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From the Word: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the gospel is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Introduction
Indeed, even among the nobility some loudmouths and misers declare that we no longer need either pastors or preachers, that we have everything in books and can easily learn it by ourselves. So, they are content to let the parishes decay and become desolate, and pastors and preachers to suffer distress and hunger, just as it becomes crazy Germans to do. We have such disgraceful people among us, and must endure them.
Pulling It Together: There are plenty of know-it-alls out there. They have all the answers for you, and are happy to let you know what they call “truth.” Sadly, some of these gasbags are in our congregations. Who do we listen to; who has the final word? Neither the loudmouthed laymen or the blowhard pastor has the final say. What is written? There is your final word.
It is, therefore, appropriate and beneficial for both to begin their days with Scripture in the right hand, and the Catechism in the left. Then we windbags will discover that we are all sinners, in need of God’s grace. If we say we are not the ones sinning, it is that other guy, then we are lying to ourselves. Furthermore, the truth, the gospel, is not at work in us.
So, we must be sure to begin and end our days with the Bible — and return to it in our minds throughout the day. Without God’s Word, we are left with our own word. And we are lost.
Prayer: Give me the courage to hear you, Lord, and obey. Amen.
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