Great Basin Reformed Presbyterian Church
Larger Catechism 102-103
WLC 102-103

WLC 102-103: Introduction to the Vertical Dimension of the Spiritual Life

Introduction/Finish WLC 101

Q102: What is the sum of the four commandments which contain our duty to God?

A102: 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.[1]

1. Luke 10:27

Q103: Which is the first commandment?

A103: The first commandment is, Thou shall have no other gods before me.[1]

1. Exod. 20:3

The Definition of Love

God is Love (1 John 4:16)


“In distinction from the goodness of God in general, it may be defined as that perfection of God by which He is eternally moved to self-communication. Since God is absolutely good in Himself, His love cannot find complete satisfaction in any object that falls short of absolute perfection. He loves His rational creatures for His own sake, or, to express it otherwise, He loves in them Himself, His virtues, His work., and His gifts.” - Louis Berkhof


Love as Duty


“Love is identical with lawful obedience. Christian love, as Biblically defined, is so totally unopposed to God’s law that this law is actually the pattern of content of love. Believers are commanded to be like God (Matt. 5:48); God is love (1 John 4:8), and the commandments reflect God’s moral perfection. Therefore, love and law must go hand in hand; to be loving as is God is to keep the commandments which transcribe God’s holiness.”


Love and Obedience



Loving God with our whole Being (Luke 10:27)

The Heart



The Soul


The Strength

The Mind



The Unity of the Human Being in All of Life 


“We may not draw a boundary line and mark off any sphere or area of life and say that in that area our relation to God does not cout. Whatsoever we do, we must do all to the glory of God. The man who thinks he can carry on his business life, or his political life, or his social life, without God is to that extent an irreligious person. The teacher who thinks that his relation to God does not affect his teaching of chemistry, or his interpretation of European history, is to that extend an irreligious person. The consistent Christian will realize that his religion is the ruling principle of his life, and that there is nothing in life which can be isolated from his relation to God.” - Johannes Vos

The Substance of the First Commandment

What does it mean to have no gods before the Lord? 



If Idols are no-thing, then why are they such a danger? (1 Cor 8:4-6; 1 Cor. 10:20)

An Overview of the 1st Commandment 


The First Commandment and True Spirituality

“From this you are able to understand why such an emphasis is placed on faith, which alone fulfills the law and justified without works. You see that the first commandment, “You shall worship one God,” is fulfilled by faith alone. Even if you were nothing but good works from the soles of your shoes to the top of your head, you would not be righteous, worship God, or fulfill the first commandment. For God cannot be worshipped rightly unless you ascribe to God that which he is due: the glory of truthfulness and all goodness; however, this cannot be done by works by only by the faith of the heart. It is not the doing of works but the trusting of God that both glorifies him and acknowledges him to be truthful. Therefore, faith alone is the righteousness of the Christian and is also the fulfillment of the commandments. For the one who fulfills the first commandment easily fulfills the rest of them.” - Martin Luther, The Freedom of the Christian


“‘Those who obey the first commandment…are members of the covenant’ for by that obedience they are confessing with their lives that God, the Lawgiver, has chosen them in grace to be His people, has redeemed them by His Son, and drawn them to Himself by His Spirit, that He might be their Sovereign-Friend and they His servant-friends; and by that obedience they are testifying to the world that they have chosen the Lord to be their God, His people their people, His law their law.” - Joe Morecraft

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