Vespers – Spurgeon’s Question 43

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

  • 1 Chronicles 28:9

You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him.

  • Deuteronomy 26:17

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

  • Matthew 4:10

Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice,

  • Psalm 95:6-7

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

  • Psalm 29:2

The Larger Catechism’s Scripture Proofs:
I Chron. 28:9; Deut. 26:17; Isa. 43:10; Jer. 14:22.
Ps. 95:6, 7; Matt. 4:10; Ps. 29:2.
Mal. 3:16.
Ps. 63:6.
Eccl. 12:1. 7. Ps. 18:1, 2.
Mal. 1:6. 9. Isa. 45:23; Ps. 96.
Josh. 24:22.
Deut. 6:5.
Ps. 73:25.
Isa. 8:13.
Exod. 14:31; Rom. 10:11; Acts 10:43.
Isa. 26:4; Ps. 40:4.
Ps. 130:7.
Ps. 37:4.
Ps. 32:11.
Rom. 12:11; Rev. 3:19; Num. 25:11.
Phil. 4:6. 21. Jer. 7:23; James 4:7; Rom. 12:1.
I John 3:22.
Neh. 13:8; Ps. 73:21; Ps. 119:136; Jer. 31:18, 19.
Micah 6:8

Q. 43. What is required in the First Commandment?
“A. The First Commandment requires us to know (1 Chron. 28:9) and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God (Deut. 26:17), and to worship and glorify him accordingly (Matt. 4:10).”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Catechism (Scripture proofs in bold above)

“Q. 46. What is required in the First Commandment?
“A. The First Commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly.”

  • The Shorter Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

“Q. 104. What are the duties required in the First Commandment?
“A. The duties required in the First Commandment are: the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly; by thinking, meditating, remembering, highly esteeming, honoring, adoring, choosing, loving, desiring, fearing of him; believing him; trusting, hoping, delighting, rejoicing in him; being zealous for him; calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks, and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man; being careful in all things to please him, and sorrowful when in anything he is offended; and walking humbly with him.”

  • The Larger Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

The Shorter and Spurgeon catechisms have the same wording, essentially, but the Shorter Catechism has a few extra proofs.  As usual, the Larger Catechism is larger in detail and biblical proofs.  Due to the “largeness” of the Larger Catechism, each point having its on biblical proof, I just listed the Scripture references.

In the Shorter Catechism, this statement is made as the leading biblical “proof”: “The exposition of the Ten Commandments found in answers to Questions 46–81 are deductions from the commandments themselves and the rules set forth in the Larger Catechism, Q. 99. The texts under the specifications are given to show that they are in accord with the general teaching of the Scriptures.”

Since we did not cover the Larger Catechism’s question 99, it is as follows, question and answer:

“Q. 99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the Ten Commandments?
“A. For the right understanding of the Ten Commandments, these rules are to be observed:
“1. That the law is perfect, and bindeth everyone to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.
“2. That it is spiritual, and so reacheth the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures.
“3. That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments.
“4. That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden; and where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded; so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included; and where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included.
“5. That what God forbids, is at no time to be done; what he commands is always our duty; and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.
“6. That, under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto.
“7. That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places, to endeavor that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places.
“8. That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them: and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them.”

Each of these eight “rules” have multiple biblical proofs.  In fact rules 4 and 5 are broken down into sub-parts, each with one or more biblical proofs.

What the Larger and Shorter Catechisms are trying to say is that to understand what is expected of us to obey each commandment, it would take a deep understanding of what is clearly stated, plus what is inferred, and or deducted, based on our motivations on one end and the perfect attributes of God on the other.  Thus, often, the answers to the ten questions about our duties or requirements concerning a Commandment, we may have to look at what is inferred instead of clear statements in the Scripture.

Wow!  Now I know how lawyers feel after making a convoluted statement that muddies the water more than it clears it.

But as for this First Commandment, we often put our own interests above God.  Thus, the answer is careful in stating that there are no Gods other than God and He is our God.  That is not a redundancy.  We must put God first.  He created everything and everything we do, even the work that puts the food on the table, should be done to glorify God.

And now let us sing.

The following song is How Great Thou Art, sung by George Beverly Shea at a Gaither Homecoming Gathering.  You may be wondering why I have not used this great hymn before this.  We are past the halfway point in the Spurgeon Catechism, and I have yet to repeat a song / hymn.  Some of it is simply trying to find an appropriate song, but there are so many to choose from and you want to save some great ones for later.

Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin <Refrain>

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art <Refrain>

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

  • Stuart K. Hine, How Great Thou Art (last stanza by Eugene Thomas)

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord,
We need You.  Maybe we should sing How Great Thou Art more often.  It reminds us that we are nothing compared to You.  All that is comes from You.  Who are we to put anything before You?
In thy Name we pray.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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