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The Ninth Commandment

The 9th & 10th Commandments forbid anyone, even though it may look acceptable in the eyes of the world, to covet or scheme to take from his neighbour what belongs to him, such as his wife, servants, house, fields, meadows, or cattle. While the 7th Commandment prohibits seizing or withholding another’s possessions to which you have no right, here it is also forbidden to entice anything away from your neighbour, even though in the eyes of the world you could do it honourably, without accusation or blame for fraudulent dealing (Concordia 405:296).

Such is nature that we all begrudge another’s having as much as we have. Everyone acquires all he can and lets others look out for themselves. Yet we all pretend to be upright. We know how to put up a fine front to conceal our rascality. We think up artful dodges and sly tricks (better and better ones are devised daily) under the guise of justice. We brazenly dare to boast of it, and insist that it should be called not rascality but shrewdness and business acumen. In this we are abetted by jurists and lawyers who twist and stretch the law to suit their purpose, straining words and using them for pretexts, without regard for equity or for our neighbours’ plight (405:297-299).

These commands not to covet, are addressed not to those whom the world considers wicked rouges, but precisely to the most upright – to people who wish to be commended as honest and virtuous because they have not offended against the preceding commandments (405:300)

Mark Hampel

About the author


Mark Hampel is an enthusiastic communicator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was ordained in 1988 and has served in churches and schools in 3 states. He currently lives in Chinchilla, Qld. His passion is building up the faith of God’s people and working with them so that all will come to know Christ as their joy and salvation.

Mark is happily married to Veronica and they have 4 children and 4 grandsons. He is also a farmer of sorts, having spent the last decade establishing a date plantation in Western Queensland. Other hobbies include Australian history, travel, film & literature and of course, family.

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Downfall Creek

St John’s

St John’s Downfall Creek, has been a centre of Christian faith and life in the area for over 100 years. They operated a Christian school for twenty-two years (1940 – 62).

This faith community is a warm-hearted bunch, who love to share their hospitality with the district. They enjoy many a pot luck dinner and host ‘Easter Dawn Service & Breakfast’, ‘Christmas Eve’ & ‘Advent Tea’’ and ‘Games Nights’ for the community.

Home Groups are an important part of life in the Downfall. Discussion and exploration of the faith are encouraged.

Religious Education at the nearby Guluguba Primary School is provided by St John’s.

Downfall Creek



Redeemer Miles, is a dedicated group who know the love of Christ and are keen to share it. They meet regularly in various homes throughout the district for intergenerational worship and home groups.  

Religious Education at nearby Drillham State Primary School is provided by Redeemer.



The Charleville faith community meet for worship once a month, then go out for a fellowship meal together. A Home Group is planned to begin soon.

They host the annual ‘Western Muster’, an ecumenical Bible teaching gathering, held on the first weekend after Easter.


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