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In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we start our exhaustive discussion on the Ten Commandments, which is the summary of the moral law. This section consists of an substantial expansion of questions 51-54 in the Keach Catechism and the Baptist Catechism on the First Commandment. Because of the essential agreement between Reformed Presbyterians and Reformed Baptist on the use and function of the law, the extended answers are very similar to questions 103-106 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the additional questions added and the expanded questions below.
Q. 95: What is the first commandment?
A: The first commandment is: You shall have no other gods before me.1
1. Exodus 20:3
Q. 96: What is required in the first commandment?
A: The first commandment requires us to know and recognize God as the only true God and our God1 and to worship and glorify him as such2 by valuing, meditating on, remembering,3 highly regarding, honoring, adoring, preferring, loving, desiring,4 fearing, believing, trusting, hoping, delighting, and rejoicing in Him.5 We must also be zealous for6 and call on Him, giving Him all praise and thanks,7 completely obeying and submitting to Him in our whole person.8 Finally, we must walk humbly with Him,9 being careful to please Him in everything we say and do,10 and being genuinely sorry when we offend Him.11
9. Micah 6:8
10. 1 John 3:22
Q. 97: What is forbidden in the first commandment?
A: The first commandment forbids: atheism, denying or not believing in God;1 idolatry, believing in or worshiping any other gods along with or other than the one true God;2 not having and affirming him as God and our God;3 failing or neglecting to do anything this commandment requires relating to God;4 ignorance of him;5 forgetting him;6 misunderstanding him, untrue opinions about him, and evil or unworthy thoughts about him;7 irreverent curiosity about and inquiry into His secrets;8 all godless desecration;9 hating God;10 self-love and self-interest;11 and all other disorderly or excessive attention, mental, willful, or emotional, to things that divert our attention partially or completely from God.12
Also included are: worthless beliefs, lack of faith, heretical beliefs, and wrong beliefs;13 not trusting God;14 spiritual despair;15 refusing correction and resisting God’s judgment;16 hardness of heart, pride, willfulness, worldly complacency, and putting God to the test;17 using unlawful means to an end and trusting even in lawful means of grace rather than God;18 indulging in pleasures of the flesh;19 depraved, blind, or improperly directed zeal;20 being lukewarm and spiritual deadness;21 deserting and forsaking God;22 praying to or worshiping saints, angels, or any other created being;23 making an agreement with, consulting, or following the suggestions of the devil;24 making men the rulers of our faith and conscience;25 slighting and despising God and his commandments;26 resisting and grieving his Spirit;27 and finally being dissatisfied and offended by the things God provides in our lives, ignorantly blaming him for the evils he inflicts on us,28 as well as attributing the credit for any good thing we are, have, or can do to luck, idols, ourselves, or any other created being.29
3. Psalm 81:11
11. Philippians 2:21
14. Psalm 78:22
19. 2 Timothy 3:4
Q. 98: What are we especially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?
A: The words, before me, in the first commandment teach us that God, who sees everything, takes special note of and is very offended by the sin of having any other god. These words emphasize then how important it is to obey this commandment and how disobeying it insolently provokes God.1 They also urge us to be just as mindful of the fact that God sees everything we do as we are doing things in His service.2