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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 76

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From the Word: So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up, And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased. (Acts 9:31)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Therefore, our young people should, above all things, have this commandment strongly enforced upon them. They should be trained to hold this and the First Commandment in high regard. Whenever they transgress, we must be after them at once with the rod, confronting them with the commandment, and constantly impressing it upon them, so as to bring them up not merely with discipline, but also in the fear and reverence of God.

Pulling It Together: Fear is a good thing. But we say that we do not want our children growing up, fearing the Lord. We want them to fear hot stoves, bad influences, and other harmful things, but not to fear taking the Lord’s name in vain, or to keep the Lord’s Day holy, let alone keeping the rest of the commandments. But this is what it is to fear God: to be mindful of keeping God’s statutes. In fact, keeping his commandments means we love him. Teaching our children to fear God does not mean they will grow up not loving and trusting him. In fact, the opposite is true. If you have a hard time wrapping your mind around this, consider children raised as hellions, and how they love their parents when they have become adults. Or consider the congregation without discipline, and without genuine, godly fear. Stand by; the rod will be taken them too, soon enough. 

Prayer: Make me a good neighbor to children, Lord. Amen.

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The season of Advent is not only a time of preparation for Christmas, it is a time to consider God's long-term plans and how God has promised that he will intervene in the lives of his people, and the world itself, on the coming Day of the Lord. Prophecy Fulfilled is a four week Bible Study about the Old Testament prophecies of our Lord's Advent, showing how these prophetic words were fulfilled not only in the coming of Christ over 2,000 years ago, but how they also point ahead to the return of Christ in his Second Coming.

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