Q. 105. What is the second commandment?
A. You shall not make any graven image, nor the likeness of anything which is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor in the waters under the earth: you shall not bow down to them, nor worship them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and show mercy to thousands of them who love Me, and keep My commandments.
Q. 106. What does the second commandment require?
A. That we should not express or represent God by any image or shape and figure (a), or worship Him any other way than He has commanded in His word to be worshipped (b).
(a) Deut. 4:15ff.; Isa. 40:18ff.; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:23ff. (b) Deut. 12:30ff.; 1 Sam. 15:23; Matt. 15:9.
Q. 107. May any images or resemblances of God be made at all?
A. God neither ought, nor can be represented by any means. As for things created, although it is lawful to depict them, God nevertheless forbids their images to be made or possessed in order to worship or honor either them or God by them (a).
(a) Exod. 23:24; 34:13-14, 17; Num. 33:52; Deut. 7:5; 12:13; 16:22; 2 Kings 18:4.
Q. 108. But may not images be tolerated in churches, which may serve as books to the common people?
A. No, for that would make us wiser than God, who will have His church to be taught by the lively preaching of His word (a), and not with speechless images (b).
(a) 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19. (b) Jer. 10:8ff.; Hab. 2:18-19.
From “An Orthodox Catechism – Chapter 10 The Third Part: Of Man’s Thankfulness (The Law of God)”