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A Scripture Catechism, in the Method of the Assemblies Q. 50-59

Q. 50. What is required in the second commandment?

A. The second commandment requires the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God has appointed in his word.

  1. Is it our duty solemnly to worship God?
    Yes: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, Matt 4:10.

    Do we thereby honour him?
    Yes: We give unto him the glory due unto his name, Ps. 29:2.

    Does the light of nature teach us to worship God?
    Yes: They cried every man unto his god, Jonah 1:5.

    But does it teach us sufficiently how to worship him?
    No: Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Acts 17:23.

    Has God in his word appointed us in what way to worship him?
    Yes: For this was ordained in Joseph for a testimony, Ps. 81:5.

    And must we worship him in the appointed way?
    Yes: See thou make all things according to the pattern showed thee, Heb. 8:5.

  2. Are we to receive such ordinances as God has appointed?
    Yes: The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey, Josh. 24:24.

    Should we labour to understand them?
    Yes: What mean ye by this service? Exod. 12:26.

    And are we to observe them?
    Yes: Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, Matt. 28:20.

    And to observe them duly?
    Yes: As the duty of every day requires, Ezra 3:4.

  3. Are we to keep God's ordinances?
    Yes: That good thing which was committed to thee, keep, 2 Tim. 1:14.

    Are we to keep them carefully?
    Yes: Keep them as the apple of thine eye, Prov. 7:2.

    Must we keep them pure without corruption?
    Yes: Add thou not to his words, Prov. 30:6.

    And entire, without diminution?
    Yes: We must walk in all the ordinances of the Lord, Luke 1:6.

    May we neither add nor diminish?
    No: Thou shalt neither add thereto nor diminish from it, Deut. 12:32.

  4. Must we worship God in the spirit?
    Yes: We are the circumcision that worship God in the spirit, Phil. 3:3.

    Must we be inward with God in every service?
    Yes: For bodily exercise profiteth little, 1 Tim 4:8.

    Is ignorance the mother of devotion?
    No: For if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? Mal. 1:8.

    Is it the mother of destruction?
    Yes: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hos. 4:6.

  5. Ought we to have an eye to the word of God in our religious worship?
    Yes: For whatsoever is not of faith is sin, Rom. 1:23.

    And to glorify God in it?
    Yes; I will be sanctified in them that come nigh unto me, Lev. 10:3.

    And ought we to shun all idolatrous worship?
    Yes: For I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils, 1 Cor 10:20.


Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?

A. The second commandment forbids the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.

  1. Is it a sin to worship the true God by images?
    Yes: For it changes the truth of God into a lie, Rom. 1:25.

    Are not images laymen's books?
    No: For an image is a teacher of lies, Hab. 2:18.

    Is it possible to make an image of God?
    No: We ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device, Acts 17:29.

    Do we know what to represent God by?
    No: To whom then will ye liken God? Isa. 40:18.

    Do they that pretend to it put a great affront upon him?
    Yes: For they change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, Rom. 1:28.

  2. May we worship Christ by an image?
    No: For though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more, 2 Cor. 5:16.

    Is it idolatry to worship the consecrated host?
    Yes: For it is bread which we break, 1 Cor. 10:16.

    Is it idolatry to pray to saints and angels?
    Yes: See thou do it not, but worship God, Rev. 19:10. and 22:9.

  3. Must we be careful to avoid all appearances of idolatry?
    Yes: Take ye therefore good heed to yourselves, lest ye corrupt yourselves, Deut. 4:15.

    Should we choose to die rather than worship images?
    Yes: But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up, Dan. 3:18.

  4. Is it a sin to worship God in any way not appointed in his word?
    Yes: In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men Matt. 15:9.

    May we ourselves invent ordinances of worship?
    No: They went a whoring with their own inventions, Ps. 106:39.

    Is it not enough if what we invent is not forbidden?
    No: They offered a strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not, Lev. 10:1.

    Is it a sin to despise any of God's ordinances?
    Yes: Ye said also Behold what a weariness is it! Mal. 1:13.

    Or to be careless in our attendance upon them?
    Yes: Cursed be the deceiver that hath in his flock a male, and vows and sacrifices to the Lord a corrupt thing, Mal. 1:14.

    Are they spiritual idolaters who make images of' God in their fancy?
    Yes: They are vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart is darkened, Rom. 1:21.


Q. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?

A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God's sovereignty over us, his property in us, and the zeal he has to his own worship.

  1. Is there good reason why we should take heed of idolatry?
    Yes: Turn ye not to idols, neither make to yourselves molten gods, I am the Lord your God, Lev. 19:4.

    Has God a sovereignty over us?
    Yes: For he is a great God, and a great King above all gods, Ps. 95:3.

    Ought we therefore to worship him, as he has appointed us?
    Yes: O come let us worship, and bow down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, Ps. 95:6.

    And not to worship idols?
    Yes: For they can do neither good nor evil, Isa. 41:23.

  2. Has God a property in us?
    Yes: For we are the people of his pasture, Ps. 95:7.

    Ought we therefore to worship him?
    Yes: He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, Ps. 45:11.

    And not to worship other gods?
    Yes: For hath a nation changed their gods? Jer. 2:11.

  3. Is God jealous in the matters of his worship
    Yes: The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, Exod. 34:14.

    Is he much displeased with those who corrupt it?
    Yes: They provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities, 1 Kings 16:13.

    Do those who do so hate him?
    Yes: Idolaters are haters of God, Rom. 1:25, 30.

    Will he visit their iniquity?
    Yes: In the day m when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them, Exod. 32:34.

    Will he visit it upon the children?
    Yes: Our fathers sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities, Lam. 5:7.

    And is it just with him to do so?
    Yes: For they are the children of whoredoms, Hos. 2:4.

    But will he visit it for ever?
    No: But to the third and fourth generation, Exod. 34:7.

  4. Will those who love God keep his commandments?
    Yes: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, John 15:10.

    Will he show mercy to such?
    Yes: For he hath said, I love them that love me, Prov. 8:17.

    Will he show mercy to thousands of such ?
    Yes: For the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, Ps. 103:17.


Q. 53. What is the third commandment?

A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

  1. Does the third commandment concern the manner of our worshipping God?
    Yes: That we serve the Lord with fear, Ps. 2:11.

    Is it enough that we seek God in a due ordinance?
    No: But we must seek him after the due order, 1 Chron. 15:13.

  2. Is God's name all that whereby he makes himself known?
    Yes: He proclaimed the name of the Lord, Exod. 34:5.

    Ought we to make use of his name?
    Yes: By thee only will we make mention of thy name, Isa. 26:13.

    And to take heed of abusing it?
    Yes: Neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God, I am the Lord, Lev. 18:21.


Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?

A. The third commandment requires a holy and reverent use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.

  1. Does this commandment require us to glorify the name of God?
    Yes: They shall worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name, Ps. 86:9.

    Are we to think of God's name with seriousness?
    Yes: They feared the Lord, and thought upon his name, Mal. 3:16.

    Are we to speak of it with reverence?
    Yes: For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth, therefore let thy words be few, Eccl. 5:2.

    Are we to call upon his name with a holy awe?
    Yes: For we that are but dust and ashes speak to the Lord of glory, Gen. 18:27.

    Are we to worship God reverently in every religious duty?
    Yes: We must serve him acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, Heb. 12:28.

    And is there good reason for it?
    Yes: For our God is a consuming fire, Heb. 12:29.

    Ought we to behave ourselves very reverently in public worship?
    Yes: For God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of his saints and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him, Ps. 89:7.

  2. Must we be holy in worshipping God?
    Yes: Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, Ps. 96:9.

    Must we be holy in prayer and praise?
    Yes: Lifting up holy hands, 1 Tim. 2:8.

    Must our thoughts be fixed?
    Yes: O God, my heart is fixed, Ps. 108:1.

    Must pious and devout affections be working in us?
    Yes: We must be fervent in spirit serving the Lord, Rom. 12:11.

    Must we be very humble in our approaches to God?
    Yes: As the publican that stood afar off, and would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, Luke 18:13.

  3. Must we give glory to God in his word?
    Yes: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name, Ps. 138:2.

    Must we hear it with reverence?
    Yes: We are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God, Acts 10:33.

    Must we give glory to God in swearing when we are called to it?
    Yes: Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and shalt swear by his name, Deut. 6:13.

    Must we be cautions in swearing?
    Yes: We must fear an oath, Eccl. 9:2.

    Must we be conscientious in swearing?
    Yes: Thou shalt swear in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness, Jer. 4:2.

    Must we give glory to God in vowing?
    Yes: Vow and pay unto the Lord your God, Ps. 76:11.

  4. Must we glorify God in his great works?
    Yes: We must magnify his works which men behold, Job 36:24.

    And must we glorify him by our good works?
    Yes: Let everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. 2:19.


Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?

A. The third commandment forbids all profaning or abusing of any thing whereby God makes himself known.

  1. Do all hypocrites take God's name in vain?
    Yes: For they make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth and righteousness, Isa. 48:1.

    Do they therefore profane that name?
    Yes: The name of God is blasphemed through them, Rom. 2:24.

    Do hypocritical worshippers take God's name in vain?
    Yes: For with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness, Ezek. 33:31.

    And is their seeming religion a vain religion?
    Yes: That man's religion is vain, James 1:26.

    Can it be pleasing to God?
    No: Bring no more vain oblations, Isa. 1:11,13.

    Can it be profitable to themselves?
    No: For they receive the grace of God in vain, 2 Cor. 6:1.

    Do covenant-breakers take God's name in vain?
    Yes: For they lie unto him with their tongues, Ps. 78:36.

  2. Is it a sin against this commandment to use the name of God lightly and carelessly?
    Yes: For thou shall fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God, Deut. 28:58.

    Will God's friends thus affront him?
    No: Thine enemies take thy name in vain, Ps. 139:20.

    Is it the character of the wicked?
    Yes: Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins, Jer. 12:2.

  3. Is it a sin against this commandment to swear rashly?
    Yes: Above all things, my brethren, swear not, Jam. 5:19.

    Is it a sin to swear by creatures?
    Yes: Whether by heaven, or by the earth, or by the head, Matt. 5:34-36.

    Must our communication be yea, yea, and nay, nay?
    Yes: For whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil, Matt. 5:37.

    Is it a sin to swear falsely?
    Yes: Thou shalt not forswear thyself, Matt. 5:33.

    Is profane swearing a great sin?
    Yes: For it blasphemes that worthy name by which we are called, Jam. 2:7.

    Is it an inexcusable sin?
    Yes: For they transgress without cause, Ps. 25:3.

    Does it bring judgments upon families?
    Yes: For the curse shall enter into the house of him that swears falsely, and shall consume it, Zech. 5:4.

    And upon nations?
    Yes: Because of swearing the land mourns, Jer. 23:10.

  4. Is it a sin against this commandment to jest with the word of God?
    Yes: Be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong, Isa. 28:22.

    Or to use it as a charm?
    Yes: As those exorcists which said, We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth, Acts 19:13.

    Is it a sin to put a slight upon sacred things?
    Yes: Ye have profaned my name, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible, Mal. 1:12.


Q. 56. What is the reason annexed to the third commandment?

A. The reason annexed to the third commandment is, that however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment.

  1. Do the breakers of the third commandment commonly escape punishment from men?
    Yes: For men hear the voice of swearing, and utter it not, Lev. 5:1.

    And do they fancy they shall escape God's judgments?
    Yes: The wicked contemn God, and yet say in their heart, he will not require it, Ps. 10:13.

    But shall they escape God's judgments?
    No: Be not deceived, God is not mocked, Gal. 6:7.

  2. Shall those who profane God's holy name escape his righteous judgments?
    No: The Lord will make their plagues wonderful, Deut. 28:59.

    Shall hypocrites escape them?
    No: Woe unto you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, Matt. 23:13.

    Shall scoffers escape them?
    No: For they shall be broken, and snared, and taken, Isa. 28:13.

    Shall covenant breakers escape them?
    No: Seeing he despised the oath, by breaking the covenant, he shall not escape, Ezek. 17:18.

  3. Shall swearers go unpunished?
    No: For he that sweareth shall be cut off: Zech. 5:3.

    Shall they who use God's name vainly go unpunished?
    No: For every idle word that men speak they must give account, Matt. 12:36.

    And shall their words be witnesses against them?
    Yes: God shall cause their own tongues to fall upon them, Ps. 44:8.


Q. 57. What is the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

  1. Does the fourth commandment concern the time of worship?
    Yes: For there is a time to every purpose, Eccl. 3:1.

    Must our worship be confined to that time?
    No: For we must pray always, Eph. 6:18.

    But is that appointed for the certain time?
    Yes: Blow up the trumpet in the time appointed, Ps. 81:3.

    Is it the will of God we should take special notice of this command?
    Yes: For he has said, Remember it.

    Are we apt to forget it?
    Yes: They have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, Ezek. 22:26.

  2. Must we keep holy the sabbath day?
    Yes: Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, Deut. 5:12.

    Is a sabbath a day of rest?
    Yes: It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, Lev. 16:31.

    Must we labour the six days, and do all our work?
    Yes: For in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, Gen. 3:19.

    But is not work for God part of our work?
    Yes: For we must work the works of God, John 6:28.

    Must we not then do that on the six days?
    Yes: Every day will I bless thee, Ps. 145:2.

    But must we especially do it on sabbath days?
    Yes: For it is the Holy of the Lord, Isa. 58:13.

    Must we therefore rest from other work on that day?
    Yes: That we may attend upon the Lord without distraction, 1 Cor. 7:35.

  3. Must children keep holy the sabbath day?
    Yes: Thou, and thy son, and thy daughter.

    And servants?
    Yes: That thy man-servant and maid-servant may rest as well as thou, Deut. 5:14.

    And is there good reason for the sanctification of the sabbath?
    Yes: Ye shall keep my sabbaths, I am the Lord your God, Lev. 19:3.


Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath unto himself.

  1. Must holy time be kept holy?
    Yes: For every thing is beautiful in its season, Eccl. 3:11.

    Can man make time holy?
    No: For I am the Lord which sanctify you, Lev. 20:8.

  2. Has God appointed a sabbath?
    Yes: It is as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, Deut. 5:12.

    Had he authority to do so?
    Yes: For the day is thine, the night also is thine, Ps. 74:16.

    Did he appoint it for us?
    Yes: For the sabbath was made for man, Mark 2:27.

    Did he appoint one day in seven?
    Yes: For a seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God.

    One whole day?
    Yes: For in the evening and the morning were the first day, Gen. 1:5.

  3. Must we keep it?
    Yes: Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep, Exod. 31:13.

    Must we keep it as a treasure?
    Yes: We must call the sabbath honourable, Isa. 58:13.

    And keep it as a talent?
    Yes: For thou madest known unto them thy holy sabbaths, Neh. 9:14.

    Must we keep it with care?
    Yes: We must lay hold on it, to keep the sabbath from polluting it, Isa. 56:2.

    Must we keep it holy to God?
    Yes: For he that regardeth the day, regardeth it to the Lord, Rom. 14:6.


Q. 59. Which day of the seven has God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?

A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath, and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath.

  1. Was the sabbath appointed from the beginning of the world?
    Yes: God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it when the heavens and the earth were finished, Gen. 2:1-3.

    Was it in remembrance of the work of creation?
    Yes: Because that in it he rested from all his work, Gen. 2:3.

    Was it observed before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai?
    Yes: For before that it was said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath to the Lord, Exod. 16:23.

    Was that appointed to be kept on the seventh day of the week?
    Yes: For he spake of the seventh day on this wise, Heb. 4:4.

  2. Was the law of the sabbath given more particularly to Israel?
    Yes: I gave them my sabbath to be a sign between me and them, Ezek. 20:12.

    Was it religiously observed among them?
    Yes: For their enemies did mock at their sabbaths, Lam. 1:7.

    Did they sanctify the sabbath in solemn assemblies?
    Yes: Moses of old time is read in the synagogues every sabbath day, Acts 15:21.

    Was the blessing confined to the seventh day?
    No: For the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it, Exod. 20:11.

  3. Was the sabbath to continue in gospel times?
    Yes: For there remaineth the keeping of a sabbath to the people of God, Heb. 4:9 marg.

    Did Christ intend it should continue?
    Yes: For he said, Pray that your flight be not on the sabbath day, Matt. 24:20.

    Did he in order to that expound the fourth commandment?
    Yes: For he allowed that it is lawful to do well upon the sabbath day, Matt. 12:12.

    Is there the same need of sabbaths now that ever there was?
    Yes: For I gave them my sabbaths that they might know that I am the Lord, Ezek. 20:12.

  4. Is the sabbath changed now to the first day of the week?
    Yes: For on the first day of the week the disciples came together to break bread, Acts 20:7.

    Was it because on that day of the week our Lord Jesus rose from the dead?
    Yes: For he rose as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, Matt. 28:1.

    And because on that day the Spirit was poured out?
    Yes: For that was when the day of Pentecost was fully come, Acts. 2:1.

    Was it fit there should be an alteration?
    Yes: For it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought them up from the land of the north, Jer. 16:14, 15.

  5. Did the apostles observe the first day of the week?
    Yes: On the first day of the week let everyone lay by, 1 Cor. 16:2.

    Did the primitive church call it the Lord's day?
    Yes: I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, Rev. 1:10.

    In a thing of this nature ought we to acquiesce?
    Yes: For if any man will be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God, 1 Cor. 11:16.

DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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