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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 25

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Exodus 20:5–6

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

The idea of serving idols (“or serve them”) in verse five is specific to bringing them the service of worship. The NIV translates it so: “You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” Those translations in the lineage of the KJV keep with the word “serve.” It means the same. We are not to serve idols with our worship. Doing so seeks to deify chunks of wood or stone. Idols are inanimate objects. Though they may symbolize some other god, they are representations of empty, human inventions, devoid of life. There is one God, and we are to fear, love, and trust in him above all things—including idols.

Prayer: I worship you alone, Lord God. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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