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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 45

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1 Corinthians 1:21

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise his Word and the preaching of it, but acknowledge it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

Pulling It Together: “God’s Word is the treasure that makes everything holy. Through it, all the saints have been made holy. God’s Word, at whatever time it is taught, preached, heard, read, or pondered, hallows there and then the person, the day, the work—not because of the external act but on account of the Word that makes us all saints” (The Large Catechism, The Third Commandment, Martin Luther).

It is the Word of God received in faith that makes one holy. The preaching of that Word is vital, whether it is a lector reading the Word aloud, a pastor proclaiming it from a pulpit, or the Holy Spirit speaking through a printed Bible or app. To be sure, the Spirit must be involved in the preaching. Inasmuch, we see that there are two things central to gospel preaching: God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Saving faith will not happen without both. You may read the Bible under the power of your own reason all day and gain nothing without the Spirit. You may listen to preaching Sunday after Sunday, and hear nothing salvific without the work of the Holy Spirit.

This is why we are to honor the Word and its preaching: through that holy Word of God, God make’s holy those who believe—whether on Saturday or Sunday or any other day of the week.  

Prayer: Speak, Lord, for I am listening in your Word. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is an advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.

Part 1  • Pt 1 Leader's Guide  • Part 2  • Pt 2 Leader's Guide

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