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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 88

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From the Word: Let the one who stole steal no more, but instead, toil, working at what is good with his own hands so that he has something to share with one in need. (Ephesians 4:28)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together: Again, the keeping of the commandments begins with the fear and love of God. Nevertheless, we cannot perfectly keep this Seventh Commandment any more than we can perfectly love God. So, there will be failure, trespass, sin. Still, some considerable progress may be made with this commandment. There is something that may be done to help observe this commandment more completely. Get a job! This is a good beginning at not stealing. It is not the complete answer, but laboring hard, toiling until weary, is honest and wearisome. It leaves little room for getting into trouble. It also provides an income so that one need be not overly concerned about having enough for personal needs. Indeed, one might even discover he is in a position to benefit others.

Prayer: Lord God, give me honest labor that I may honor you in my vocation. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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Disciples of the Cross is a two-part Bible study addressing the topic of Christian discipleship from a uniquely Lutheran perspective. Part 1: Who We Are is an introduction to the theology of discipleship, laying the biblical groundwork for what it means to be called to live the life of faith as a follower of Jesus. Part 2: What We Do is an introduction to the practice of discipleship, using the Lord's Prayer to take us through key aspects of our life of faith as followers of Jesus.

The study may be used in conjunction with various discipleship programs and studies to highlight themes from the Lutheran tradition that are not often addressed in many discipleship materials. These include: a Theology of the Cross, the centrality of the Word and Sacrament, an understanding of the Means of Grace, and a recognition of the Christian as both "Saint and Sinner."

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