What is Required to be Worthy of Receiving the Lord’s Supper?

Fisher’s Catechism:

QUESTION 97. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s supper?

ANSWER: It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.

Q. 1. What preparatory duty is here required of those that would partake of the Lord’s supper?

A. It is, that they examine themselves, 1 Cor. 11:28 — “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”

Q. 2. What is it for persons to examine themselves?

A. It is to make a strict inquiry into, and to pass an impartial judgment upon their spiritual state and frame, by the rule of the word, Psalm 77:6, and 119:105.

Q. 3. What is the best and most successful way of essaying this duty?

A. It is to put it into the hand of the Spirit of God to manage it for us, Psalm 139:23, 24 — “Search me, O God, and know my heart,” &c.

Q. 4. Why is self-examination necessary before receiving the Lord’s supper?

A. Because it is peremptorily commanded, in order to discover whether we be in a gracious state; or, if we have grace in any measure of exercise; without either of which there can be no comfortable participation of this ordinance: “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat.”

Q. 5. Is this the duty of every man, or of some only?

A. It is unquestionably the duty of every man: “Let a man examine himself;” that is, every man and woman, without exception, whether they think themselves gracious or graceless.

Q. 6. Why should a gracious man examine himself?

A. Because “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not,” Eccl. 7:20.

Q. 7. Why should they, who think they are graceless, examine themselves?

A. Because “they that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick,” Matt. 9:12. They thus come to see more clearly their absolute need of Christ.

Q. 8. Is self-examination the duty of those only who are to partake for the first time?

A. It is the duty of persons every time they venture to partake of this ordinance, as the words of the precept evidently bear, “so let him eat;” that is, let none approach this holy table at any time without first essaying this duty.

Q. 9. Is self-examination to be practised only about the time of communion?

A. It ought to be practised daily or habitually, 2 Cor. 13:5; and especially in the view of such a solemn approach to the Lord at his table.

Q. 10. What are those things, about which they that would worthily partake of the Lord’s supper are required to examine themselves?.

A. They are required to examine themselves of their knowledge — of their faith — of their repentance, love, and new obedience.

Q. 11. What are they to try or examine about their knowledge?

A. If they have a competent measure of it; and if the measure they have, be of a saving kind.

Q. 12. What is that competent measure of knowledge, which is requisite to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s supper?

A. That there be some understanding of the person, offices, and righteousness of Christ; of the fulness, freedom, and stability of the covenant of grace; of the nature, use, and end, of the sacrament of the supper; and likewise of our own manifold sins and wants.

Q. 13. Why is such a knowledge necessary?

A. It is necessary, to discern the Lord’s body.

Q. 14. What is it to discern the Lord’s body in this sacrament?

A. It is to view the meritorious atonement, made by the Son of God in our nature, through the symbols of bread and wine, which are designed to signify and represent the same.

Q. 15. Who are they who are guilty of not discerning the, Lord’s body?

A. They who rest in partaking of the outward elements, without a firm belief of the mysteries that are wrapped up in them.

Q. 16. How may we know if the measure of knowledge we have attained, be of a saving kind?

A. If we think we know nothing yet, as we ought to know, 1 Cor. 8:2; if we are following on to know the Lord more and more, Hos. 6:3; and if our knowledge influences our practice, John 13:17 — “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

Q. 17. Why is faith necessary to the worthy partaking of the Lord’s supper?

A. It is necessary in order to feed upon him.

Q. 18. What is it to feed upon Christ in the sacrament of the supper?

A. It is to receive into our souls, from his fulness, all that spiritual good which is exhibited to us in the promise, John 1:16.

Q. 19. What is it of Christ that faith feeds upon in the sacrament?

A. It feeds upon all those discoveries of him that are made in the word; such as, his person, offices, mediatorial character, and relations, John 6:57.

Q. 20. How may we know if we have that faith which feeds on Christ in the word and sacrament?

A. Where this true and saving faith is, it is of an appetising nature, whetting the spiritual appetite after more and more of him, Isa. 26:8, 9; it purifies the heart, Acts 15:9; accounts all things but loss for Christ, Phil. 3:8; and is careful to maintain good works, Tit. 3:8.

Q. 21. What is the use of repentance in this sacrament?

A. Without repentance there can be no mourning for sin, which is an inseparable concomitant of faith’s looking to, or improving a crucified Saviour in this ordinance, Zech. 12:10 — “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him.”

Q. 22. How may we know if our repentance be genuine or of a right kind?

A. It is true and genuine, if we are grieved for sin as it is offensive to God, Psalm 51:4; if we are forsaking, and turning from it both in heart and life, Hos. 14:8; and, particularly, if we are deeply affected with the sin of unbelief, John 16:9.

Q. 23. What necessity is there for the exercise of the grace of love in partaking of the Lord’s supper?

A. Without love to Christ, there can be no communion with him in this, or any other ordinance, John 14:21 — “He that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and I will manifest myself to him.”

Q. 24. How may we know if our love to Christ be sincere and unfeigned?

A. If it put us upon essaying the most difficult duties he may call us to, Psalm 23:4; if it engage us to put a favourable construction upon the afflicting providences we meet with in our lot, Heb. 12:10, and if we love his members out of love to himself, or because they are “begotten of him,” 1 John 5:1.

Q. 25. Why is the obedience required of worthy receivers called new obedience?

A. Because it flows from a new principle of faith and love, Gal. 5:6; it is performed in a new manner, namely, in the strength of “the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” 2 Tim; 2:1, and is directed to a new end, even the glory of God; 1 Cor. 10:31.

Q. 26. How may we know if our obedience is indeed new obedience?

A. If we are conscientiously diligent in the practice of every duty, and at the same time look on ourselves as unprofitable servants, Luke 17:10, and lean wholly to the surety-righteousness as the sole ground of our acceptance, Isa. 45:24.

Q. 27. What risk do they run who omit to examine themselves as to the above graces, before they come to the Lord’s table?

A. They run the risk of coming unworthily.

Q. 28. What is it to come unworthily?

A. It is to come without any real sense, or consciousness of the need that we stand in of Christ, as “of God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,” 1 Cor. 1:30.

Q. 29. What danger do they incur who thus come unworthily?

A. They eat and drink judgment to themselves, 1 Cor. 11:29.

Q. 30. In what sense can they who come unworthily, be said to eat and drink judgment to themselves?

A. In so far as by their eating and drinking unworthily, they do that which renders them obnoxious to the righteous judgment of God.

Q. 31. To what judgment do they render themselves obnoxious?

A. To temporal judgments, or afflictions of various kinds, in the present life; and to eternal judgment, or condemnation (if mercy prevent not) in the life to come, 1 Cor. 11:30, 32.

Q. 32. “May not one who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation, come to the Lord’s supper?

A. “If he be duly affected with the apprehension of the want of” an interest in Christ, “and unfeignedly desires to be found in him, and to depart from iniquity:” in that case, “he is to bewail his unbelief, and labour to have his doubts resolved; and, in so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord’s supper, that he may be further strengthened.”[156]

Q. 33. When may a person be said to be duly affected with the apprehension of his want of an interest in Christ?

A. When he is filled with a restless uneasiness, and can take no comfort in any outward enjoyment, while he thinks himself destitute of an interest in Christ; and, at the same time, is active and diligent in the use of all the ordinary means, in which Christ is usually to be found, Song 3:1-5.

Q. 34. “May any who profess their faith, and desire to Come to the Lord’s supper, be kept from it?”

A. “Such as are found to be ignorant or scandalous, notwithstanding their profession of the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, may and ought to be kept from that sacrament, by the power which Christ hath left in his church; until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation.”[157]

Q. 35. Why ought the ignorant to be kept back?

A. Because they cannot discern the Lord’s body, nor comprehend the end and design of this sacrament; and, therefore, will but eat and drink judgment to themselves, 1 Cor. 11:29.

Q. 36. Why ought the scandalous to be kept back from this sacrament?

A. Because, by the habitual immorality of their practice, they manifest themselves to be under the dominion of the prince of darkness; and, therefore, while in that state, can have no right to the privileges which belong only to the members of Christ’s family, 1 Cor. 10:21.

Q. 37. “What is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, in the time of the administration of it?”

A. “It is required of them, that they — heedfully discern the Lord’s body, and affectionately meditate on his death and sufferings, and thereby stir up themselves to a vigorous exercise of their graces; in sorrowing for sin, hungering and thirsting after Christ, feeding on him by faith — and in renewing their covenant with God, and love to all the saints.”[158]

Q. 38. What is it for the Lord’s people to renew their covenant with him at his table?

A. It is to acquiesce anew in the covenant of grace, as made with Christ, Isa. 44:5; and, in so doing, to surrender themselves to the Lord, to be wholly his, trusting that he will keep them by his power, “through faith unto salvation,” 1 Pet. 1:5.

Q. 39. What is it for them to renew their love to all the saints on that occasion?

A. It is to embrace the opportunity of being at the Lord’s table, to breathe out the secret and habitual desires of their souls before him, that all the saints, as well as themselves, may share abundantly out of the fulness of Christ, Psalm 90:14; and that they keep themselves “in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life,” Jude ver. 21.

Q. 40. What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper?

A. It is “seriously to consider how they have behaved themselves therein, and with what success; if they find quickening and comfort, to bless God for it, beg the continuance of it, watch against relapses, fulfil their vows, and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance.”[159]

Q. 41. What is it to fulfil our vows?

A. It is to set about the practice of all commanded duty, according to our engagements, Psalm 116:16, 18; and at the same time depend upon the grace and furniture that is in Christ Jesus for the right performance of it, Phil. 4:13.

Q. 42. What if Christians can find no present benefit by their attendance on this ordinance?

A. Then they are “more exactly to review their preparation for, and carriage at the sacrament; in both which, if they can approve themselves to God, and their own consciences, they are to wait for the fruit of it in due time.”[160]

Q. 43. What if they have failed in their preparation for, and carriage at the sacrament?

A. Then “they are to be humbled, and attend upon it afterward, with more care and diligence.”[161]

Q. 44. “Wherein do the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper agree?”

A. “In that the author of both is God; the spiritual part of both is Christ and his benefits; both are seals of the same covenant; and to be continued in the church of Christ until his second coming.”[162]

Q. 45. In what do they differ?

A. In that baptism is to be administered but once, with water, to be a sign and seal of our regeneration and in-grafting into Christ, and that even to infants: whereas the Lord’s supper is to be administered often, in the elements of bread and wine, to represent and exhibit Christ as spiritual nourishment to the soul, and to confirm our continuance and growth in him, and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves.”[163]

[156] Larger Catechism, Question 172.

[157] Larger Catechism, Question 173.

[158] Ibid., Question 174.

[159] Larger Catechism, Question 175.

[160] Ibid.

[161] Ibid.

[162] Ibid., Question 176.

[163] Ibid., Question 177.

Source: http://www.reformed.org/documents/fisher/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/fisher/index_fish.html


The WLC on the Second Commandment

Q. 107. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any 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. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Q. 108. What are the duties required in the second commandment?
A. The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath instituted in his word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God, and vowing unto him: as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship; and, according to each one’s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.

Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

Q. 110. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments; are, besides God’s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us, his fervent zeal for his own worship, and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom; accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations; and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.

A Puritan Catechism on the Fourth Commandment

A. The fourth commandment is, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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 they 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.”

49 Q. What is required in the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself (Lev. 19:30; Deut. 5:12).

50 Q. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days (Lev. 23:3), and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship (Ps. 92:1-2; Isa. 58:13-14), except so much as is taken up in the works of necessity and mercy (Matt. 12:11-12).

Source: http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/puritan_catechism.htm#Q49

Heidelberg Catechism on Images

Heidelberg Catechism (extended)

The Catechism
Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion
As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools

(with the Scripture references written out)

Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer.

35. Lord’s Day 

Q. 96. What does God require in the second commandment?

A. That we in no wise represent God by images, (a) nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word. (b)
 (a) Deut.4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Deut.4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, Deut.4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, Deut.4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: Deut.4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. Isa.40:18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? Isa.40:19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. Isa.40:20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. Isa.40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? Isa.40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: Isa.40:23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Isa.40:24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. Isa.40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Rom.1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Rom.1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
(b) 1 Sam.15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. Deut.12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Deut.12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. Deut.12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Matt.15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
 Q. 97. Are images then not at all to be made? 
A. God neither can, nor may be represented by any means: (a) but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them or to serve God by them. (b)
(a) Isa.40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
(b) Exod.23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. Exod.23:25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. Exod.34:13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: Exod.34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exod.34:17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. Num.33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: Deut.7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. Deut.12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Deut.16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. 2 Kin.18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 2 Kin.18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
 Q. 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity? 
A. No: for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people taught, not by dumb images, (a) but by the lively preaching of his word. (b)
(a) Jer.10:8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Hab.2:18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Hab.2:19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
(b) Rom.10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Rom.10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Rom.10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 2 Pet.1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Tim.3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim.3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Source: http://www.ccel.org/creeds/heidelberg-cat-ext.txt

HT: https://reformedchristianheritage.blogspot.ca/2016/05/what-does-god-require-in-second.html

Calvin’s Catechism on the Fourth Commandment

166. Let us come to the fourth commandment.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Sis days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made haven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, and hallowed it.

167. Does He order us to labour six days a week that may rest on the seventh?
Not precisely, but in allowing us to labour for six days, He excepts the seventh, on which it is not right to be engaged in work.

168. Does He thus forbid us all work one day a week?
This commandment has a particular reason, for the observance of rest is part of the ceremonies of the ancient Law, which was abolished at the coming of Jesus Christ.

169. Do you mean that this commandment properly belongs to the Jews, and that it was given for the time of the Old Testament?
I do, in so far as it is ceremonial.

170. How is that? Is there anything else in it besides the ceremony?
It was given for three reasons.

171. What are they?
To represent spiritual rest, in aid of ecclesiastical polity, and for the relief of servants.

172. What is this spiritual rest?
It is to cease from our own works, that the Lord may work in us.

173. How is that done?
By mortifying our flesh, that is, renouncing our own nature, so that God may govern us by His Spirit.

174. Is this to be done only one day a week?
This is to be done continually. After we have once begun, we must continue all our life.

175. Why, then, is a certain day appointed to represent this?
It is not required that the representation should be altogether identical with the truth, but it is sufficient that there should be some resemblance.

176. But why is the seventh day appointed rather than any other day?
The number seven implies perfection in Scripture. Thus it is suited to denote perpetuity. It reminds us also that our spiritual rest is only begun in this life, and will not be perfect until we depart from this world.

177. But what is meant when our Lord asserts that we must rest as He did?
After having created all His works in six days, He dedicated the seventh to the contemplation of His works. And in order better to induce us to do this, He set before us His own example. For nothing is so desirable as to be conformed to Him.

178. Must we meditate continually on the works of God, or is it sufficient on one day out of seven?
We must do it every hour, but because of our weakness, one day is specially appointed. And this is the polity of which I spoke.

179. What order, then, is to be observed on that day?
That the people meet to hear the doctrine of God, to engage in common prayer, and bear witness to their faith and religion.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/59385-Calvin-on-Having-to-Keep-the-Sabbath, Comment #4

An Orthodox Catechism on Idolatry

Hercules Collins’ An Orthodox Catechism (a Baptist adaption of the Heidelberg Catechism Orthodox Catechism – Hercules Collins:

Q. 105 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.11  1 Chron. 16:26; Gal. 4:8-9; Eph. 5:5; Phil. 3:19

Q. 106. What is the Second Commandment?
A. Thou shalt make to thee no graven Image, nor the Likeness of any thing which is in Heaven above, or in he Earth beneath, nor in the Waters under the Earth: thou shalt not bow down to them,nor worship them, for I the Lord thy God and a jealous God, and visit the sins of the Fathers upon the Children, unto the third and fourth Generation of them that hate me, and shew Mercy to thousands of them which love me, and keep my Commandments.

Q. 107 What is God’s will for us in the second commandment?
A. That we in no way make any image of God1 nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his Word.2

1  Deut. 4:15-19; Isa. 40:18-25; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:22-23

2  Lev. 10:1-7; 1 Sam. 15:22-23; John 4:23-24

Q. 108 May we then not make any image at all?
A. God can not and may not be visibly portrayed in any way. Although creatures may be portrayed, yet God forbids making or having such images if one’s intention is to worship them or to serve God through them.1

1  Ex. 34:13-14, 17; 2 Kings 18:4-5

Q. 109 But may not images be permitted in the churches as teaching aids for the unlearned?
A. No, we shouldn’t try to be wiser than God. He wants his people instructed by the living preaching of his Word—1not by idols that cannot even talk.2

1  Rom. 10:14-15, 17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19

2  Jer. 10:8; Hab. 2:18-20

Benjamin Beddome’s A Scriptural Exposition of the Baptist Catechism (http://books.google.com/books?id=16c9AAAAYAAJ):

“§ Is it a sin to worship the true God by images? Yes. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude, Deut. iv. 15, 16. Can we form any image of God in our minds? No. To whom will ye liken God? Isa. xl. 18. Is it impossible then to form it with our hands? Yes. For we must not think that the Godhead is like unto gold or silver, or stone graven by art or man’s device, Acts xvii. 29. Do those therefore that attempt it put a great affront upon him? Yes. They change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, Rom. i. 23.”

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/81581-Reformed-Baptists-Against-Making-Images-of-the-Lord, Comment #1

The Catechism

A way some people historically kept the Sabbath-They studied the catechism:

(c) Southampton City Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Southampton City Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation