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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 81

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From the Word: 31 So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

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

If one party swears falsely, his sentence is that he will not escape punishment. Though it may be deferred a long time, he will not succeed. All that he might gain from perjury will slip out of his hands, and never be enjoyed. I have seen this in cases of those who lied in their marriage vows, never having a happy hour or a healthful day, until they perished miserably in body, soul, and possessions.

Pulling It Together: The disciples of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26b). Some say that this means “little Christs.” If so—if Christians are those who would imitate him—their lying would immediately bring dishonor to the name of the God whom they follow. After all, their words and actions are to be spoken and done in his name. Now, we would be telling the truth indeed if we testified that Christians sometimes lie, especially if we are testifying about ourselves. So, what is a “little Christ,” a Christ imitator, to do?

Being a Christian does not mean you are perfect, that you keep the commandments without failure. It does, however, mean that when you have failed in commandments two through ten, you return to the First Commandment. You admit that God is God, that neither you nor your sin is greater than he is, and then, you continue in his word. By still believing in him, despite yourself, and trusting in his promises, you demonstrate—at least to yourself—that you are truly Christ’s disciple. Understanding this simple truth can set you free from the guilt of Satan’s accusations. Abiding in that truth who is the Truth will set you free, not only from guilt, but from sin and death and the devil to boot. For the Truth is greater than all your lies.  

Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me to continue in your word. Amen.

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Teach Us to Pray is an eight lesson curriculum based around Luther's Small Catechism.  Each lesson has a Bible study connected to the article of the Lord's Prayer covered. A section entitled "About Prayer"  teaches students helpful items about a solid prayer life and a prayer assignment for the coming week.  A major goal of this material is to help kids experience prayer and practice it in a variety of ways. This book could be used as part of a larger Confirmation series, or as a "pre-confirmation" Sunday School series for Jr. High and Middle School youth.

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