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The Westminster Catechism

on the Ten Commandments

FOR WEEK 3 (June 27 – July 4)

Q. Which is the third commandment?

A. 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 taketh his name in vain.

Q. What is required in the third commandment?

A. The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the Word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy profession, and answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and others.

Q. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarrelling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God’s decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it; to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.

Q. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?

A. The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The Lord thy God, and, For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain, are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us; 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 judgment; albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men.

Hello IBC,

This is Danny. For the past 2 years I have been playing volleyball with some coworkers after work through the Chicago Sport and Social club. I do this because I love volleyball and it gives me a chance to get to know people outside of the office. It can be hard at times relating with my coworkers, but through this I’ve been able to develop good friendships. If you are into sports I definitely recommend checking out their website It’s a great way to meet some new people especially people new to the city.

Hey, it’s Anne-Marie. For the last few months I’ve been volunteering with Breakthrough Urban Ministries, an organization based in East Garfield Park that takes a Christ-centered and wholistic approach to working with the homeless and also provides a non-traditional food pantry for the neighborhood. Instead of handing out pre-bagged sacks of miscellaneous food items, Breakthrough’s food pantry is set up like a mini store where those who qualify (based on income and family size) can come and spend the credit allotted them by Breakthrough on the things that they want and think that they will use. This approach is very helpful – especially for single mothers wanting baby formula or diapers rather than 5 cans of creamed corn and 10 boxes of mac and cheese – but it requires more organization and effort from volunteers. I get just as much out of it as the people I’m helping – many I meet have lived their whole lives in E. Garfield (a neighborhood with crime stats surpassed in Chicago only by Fuller Park), and they regularly remind me that “A day above ground is better than one below!” During our prayer time a few weeks ago one man shared a praise that I found entirely unique. He said: “I’m praising the Lord this morning because after many years of running, my brother was finally arrested last week. I don’t know if any of you have ever been hiding from the police or anything else, but it’s a horrible way to live – always having to look over your shoulder for what might be coming after you. But he’s been caught now, and nothing worse can happen to him. And that brings me joy.” In reflecting on this I was reminded of the poem The Hound of Heaven,written by the Romantic poet Francis Thompson during his opium withdrawal, which describes the Lord’s untiring pursuit of us. I praise God that we’ve all been caught by Him, and that we can rest in our captivity with perfect peace – knowing that, indeed, nothing ‘worse’ can happen to us now!

The Westminster Catechism

on the Ten Commandments

FOR WEEK 2 (June 13-19)

Q. 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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Q. 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 maintainance 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. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counselling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; 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 worshipping 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 pretence whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

Q. 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 showing 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.

It’s TIME!

Register for the Summer Retreat by emailing Lindsey at lindsey.avink.

Here are the details:

When: July 9-11. Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. I’ll send a schedule later.

Where: Streator Baptist Camp.

What: This year’s theme is Missional Living

How much: $75 or whatever you can afford if that’s too much.

What’s happening: We’ll be staying in dorm style housing (guys and girls separate), eating great camp meals, worshiping and learning together, and doing fun camp stuff. We’ll also be sending off the ChristRedeemerChurch plant. And remember – there won’t be a worship service in Chicago that Sunday.

Who’s coming? All the cool kids – and YOU! Just email lindsey.avink and let me know if you’re coming and if you have any questions. You can pay that weekend.

Last week we introduced Missional Moments – weekly blurbs by people in our church about something they do/have done that’s missional in the city. The hope is that these get us all thinking creatively about ways that we could engage with the city more for the sake of the gospel. First we heard about Toby & Cassie opening their home to kids in need. This week Adam & Sara tell of their involvement with a growing concern and phenomenon in our city:

Last summer, we found a booth at the Pilsen Farmer’s Market for a community garden just a couple blocks away from our home (the garden’s at 21st & Sangamon). We went to a couple meetings and got involved. Check out their blog: It’s a great way to meet people, get experience raising and harvesting crops, and contribute to the greening of Chicago (which both fulfills Chicago’s original plan of being a “city in a garden” and, in a small way, makes it resemble Paradise, the garden-like City that is to come). And this greening is a small way we try to counteract the air pollution that belches out of the smoke stack on Cermak in Pilsen. If you want to join our garden, you can have a bed all to yourself, or share it with someone. There are other community gardens growing in the UIC Area too. We really recommend joining one. It’s really fun!

…starts at 6:00 PM and ends at 7:30 PM on Wednesdays at The Meeting Place. Feel free to bring a picnic dinner!

As we go through the Ten Commandments on Sundays this summer we’ll send out a companion guide each week taken from the Westminster Larger Catechism.

You can use this for further study, to stimulate discussion among roommates, in personal or family devotions, to review with your kids, etc…

The Westminster Catechism

on the Ten Commandments

FOR WEEK 1 (June 6-12)

Q. What is the duty which God requireth of man?

A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.

Q. What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his obedience?

A. The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence, and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit of the tree knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law.

Q. What is the moral law?

A. The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body, and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man: promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it.

Q. Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?

A. Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law: yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate.

Q. Of what use is the moral law to all men?

A. The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and the will of God, and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly; to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives: to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery, and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and of the perfection of his obedience.

Q. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?

A. The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come, and to drive them to Christ; or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable, and under the curse thereof.

Q. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?

A. Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither justified nor condemned; yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience.

Q. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?

A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon Mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone; and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.

Q. 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 endeavour 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.

Q. What special things are we to consider in the ten commandments?

A. We are to consider in the ten commandments, the preface, the substance of the commandments themselves, and several reasons annexed to some of them, the more to enforce them.

Q. What is the preface to the ten commandments?

A. The preface to the ten commandments is contained in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Wherein God manifesteth his sovereignty, as being YAHWEH, the eternal, immutable, and almighty God; having his being in and of himself, and giving being to all his words and works: and that he is a God in covenant, as with Israel of old, so with all his people; who, as he brought them out of their bondage in Egypt, so he delivereth us from our spiritual thraldom; and that therefore we are bound to take him for our God alone, and to keep all his commandments.

Q. What is the sum of the four commandments which contain our duty to God?

A. The sum of the four commandments containing our duty to God is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind.

Q. Which is the first commandment?

A. The first commandment is, Thou shall have no other gods before me.

Q. 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, honouring, 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 any thing he is offended; and walking humbly with him.

Q. What are the sins forbidden in the first commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the first commandment are, atheism, in denying or not having a God; idolatry, in having or worshipping more gods than one, or any with or instead of the true God; the not having and avouching him for God, and our God; the omission or neglect of anything due to him, required in this commandment; ignorance, forgetfulness, misapprehensions, false opinions, unworthy and wicked thoughts of him; bold and curious searching into his secrets; all profaneness, hatred of God; self-love, self-seeking, and all other inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections upon other things, and taking them off from him in whole or in part; vain credulity, unbelief, heresy, misbelief, distrust, despair, incorrigibleness, and insensibleness under judgments, hardness of heart, pride, presumption, carnal security, tempting of God; using unlawful means, and trusting in lawful means; carnal delights and joys; corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal; lukewarmness, and deadness in the things of God; estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God; praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other creatures; all compacts and consulting with the devil, and hearkening to his suggestions; making men the lords of our faith and conscience; slighting and despising God and his commands; resisting and grieving of his Spirit, discontent and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he inflicts on us; and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have or can do, to fortune, idols, ourselves, or any other creature.

Q. What are we specially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?

A. These words before me or before my face, in the first commandment, teach us, that God, who seeth all things, taketh special notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God: that so it may be an argument to dissuade from it, and to aggravate it as a most impudent provocation: as also to persuade us to do as in his sight, whatever we do in his service.

When: Saturday, June 12th
Time: 1:30 PM
Where: The Meeting Place
Why: To encourage Rachel as she prepares for motherhood! Also, to have fun and eat too!
RSVP: Raechelle – respiri2

*the Matlacks are registered at Target &*

So we’ve wrapped up our 14-month project called Vocation Vignettes. Now we want to introduce a new weekly series we’re going to call Missional Moments.

Instead of essays, these will be short blurbs by or about people in our church who are doing something missional in our city. Summer weather opens up a plethora of opportunities for engaging with people. We just want to spark ideas and get the creative juices flowing for thinking of natural ways that everyone, based upon your own personality and affinities, can live a missional life-style.

Those going with the church plant are already being stretched to think this way. For those remaining at Immanuel we’ve said that this fall will be sort of like a re-plant for us too. It’s always helpful to be reminded to think outside of ourselves and given practical ideas for involvement. We need to be spurred on in our vocation as Christian citizens working for the good of the city and the advance of the gospel here. Missional Living is the title of this year’s Summer Retreat (July 9-11) and this series will provide a nice lead-in and follow-up to that topic.

Look for something in your inbox every Thursday. To get things started, check out this interview with our very own Toby, Cassie, Lawrie, Isabel, and Stella highlighting the way they have practiced hospitality as part of Lydia Home’s Safe Families Program –