14 March 2004
Psalm 95:2 & Exodus 34:14
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
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 propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.52. What are the reasons for the second commandment?
A. The reasons for the second commandment are that God totally rules over us, that we belong to Him, and that He is eager to be worshipped correctly.
1. How many reasons are there involved in the second commandment and of what use are they to us?
There are three reasons: (1) God’s sovereignty over us. (2) God’s ownership of us. (3) God’s zeal regarding his worship. They are of great use to us for all three can have great influence in our obeying the Lord our God.
2. What do we mean by God’s sovereignty over us?
We mean that by His sovereignty He has the sole authority over us and has the right to make laws for worship. He alone has the right to decide what is good for us. We have the responsibility to worship Him only in the way He appoints for us in His Word.
3. When we speak of God owning us what do we mean by it?
We mean by this that we belong to Him through the right of redemption and therefore, we should cleave to Him and be careful that we do not follow after any sin that would drive us away from Him, especially idolatry and superstition. (Psalm 95:6,7 Psalm 106:19.21)
4. What has God said regarding the zeal he has to his own worship?
He has said, “I am a jealous God.”
5. What effect should this have upon us as born-again believers?
It should give us a great fear of offending Him in any way and especially in the area of false worship. We should pray that we never fail Him as Nadab and Abihu did. (Leviticus 10:1-4)
6. If we worship Him in a false way what will our punishment be?
His punishment will not only be upon us, but He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.
7. How can God, who has the attribute of justice, do this?
If the children do not follow their father’s sins He will not punish them (Ezekiel 18:14,17). If the children do follow their father’s sins they deserve punishment.