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Westminster Larger Catechism

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Question 111: Which is the third commandment?

Answer:  The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.

Exod. 20:7

Question 112: What is required in the third commandment?

Answer:  The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles, attributes1, ordinances2, the Word3, sacraments4, prayer5, oaths6, vows7, lots6, his works9, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought10, meditation11, word12, and writing13; by an holy profession14, and Answerable conversation15, to the glory of God16, and the good of ourselves17, and others18.

1.  Matt. 6:9; Deut. 28:58; Ps. 29:2; 68:4; Rev. 15:3-4
2.  Mal. 1:14; Eccl. 5:1
3.  Ps. 138:2
4.  1Cor. 11:24-25, 28-29
5.  1Tim. 2:8
6.  Jer. 4:2
7.  Eccl. 5:2, 4-6
8.  Acts 1:24, 26
9.  Job 36:24
10.  Mal. 3:16
11.  Ps. 8:1, 3-4, 9
12.  Col. 3:17; Ps. 105:2, 5
13.  Ps. 102:18
14.  1Peter 3:15; Micah 4:5
15.  Phil. 1:27
16.  1Cor. 10:31
17.  Jer. 32:39
18.  1Peter 2:12

Question 113: What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?

Answer:  The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required1; and the abuse of it in an ignorant2, vain3, irreverent, profane4, superstitious5, or wicked mentioning, or otherwise using his titles, attributes6, ordinances7, or works8, by blasphemy9, perjury10; all sinful cursings11, oaths12, vows13, and lots14; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful15; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful16; murmuring and quarreling at17, curious prying into18, and misapplying of God’s decrees19 and providences20; misinterpreting21, misapplying22, or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it23, to profane jests24, curious or unprofitable questions25, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines26; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms27, or sinful lusts and practices28; the maligning29, scorning30, reviling31, or anywise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways32; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends33; being ashamed of it34, or a shame to it, by unconformable35, unwise36, unfruitful37, and offensive walking38, or backsliding from it39.

1.  Mal. 2:2
2.  Acts 17:23
3.  Prov. 30:9
4.  Mal. 1:6-7, 12; 3:14
5.  1Sam. 4:3-5; Jer. 7:4, 9-10, 14, 31; Col. 2:20-22
6.  2Kings 18:30, 35; Exod. 5:2; Ps. 139:20
7.  Ps. 50:16-17
8.  Ps. 1:16-17
9.  Isa. 5:12
10.  2Kings 19:22; Lev. 24:11
11.  Zech. 5:4; 8:17
12.  1Sam. 17:43; 2Sam. 16:5
13.  Jer. 5:7; 23:10
14.  Deut. 23:18; Acts 23:12, 14
15.  Esth. 3:7; 9:24; Ps. 22:18
16.  Ps. 24:4, Ezek. 17:16, 18-19
17.  Mark 6:26; 1Sam. 25:22, 32-34
18.  Rom. 9:14, 19-20
19.  Deut. 29:29
20.  Rom. 3:5, 7; 6:1-2
21.  Eccl. 8:11; 9:3; Ps. ch. 39
22.  Matt. 5:21-48
23.  Ezek 13:22
24.  2Peter 3:16; Matt. 22:24-31
25.  Isa. 22:18; Jer. 23:34, 36, 38
26.  1Tim. 1:4, 6-7; 6:4-5, 20; 2Tim. 2:14; Titus. 3:9
27.  Deut. 18:10-14; Acts 19:13
28.  2Tim. 4:3-4; Rom. 13:13-14; 1Kings 21:9-10; Jude 1:4
29.  Acts 13:45; 1John 3:12
30.  Ps. 1:1; 2Peter 3:3
31.  1Peter 4:4
32.  Acts 4:18; 13:45-46, 50; 19:9; 1Thess 2:16; Heb. 10:29
33.  2Tim. 3:5; Matt. 6:1-2, 5, 16; 23:14
34.  Mark 8:38
35.  Ps. 73:14-15
36.  1Cor. 6:5-6; Eph. 5:15-17
37.  Isa. 5:4; 2Peter 1:8-9
38.  Rom. 2:23-24
39.  Gal. 3:1, 3; Heb. 6:6

Question 114: What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?

Answer:  The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The Lord thy God, and, For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain1, are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us2; especially because he will be so far from acquitting and sparing the transgressors of this commandment, as that he will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment3, albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men4.

1.  Exod. 20:7
2.  Lev. 19:12
3.  Ezek. 36:21-23; Deut. 28:58-59; Zech. 5:2-4
4.  1Sam. 2:12, 17, 22, 24; 3:18

Question 115: Which is the fourth commandment?

Answer:  The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exod. 20:8-11

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Question 116: What is required in the fourth commandment?

Answer:  The fourth commandment requires of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath1, and in the New Testament called the Lord’s day2.

1.  Deut. 5:12, 14, 18; Gen. 2:2-3; 1Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Matt. 5:17-18; Isa. 56:2, 4, 6-7
2.  Rev. 1:10

Question 117: How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?

Answer:  The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day1, not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful2; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to betaken up in works of necessity and mercy)3 in the public and private exercises of God’s worship4: and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day5.

1.  Exod. 20:8, 10
2.  Exod. 16:25-28; Neh. 13:15-22; Jer. 17:21-22
3.  Matt. 12:1-13
4.  Isa. 58:18; 66:23; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 16:1-2; Ps. ch. 92; Lev. 23:3
5.  Exod. 16:22, 25-26, 29; 20:8; Luke 23:54, 56; Neh. 13:19

Question 118: Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?

Answer:  The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own.

Exod. 20:10; 23:12; Josh. 24:15; Neh. 13:15, 17; Jer. 17:20-22

Question 119: What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?

Answer:  The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required1, all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them2; all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful3; and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations4.

1.  Ezek. 22:26
2.  Acts 15:7, 9; Ezek. 33:30-32; Amos 8:5; Mal. 1:13
3.  Ezek. 23:38
4.  Jer. 17:24, 27; Isa. 58:13

Question 120: What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?

Answer:  The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six days of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself, in these words, Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work1: from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God2: from the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it; Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it3.

1.  Exod. 20:9
2.  Exod. 20:10
3.  Exod. 20:11

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Question 121: Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?

Answer:  The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment1, partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it2, and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments3, and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion3; and partly, because we are very ready to forget it5, for that there is less light of nature for it6, and yet it restrains our natural liberty in things at other times lawful7; that it comes but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it8; and that Satan with his instruments much labor to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety9.

1.  Exod. 20:8
2.  Exod. 16:23; Luke 23:54, 56; Mark 15:42; Neh. 13:19
3.  Ps. 92:13-14; Ezek. 20:12, 19-20
4.  Gen. 2:2-3; Ps. 118:22, 24; Acts 4:10, 11; Rev. 1:10
5.  Ezek. 22:26
6.  Neh. 9:14
7.  Exod. 34:21
8.  Deut. 5:14-15; Amos 8:5
9.  Lam. 1:7; Jer. 17:21-23; Neh. 13:15-23

Question 122: What is the sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man?

Answer:  The sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man is, to love our neighbor as ourselves1, and to do to others what we would have them to do to us2.

1.  Matt. 22:39
2.  Matt. 7:12

Question 123: Which is the fifth commandment?

Answer:  The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God gives thee.

Exod. 20:12

Question 124: Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?

Answer:  By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents1, but all superiors in age2 and gifts3; and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family4, church5, or commonwealth6.

1.  Prov. 23:22-25; Eph. 6:1-2
2.  1Tim. 5:1-2
3.  Gen. 4:20-22; 45:8
4.  2Kings 5:13
5.  2Kings 2:12; 13:14; Gal. 4:19
6.  Isa. 49:23

Question 125: Why are superiors styled father and mother?

Answer:  Superiors are styled father and mother, both to teach them in all duties toward their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations1; and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents2.

1.  Eph. 6:4; 2Cor. 12:14; 1Thess. 2:7-8, 11; Num. 11:11-12
2.  1Cor. 4:14-16; 2Kings 5:13

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Question 126: What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?

Answer:  The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors, or equals.

Eph. 5:21; 1Peter 2:17; Rom. 12:10

Question 127: What is the honor that inferiors owe to their superiors?

Answer:  The honor which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart1, word,2 and behavior3; prayer and thanksgiving for them4; imitation of their virtues and graces5; willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels6; due submission to their corrections7; fidelity to8, defense9 and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places10; bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love, that so they may be an honor to them and to their government11.

1.  Mal. 1:6; Lev. 19:3
2.  Prov. 31:28; 1Peter 3:6
3.  Lev. 19:32; 1Kings 2:19
4.  1Tim. 2:1-2
5.  Heb. 13:7; Phil. 3:17
6.  Eph. 6:1-2, 5-7; 1Peter 2:13-14; Rom. 13:1-5; Heb. 13:17; Prov. 4:3-4; 23:22; Exod. 18:19, 24
7.  Heb. 12:9; 1Peter 2:18-20
8.  Titus 2:9-10
9.  1Sam. 26:15-16; 2Sam. 18:3; Est.. 6:2
10.  Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:6-7; 1Tim. 5:17-18; Gal. 6:6; Gen. 45:11; 47:12
11.  Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 31:23

Question 128: What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?

Answer:  The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them1; envying at2, contempt of,3 and rebellion against4, their persons5 and places6, in their lawful counsels7, commands, and corrections8; cursing, mocking9, and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonor to them and their government10.

1.  Matt. 15:4-6
2.  Num. 11:28-29
3.  1Sam. 8:7; Isa. 3:5
4.  2Sam. 15:1-12
5.  Exod. 21:15
6.  1Sam. 10:27
7.  1Sam. 2:25
8.  Deut. 21:18-21
9.  Prov. 30:11, 17
10.  Prov. 19:26

Question 129: What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?

Answer:  It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love1, pray for2, and bless their inferiors3; to instruct4, counsel, and admonish them5; countenancing6, commending7, and rewarding such as do well8; and discountenancing9, reproving, and chastising such as do ill10; protecting11, and providing for them all things necessary for soul12 and body13: and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God14, honor to themselves15, and so to preserve that authority which God has put upon them16.

1.  Col. 3:19; Titus 2:4
2.  1Sam. 12:28; Job 1:5
3.  1Kings 8:55-56; Heb. 7:7; Gen. 49:28
4.  Deut. 6:6-7
5.  Eph. 6:4
6.  1Peter 3:7
7.  1Peter 2:14; Rom. 13:3
8.  Esth. 6:3
9.  Rom. 13:3-4
10.  Prov. 29:15; 1Peter 2:14
11.  Job 29:12-17; Isa. 1:10, 17
12.  Eph. 6:4
13.  1Tim. 5:8
14.  1Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:3-5
15.  1Kings 3:28
16.  Titus 2:15

Question 130: What are the sins of superiors?

Answer:  The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them1, an inordinate seeking of themselves2, their own glory3, ease, profit, or pleasure4; commanding things unlawful5, or not in the power of inferiors to perform6; counseling7, encouraging8, or favoring them in that which is evil9; dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good10; correcting them unduly11; careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger12; provoking them to wrath13; or any way dishonoring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behavior14.

1.  Ezek. 34:2-4
2.  Phil. 2:21
3.  John 5:44; 7:18
4.  Isa. 56:10-1; Deut. 17:17
5.  Dan. 3:4-6; Acts 4:17-18
6.  Exod. 5:10-18; Matt. 23:2, 4
7.  Matt. 14:8; Mark 6:24
8.  2Sam. 13:28
9.  1Sam. 3:13
10.  John 7:46-49; Col. 3:21; Exod. 5:17
11.  1Peter 2:18-20; Heb. 12:10; Deut. 25:3
12.  Gen. 38:11, 26; Acts 18:17
13.  Eph. 6:4
14.  Gen. 9:21; 1Kings 1:6; 12:13-16; 1Sam. 2:29-31

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