THE

SHORTER CATECHISM

EXPLAINED


QUESTION 48. What are we especially taught by these words BEFORE ME in the First Commandment?

ANSWER: These words before me in the First Commandment, teach us, That God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other god.


Q. 1. What is the strength of the argument implied in these words before me?

A. That the sin of having any other god, is committed in the presence of him, who seeth all things, Heb. 4:13.

Q. 2. What is it for God to see all things?

A. It is to have a most intimate, perfect, and comprehensive knowledge of them, Psalm 147:5 -- "His understanding is infinite."

Q. 3. In what consists the infinity of God's knowledge?

A. Not so much in the perfect and comprehensive knowledge of the creatures, which are finite; as in the perfect and comprehensive knowledge of himself, and his own excellencies and perfections, which are infinite, 1 Cor. 2:11.

Q. 4. How is it that God sees, or knows all things?

A. He sees all things at once in his own essence, distinctly, infallibly, and immutably, 1 John 1:5.

Q. 5. How do you prove that God has such a comprehensive sight and knowledge of all things?

A. Because otherwise he could not be the Creator, Governor, and Judge of the world, 1 Cor. 4:5.

Q. 6. In what light does God see or know evil actions?

A. As they are opposite to his nature, Jer. 44:4, and contrary to his law, 1 John 3:4, which is the sole and unerring standard of all rectitude, Rom. 7:12.

Q. 7. What is that sin which strikes more immediately and directly against the authority of God in this commandment?

A. It is the sin of having any other god.

Q. 8. What is it to have another god?

A. It is to have our minds, wills, and affections carried out after other objects, as much, or more than after God himself, Isa. 46:9, compared with Ezek. 14:4.

Q. 9. What notice does God take of this sin?

A. He threatens to resent it with the highest marks of displeasure, and that even in this life, as well as in the world to come, Deut. 29:24-29.

Q. 10. Why is God so much displeased with the sin of having any other God?

A. Because it sets up a rival or competitor in his room, and that in his very sight and presence, Jer. 32:30.

Q. 11. What influence ought the presence of an all-seeing God to have upon us in all our actions?

A. The consideration of this ought to quicken and animate us to every duty, Gen. 5:22, 24; and affright and deter us from every sin, as being an affronting of him to his face, who is our witness, and ere long will be our judge, Gen. 39:9.


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