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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 47.What is forbidden in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment forbiddeth the denying, or not worshipping and glorifying, the true God, as God, and our God; and the giving of that worship and glory to any other which is due to him alone.

1. Is it a great sin to deny the being of God? Yes: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God, Ps. 14:1. Or to deny his omniscience? Yes: they say, The Lord shall not see, Ps. 94:7. Or to deny his justice? Yes: He hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it, Ps. 10:13. Or his holiness? Yes: Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself, Ps. 1:21. Or his goodness? Yes: I knew thee to be a hard man, Matt. 25:24. Or his faithfulness? Yes: Where is the promise of his coming? 2 Pet. 3:4. Is it a sin to question God's providence? Yes: is the Lord among us? Or is he not? Exod. 17:7. Or to question his power? Yes: Can God furnish a table in the wilderness, Ps. 78:19. And is there such a thing as practical atheism? Yes: They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him, Tit. 1:16.

2. Is it a great sin to be ignorant of God? Yes: Some have not the knowledge of God; I speak it to your shame, 1 Cor. 15:34. Is it a damning sin? Yes: He shall take vengeance on them that know not God, 2 Thess. 1:8. Is it the cause of all other sins? Yes: There is neither truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God, in the land, Hos. 4:1. Is it a great sin to forget God? Yes: Thou hast forgotten the God that formed thee, Deut. 32:18. And to cast off the fear of him? Yes: There is no fear of God before his eyes, Ps. 36:1. And to live without prayer ? Yes: Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob, Isa. 43:22 And not to glorify him? Yes: The God in whose hand thy breath is, hast thou not glorified, Dan. 5:23.

3. Is all distrust of God a sin? Yes: the evil heart of unbelief departs from the living God, Heb. 3:12. And tempting God? Yes: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, Matt. 4:7. And all the coldness of our love to him? Yes: But their heart is far from me, Matt. 15:8. Does this commandment forbid all ungodliness? Yes: for the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness, Rom. 1:18. And all idolatry? Yes: Little children, keep yourselves from idols, 1 John 5:21.

4. Had the Gentiles other gods besides the true God? Yes: they had gods many, and lords manly, 1 Cor. 8:5. And were those gods devils? Yes: they sacrificed to devils and not to God, l Cor. 10:20. May we have communion with them? No: I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils, 1 Cor 10:20. Have those fellowship with them who consult with witches? Yes: Is it because there is not a God in Israel. that thou goest to inquire of Beelzebub the god of Ekron, 2 Kings 1:3. Did the Gentiles multiply their gods? Yes: According to the number of thy cities are thy gods, Jer. 2:28. Were they gods of their own making? Yes: And they that make them are like unto them, Ps.115:8. Was not that a great affront to the living God? Yes: They changed the truth of God into a lie, Rom. 1:25.

5. Is there not such a thing as spiritual idolatry? Yes: These men have set their idols in their hearts, Ezek. 14:4. Is it idolatry to make a god of our appetites? Yes: Whose god is their belly, Phil. 3:19. Or a god of our money? Yes: for covetousness is idolatry, Col. 3:5. May we give that respect to any creature which is due to God alone? No: for his glory he will not give to another, Isa. 42:8. Is it therefore a sin to love them more than God? Yes: He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me, Matt. 10:37. And to trust in them? Yes: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, Jer. 17:5. Is this spiritual adultery? Yes: She went after her lovers, and forgot me, saith the Lord, Hos. 2:13.

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