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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 104

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From the Word: For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

What does God declare concerning all these commandments?

He says: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5b-6)

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who violate these commandments. We should, therefore, fear his anger and in no way disobey them. But God promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. We should, therefore, love him, trust in him, and gladly keep his commandments.

Pulling It Together: God’s jealousy over us is ready to ignite. The word for fire in the Latin Vulgate is ignis, from which we get our English word “ignite.” The Lord’s wrath is ready to explode when we do not fear, love, and trust him. Therefore, we should fear him so that we are careful to please him. Yet, we should also love him and trust his love for us, so that even when we sin, we are confident of a loving Father who is ready to forgive us all our sins for Christ’s sake (1 John 1:9).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a believing heart, one that trusts in you for the forgiveness of all my sins. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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This volume in the series, "Old Places, New Faces," The General Epistles offers a series of 12 Bible studies based on Hebrews, James, I & II Peter, I, II, & III John, and Jude. The geographical locations of Biblical characters can symbolically refer to places we find ourselves with respect to our faith. As we become more acquainted with our spiritual geography, we will better discern where God would have us go or what changes we need to make in order to serve Him better.

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