The Fifth Commandment

MEMORY VERSE: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” —I Corinthians 6:19,20

EXODUS 20:14; MATTHEW 5:27, 28

THE Ten Commandments were given to ancient Israel to guide them in their proper attitude toward God and in their relationships with one another. Jesus was accused by his enemies of endeavoring to set aside the requirements of the Law, but what he actually did was to magnify the Law and make some of it even more demanding upon the people of God.

We have a good example of this in today’s lesson. The commandment said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Concerning this Jesus said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Other humans would not necessarily be aware when this condition existed, but the Lord would, and would know that his commandment had been broken.


Consecrated Christians belong to the Lord—their minds, their hearts, their affections, and their bodies. And as Paul says, “The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” (vs. 13) This proper devotion of the body to the Lord is clearly set forth in Romans 12:1. Here we are urged to present our bodies “a living sacrifice,” with the assurance that it will be holy and acceptable to God.

Through the fall of man into sin and death we have inherited a body which is very unholy, but the reason a Christian’s body is acceptable to the Lord as a sacrifice is that it is covered by the robe of Christ’s righteousness. The blood of Christ covers all imperfections due to original sin, and how wonderful that through this provision our imperfect efforts to serve the Lord are considered holy by him, and the sacrifice of our bodies acceptable.

Verses 19 and 20 read, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? … therefore, glorify God in your body, which is God’s.” (The words, “and in your spirit,” are not in the original Greek text, and are omitted from the Revised Standard Version.)

Here we have the word “temple” used in connection with the individual Christian, with the admonition that since the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit it behooves us to keep it as free as possible from defiling influences of all kinds. We cannot abandon ourselves to the spirit of the world and the weaknesses of the flesh and at the same time render acceptable service to God.

Paul declares that we are “bought with a price.” That price is the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ, who gave his flesh for the life of the world. (John 6:51) II Corinthians 5:14,15 reads, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

Those who, under the influence and drawing power of the love of God, reach this conclusion, are accepted into the body of Christ, and become new creatures in Christ Jesus. To these, “old things are passed away” and “all things are become new.” These “all things” which become new are “the things of God”—the work he has for us to do, which is serving as ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors of Christ. This is now our vocation, and if we are faithful in it we will surely glorify God in our bodies.

The Apostle Peter reminds us that when brought together at the end of the age we will be “lively stones” and “built up a spiritual house” or “temple.” This is a composite picture of the entire elect class of the present age, and they will serve for a thousand years in the messianic kingdom.


Are the footstep followers of Jesus released from the requirements of the Ten Commandments?

What is the vocational use of our bodies now?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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