Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbids the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.
1. Is it a sin to worship the true God by images? Yes: for it changes the truth of God into a lie, Rom.1:25. Are not images laymen's books? No: for an image is a teacher of lies, Hab. 2:18. Is it possible to make an image of God? No: we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device, Acts 17:29. Do we know what to represent God by? No: To whom then will ye liken God? Isa. 40:18. Do they that pretend to it put a great affront upon him? Yes: for they change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, Rom. 1:28.
2. May we worship Christ by an image? No: For though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more, 2 Cor. 5:16. Is it idolatry to worship the consecrated host? Yes: for it is bread which we break, 1 Cor. 10:16. Is it idolatry to pray to saints and angels? Yes: See thou do it not, but worship God, Rev. 19:10. and 22:9.
3. Must we be careful to avoid all appearances of idolatry? Yes: Take ye therefore good heed to yourselves, lest ye corrupt yourselves, Deut. 4:15. Should we choose to die rather than worship images? Yes: But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up, Dan. 3:18.
4. Is it a sin to worship God in any way not appointed in his word? Yes: In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men Matt. 15:9. May we ourselves invent ordinances of worship? No: They went a whoring with their own inventions, Ps. 106:39. Is it not enough if what we invent is not forbidden? No: They offered a strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not, Lev. 10:1. Is it a sin to despise any of God's ordinances? Yes: Ye said also Behold what a weariness is it! Mal. 1:13. Or to be careless in our attendance upon them? Yes: Cursed be the deceiver that hath in his flock a male, and vows and sacrifices to the Lord a corrupt thing, Mal. 1:14. Are they spiritual idolaters who make images of' God in their fancy? Yes: they are vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart is darkened, Rom. 1:21.