September 22: School & Family Catechist WSC Q. 45-46

by Rev. William Smith

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 45 and 46

Q.45. Which is the first commandment?

A. The first commandment is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” Exod. xx. 3.

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.


To know God, &c. –To make ourselves acquainted with the character and perfections of God, as he has revealed them in his word.

To acknowledge God, &c. –To own and to confess him both in secret and in public; to believe that he alone is worthy to be feared, and admired and loved above every other object; and to profess our relation to him as his people.

To worship him accordingly. –To pray to God, and to make him the chief object of our esteem, desire, and delight, both in secret and in public.

To glorify him. –See Explic. Q.1.

Quest. by  1. WHAT is the chief end of man?
Ans. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.


Chief end.—The principle purpose or design for which man was made, and to which he should, above all things, labor to attain.

To glorify God
.—To do honor to his name, by loving him, and trusting in him, believing his word, and keeping his commandments.

To enjoy him for ever
.—To have God’s favor, and the influences of his Spirit in this world, and to share in the happiness of his immediate presence in heaven hereafter.


The duties required in the first commandment are five in number :

  1. To know God. –1 Chron. xxviii. 9. Know thou the God and thy Father.
  2. To acknowledge God. –Prov. iii. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him.
  3. To know and acknowledge him to be the only true God. –John xvii. 3. This is life eternal that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
  4. To know and acknowledge him as our God. –Deut. xxvi. 17. Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken to his voice.
  5. To worship and glorify him accordingly. –Psal. xxix. 2. Give unto the Lord the glory due his name, worship the Lord, in the beauty of holiness.


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