and prayer, rather than family and rest. Moving on, we have human orientated commandments. These commandments are a fundamental charter of human rights, and each present challenging duties for the Christians to follow. Firstly, we have ?honour your father and mother.? Here God enjoins us to respect our parents under all circumstances. Similar to previous commandments, this commandment is set out to separate the Israelites from surrounding nations. As God?s chosen nation, a hierarchical society is required, and family relationship and respect is a crucial factor. TD Alexander expands on this by saying ?any attempt to undermine their authority was an attack on the structure of the community.? Following this, we have possibly the central commandment in the Decalogue, ?You shall not murder.? This commandment reminds each one of us of the sacredness of human life. ...read more.

Conclusion

to harm another.? God has given humans the duty to form a flawless society, a truthful and strong society which will be his treasure. As Paul states ?speak truth with one another. As this forms a truthful and strong society. Last but not least, I will discuss the final commandment, based upon the controlling of thoughts and desires. ?You shall not covet your neighbours...?. This commandment reminds us to suppress inner feelings or thoughts which may lead to immoral actions. It orders us to refrain from envy and avoid all sinful desires. Different from other commandments which speak of external behaviour, this commandment turns our attention towards the inner world. Calling us to strive towards spiritual cleanliness. The Ten Commandments are moral absolutes, meaning they should never be broken. They contain the most fundamental teachings for a Christian to base their life around. This is why the commandments are universal, as some people still follow parts of it today. The commandments show Christians that religion and morality is inextricably linked, guiding them on how faith in God and the love of others is the path to a flawless moral life. ...read more.

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