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New City Catechism - Question 9
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Posted by Taryl Jasper, Cornerstone elder

 

New City Catechism - Question 9

 

Q9: What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?

 

A: First, that we know and trust God as the only true and living God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry and do not worship God improperly. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence, honoring also his Word and works.

 

KIDS’ ANSWER: First, that we know God as the only true God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence.

 

SCRIPTURE TO MEMORIZE (kids’ portion in bold):

  • Deuteronomy 6:13–14 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES TO READ: Acts 14:15; Jeremiah 10:14-16; James 5:12

 

LIFE APPLICATION: The first and second commandments tell us that God wants to be worshipped rightly and solely.  Let's get this straight.  There is only Yahweh as God. There is nothing or no one else that is worthy of receiving worship.  God alone deserves worship from His creation.  This is why God can say He is "a jealous God".  Oprah confessed that it was this Scriptural statement of a jealous God that triggered her walk away from her Baptist Christian faith, because how could a holy God be a jealous God? But like a man who is right to be jealous for the wife that God has given to him when another man flirts with her, God is right to be jealous when what rightly belongs to Him is given to another.  Any worship directed towards something other than God is worship being stolen from the most beautiful, most deserving, most righteous, and most holy being.

 

The gods and graven images that modern man creates are often not carved figures or sculptures of veneration.  Our false gods are created in our hearts.  We elevate our own autonomy as our god; we worship ourselves before we worship the true God who created us.  We are skilled at creating gods in our own image.  False gods are created every time we hold fast to non-Scriptural ideas about God, such as "God is telling me to divorce my wife" or "My God would never send someone to hell".  The gods of these statements are as false as carved sculpture from the Far East.  The true God has revealed Himself in Scripture and warns us "You shall have no other gods before me."

 

Too often Christians narrowly focus the scope of the third commandment to the sin of profanity.   The irreverent and often vulgar misuse of God's name in the speech of our contemporary culture is indeed a severe sin against our holy God. Yet the stray "OMG" in a text message does not capture the breadth and comprehensiveness of how we take God's name in vain.  Our life and our lips blaspheme God’s name when we do not take his Word seriously.    Whenever we confess the truth of God but then live our life contrary to that truth, we are profaning God.  Whenever we ascribe to God things that He has not revealed in His word, we blaspheme Him.  God's name and Word express His power and character.  The third commandment warns us to always honor and revere our God and His word and to avoid profaning God in our lips and in our life.

 

When God warns that He "will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain", we must remember that there is only one way for us to be guiltless of this sin.  We must be clothed with the guiltless life of our Savior Jesus, who never uttered a word, held a thought or performed an action of profanity.

 

CONNECTION TO CORNERSTONE’S STATEMENT OF FAITH: The 8th through the 12th questions in the NCC focus on the law of God as given in the 10 Commandments.  Mankind’s rejection of God’s perfect law, fall into sin, and need for salvation are identified in Cornerstone’s statement of faith.  Take a few moments to review the related portions of our Statement of Faith.

  • GOD - We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  (Deut. 6:4; Jn. 1-3, 6:27; Acts 5:3,4; Mt. 28:19)
  • MANKIND - We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin, and is therefore lost, and that only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.  (Gen. 1:26, 27, 2:7, 22, 3:1-6; Rom. 3:9-12,23, 5:12,18, 6:23Jn. 3:3, 5-7)
  • SALVATION - We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus by faith are born of the Holy Spirit, become children of God, and are saved for eternity.  (Heb. 9:22Mt. 26:28; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Rom. 3:24, 25; Rom. 5:19, 18; Jn. 1:12; 3:16; Eph. 2:8,9)


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