Christ Church Catechism

Christ Church Catechism

Question 55

Q55. What is the second commandment?

A55. The second commandment is, “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

Exodus 20:4-6“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Help from Benjamin Beddome

Should we be careful to avoid idolatry? Yes. Take heed, lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, Deut. iv. 15. And that in all the instances of it? Yes. The similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast, or winged fowl, ver. 17, 18. And in all the approaches to it? Yes. Make no mention of the names of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth, Exod. xxiii 13.

Is idolatry any infatuating sin? Yes. They are mad upon their idols, Jer. 1. 38. And a spreading sin? Yes. For Asia and the whole world worshipped the goddess Diana, Acts xix. 27. Was it therefore necessary that the prohibition of it should be enforced and repeated? Yes. For precept must be upon precept, and line upon line, Isa. xxviii. 10. And is it forbidden in the new testament as well as the old? Yes. That they should not worship idols of gold and silver, and stone, and wood, Rev. ix. 20.

Help from Matthew Henry

1. Does the second commandment concern the ordinances of God’s worship, as the first object of it? Yes: Therefore ye shall keep mine ordinances, Lev. 18:10. Was it requisite there should be a law concerning them? Yes: Lest ye say, How did these nations serve their gods? so will I do likewise, Deut. 12:30. Is this binding to us now? Dearly beloved, flee from idolatry, 1 Cor. 10:14. Are we Christians forbidden to worship images? Yes: That they should not worship idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, Rev. 9:20.

2. Does this commandment forbid the making of images for a religious use? Yes: Cursed be the man that maketh any graven image, Deut. 27:15. Does it forbid the making an image of what is in heaven above? Yes: Lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, shouldst be driven to worship them, Deut. 4:19. Or on earth, beneath? Yes: As they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox, Ps. 106:20. Or in the waters under the earth? Yes: As they made the likeness of creeping things, Rom. 1:23.

3. Does it forbid us to bow down to them? Yes: Shall I bow down to the stock of a tree? Isa. 44:19. Or to worship them? Yes: Thou shall worship no other God, Exod. 34:14. Or to show any respect to them? I will take away the names of Baalim out of their mouth, Hos. 2:17. Was it requisite this commandment should be thus enlarged? Yes: Precept must be upon precept, and line upon line, Isa. 28:10. And that it should be backed with many reasons? Yes: for they are mad upon their idols, Jer. 50:38.

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