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Westminster Confession of Faith:

The Larger Westminster Catechism on the Second Commandment



Answer: The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Question 108: What are the duties required in the second commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God has instituted in his Word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the Word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God, and vowing unto him: as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship; and, according to each one’s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.

Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense: Whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God has appointed.

Question 110: What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
Answer: The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments; are, besides God’s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us, his fervent zeal for his own worship, and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom; accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations; and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.

cross-reference Scriptural support for WLC #109:

(1) Num. 15:39
(2) Deut. 13:6-8
(3) Hosea 5:11; Micah 6:16
(4) 1 Kings 11:33; 1 Kings 12:33
(5) Deut 12:30-32
(6) Deut 13:6-12; Zech. 13:2,3; Rev. 2:2,14,15,20; Rev. 17:12,16,17
(7) Deut. 4:15-19; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:21-23,25
(8) Dan. 3:18; Gal. 4:8
(9) Exod. 32:5
(10) Exod. 32:8
(11) 1 Kings 18:26,28; Isa. 65:11
(12) Acts 17:22; Col. 2:21-23
(13) Mal. 1:7,8,14
(14) Deut. 4:2
(15) Ps. 106:39
(16) Matt. 15:9
(17) 1 Pet. 1:18
(18) Jer. 44:17
(19) Isa. 65:3-5; Gal. 1:13,14
(20) 1 Sam. 13:11,12; 1 Sam. 15:21
(21) Acts 8:18
(22) Rom. 2:22; Mal. 3:8
(23) Exod. 4:24-26
(24) Matt. 22:5; Mal. 1:7,13
(25) Matt. 23:13
(26) Acts 13:44,45; 1 Thess. 2:15,16

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