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The Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 34


92   Q.    What does the Lord say in his law?


       A.    God spoke all these words:


                      THE FIRST COMMANDMENT


I am the Lord your God,

who brought you out of the land of Egypt,

out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before me.


                      THE SECOND COMMANDMENT


You shall not make for yourself a graven image,

or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,

or that is in the earth beneath,

or that is in the water under the earth;

you shall not bow down to them or serve them;

     for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,

visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children

to the third and the fourth generation

of those who hate me,

     but showing steadfast love to thousands of those

          who love me and keep my commandments.


                      THE THIRD COMMANDMENT


You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain;

for the Lord will not hold him guiltless

who takes his name in vain.


                      THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT


Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days you shall labour, and do all your work;

but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God;

in it you shall not do any work,

you, or your son,  or your daughter,

or your manservant, or your maidservant,

or your cattle,

or the sojourner who is within your gates;

for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,

     and all that is in them,

and rested the seventh day;

therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day

and hallowed it.


                      THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT


Honour your father and your mother,

that your days may be long

in the land which the Lord your God gives you.


                      THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT


You shall not kill.


                      THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT


You shall not commit adultery.


                      THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT


You shall not steal.


                      THE NINTH COMMANDMENT


You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.


                      THE TENTH COMMANDMENT


You shall not covet your neighbour’s house;

you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife,

or his manservant, or his maidservant,

or his ox, or his ass,

or anything that is your neighbour’s.1


1 Ex. 20:1-17; Deut. 5:6-21


93   Q.    How are these commandments divided?


       A.    Into two tables.

The first has four commandments,

     teaching us what our relation to God should be.

The second has six commandments,

     teaching us what we owe our neighbor.1


1 Matt. 22:37-39


94   Q.    What does the Lord require in the first commandment?


       A.    That I, not wanting to endanger my very salvation,

avoid and shun

all idolatry,1 magic, superstitious rites,2

and prayer to saints or to other creatures.3


That I sincerely acknowledge the only true God,4

trust him alone,5

look to him for every good thing6

     humbly7 and patiently,8

love him,9 fear him,10 and honour him11

     with all my heart.


In short,

that I give up anything

rather than go against his will in any way.12


1 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 10:5-14; 1 John 5:21

2 Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:9-12

3 Matt. 4:10; Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9

4 John 17:3

5 Jer. 17:5, 7

6 Ps. 104:27-28; James 1:17

7 1 Pet. 5:5-6

8 Col. 1:11; Heb. 10:36

9 Matt. 22:37 (Deut. 6:5)

10 Prov. 9:10; 1 Pet. 1:17

11 Matt. 4:10 (Deut. 6:13)

12 Matt. 5:29-30; 10:37-39


95   Q.    What is idolatry?


       A.    Idolatry is

having or inventing something in which one trusts

in place of or alongside of the only true God,

     who has revealed himself in his Word.1


1 1 Chron. 16:26; Gal. 4:8-9; Eph. 5:5; Phil. 3:19  



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