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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 143

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From the Word: 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who by the force that enables him to subdue all things to himself, will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20–21)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: We believe that God will raise our earthly bodies, just as Jesus was resurrected. Our humble bodies will be transformed to be like Christ’s in glory. We do not know what that will look like, nor should we care to speculate. All we know—and this is of paramount importance—is that these glorified bodies will usher us into the presence of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enabling us by the power at work in Christ Jesus to enjoy their blessed communion forever.

Prayer: I am excited for your return, O Lord. Amen.

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The Cross and the Crown is an eight session study in Lutheran Basics, using the word "sola" to get the big picture right: that salvation is all God's doing.


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