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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 90

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From the Word: Therefore, my judgment is that we do not unnecessarily trouble those among the Gentiles who are turning to God. (Acts 15:19)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

Therefore, in its larger sense, this commandment does not concern us Christians. It is an altogether external matter, like other ordinances of the Old Testament that were attached to particular customs, persons, times, and places, but from which we have now been made free through Christ.

Pulling It Together: What is the aim of the gospel? That question will guide you in determining if something is a matter of the spirit or a religious observance. As regards the Third Commandment, can a member of the altar guild set up Holy Communion on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, or must it be done on Friday, and set upon the table for two days until Sunday morning? And so as to not offend those Christians who think of this commandment in terms of Sunday, the Lord’s Day, may they set out the elements on Sunday morning, or must it be done on Saturday so that no work is done on the Lord’s Day?

What do these concerns have to do with the gospel? The Lord’s Table is spread so that believers may receive his grace, not so that they have the opportunity to jump through religious hoops. What is the aim of the gospel? Let that question guide you.

Prayer: Focus me, Lord. Amen.

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