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In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we continue our exhaustive discussion on the Ten Commandments, which is the summary of the moral law. This section consists of an substantial expansion of questions 55-58 in the Keach Catechism and the Baptist Catechism on the Second 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 107-110 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.

As before, feel free to comment on the additional questions added and the expanded questions below.



Q. 99: What is the second commandment?

A: The second commandment is: You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them: for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

1. Exodus 20:4-6



Q. 100: What is required in the second commandment?

A: The second commandment requires us to receive, respectfully perform, and preserve completely and purely all the regulations for religion and worship that God has established in His word.1 These include: prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ;2 the reading, preaching, and hearing of the word;3 the administration of and receiving the sacraments;4 church government and discipline;5 the administration and upkeep of the church;6 religious fasting;7 swearing by the name of God;8 and making vows to Him.9 Also included are disapproving, denouncing, and opposing false worship10 and striving, in accordance with our position and calling in life, to eliminate it and all forms of idolatry.11

1. Deuteronomy 32:46-47; Matthew 28:20; Acts 2:421 Timothy 6:13-14

2. Philippians 4:6; Ephesians 5:20

3. Deuteronomy 17:18-19; Acts 15:21; 2 Timothy 4:2; James 1:21-22; Acts 10:33

4. Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30

5. Matthew 18:15-17; Matthew 16:19; 1 Corinthians 5; 1 Corinthians 12:28; John 20:23

6. Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; 1 Corinthians 9:1-15

7. 1 Corinthians 7:5; Joel 2:12-18

8. Deuteronomy 6:13

9. Isaiah 19:21; Psalm 76:11; Psalm 116:14-18

10. Acts 17:16-17; Psalm 16:4

11. Deuteronomy 7:5; Isaiah 30:22



Q. 101: What is forbidden in the second commandment?

A: The second commandment forbids: imagining,1 recommending,2 demanding,3 practicing,4 or in any way approving any religious worship not established by God Himself;5 creating any likeness of God as the Trinity or as anyone of his three persons, either internally in our minds or externally in the form of any kind of image or representation of a created being;6 any worship of such created likenesses7 as if God were in them or as if they were a means to worshiping Him;8 the creation of any likenesses of invented gods,9 any worship of them or service relating to them;10 and all superstitious contrivances.11

Also forbidden are: any departure from the true worship of God12 by adding to or taking away from it,13 whether by our own invention14 or received from some other tradition,15 and whether justified by antiquity,16 custom,17 devotional practice,18 good intentions, or any other excuse;19 simony20 and anything sacrilegious;21 and finally any neglect of,22 contempt for,23 hindering,24 or opposition to the worship and regulations established by God.25

1. Numbers 15:39

2. Deuteronomy 13:6-8

3. Hosea 5:11; Micah 6:16

4. 1 Kings 11:33; 12:33

5. Deuteronomy 12:30-32

6. Deuteronomy 4:15-19; Acts 17:29; Romans 1:21-25

7. Daniel 3:18; Galatians 4:8

8. Exodus 32:5

9. Exodus 32:8

10. 1 Kings 18:26-28; Isaiah 65:11

11. Acts 17:22; Acts 19:19; Colossians 2:21-23

12. Malachi 1:7-14

13. Deuteronomy 4:2

14. Psalm 106:39

15. Matthew 15:9

16. 1 Peter 1:18

17. Jeremiah 44:17

18. Isaiah 65:3-5; Galatians 1:13-14

19. 1 Samuel 13:11-12; 1 Samuel 15:21

20. Acts 8:18

21. Romans 2:22; Malachi 3:8

22. Exodus 4:24-26

23. Matthew 22:5; Malachi 1:7-13

24. Matthew 23:13

25. Acts 13:44-45; 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16



Q. 102: What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?

A: The reason added to this commandment to emphasize its importance is in these words: For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.1 In addition to calling attention to the fact that God totally rules over us so that we belong to Him,2 these words point to His fervent eagerness to be worshiped correctly,3 and that He is angered and takes vengeance on all false worship, which he sees as spiritual prostitution.4 He views breaking this commandment as equivalent to hating Him and threatens to punish those who do break it for several generations.5 He also equates observing this commandment with loving Him and keeping all His commandments, and promises mercy for many generations to those who do it.6

1. Exodus 20:5-6

2. Psalm 45:11; Revelation 15:3-4

3. Exodus 34:13-14

4. 1 Corinthians 10:20-22; Jeremiah 7:18-20; Ezekiel 16:26-27; Deuteronomy 32:16-20

5. Hosea 2:2-4

6. Deuteronomy 5:29