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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 144

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From the Word: And I give them eternal life, and they shall never die, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

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: Jesus made a promise (1 John 2:25) to all people that he would give eternal life to whomever would believe in him (John 11:25–26). We who confess the Apostles’ Creed believe in Christ Jesus, and all he has done for the world. And so, we believe in the resurrection too, but more: that he is the resurrection and the life. There is no life, no everlasting life, without Jesus, without believing in him (John 3:18). No one goes to the Father except through Christ—what he has accomplished, trust in that, faith in him (John 14:6). Jesus has achieved this victory over sin and death, and he has done this for you. Believe his promise.

Prayer: I believe, Lord Jesus, in you. Amen.

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