From the Word: And the dragon was infuriated with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her offspring, those who keep the commandments of God, and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood upon the beach of the sea. (Revelation 12:17)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The Fourth Commandment
Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.)
Therefore, let us learn at last, for God’s sake, to teach our young to put all other things out of sight, observing first this commandment. If they wish to serve God with truly good works, they must do what is pleasing to their fathers and mothers, or to those to whom they are subject in their place. Every child who knows and does this has, in the first place, this great consolation in his heart, that he may joyfully say: “Behold, this work is well pleasing to my God in heaven; this I know for certain.”
Pulling It Together: It is not easy to be a child. Nor is it easy to be followers of Christ, his church. One may, at first, imagine the difficulty lies in keeping the commandments—for who can do so with the slightest measure of perfection? No, the trouble here is that the devil makes war against those who keep the commandments, on those who believe in the Son. That old dragon tried to conquer him, but failed miserably. In his outrage, he strikes out through the millennia at the next, most likely target: the church. They too will conquer the dragon, not by their own powers but “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Rev 12:11). And all the while, those Christ followers, the children of the church, will return again and again to the commandments and to their great confession (Matt 16:16), knowing his peace in their hearts because, through it all, they have kept his commandment (1 John 3:23). They have believed in him and loved one another. And where did they learn to do so but at home, whether in the family home or in the quarters of the church itself?
Prayer: Prepare me for the battle, Lord. Amen.
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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, presented in a question and discussion format. The Leader's Guide that accompanies this study is a resource for those facilitating group discussion, or may serve as a reader's commentary for those who are studying the Book of Concord on their own.