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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 174

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From the Word: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and moved us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13–14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not hold our sins against us and deny our prayers because of them. We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. And so we, too, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Pulling It Together: Where I come from, it is illegal for drivers to make a turn without signaling. You may receive a ticket for failing to turn on that blinker. That is not the case where I now live. In this state, there are different laws. If you do not signal a turn here, except in some specific situations, you are not breaking the law.

Where we all came from, that dominion of the devil, everything we did was wrong. By God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, we have been emigrated from that dark place to a kingdom of light where the laws are quite different. Here, the Magistrate says, “Oh, yes, I saw that you failed to do that; don’t you agree?” We respond, “I confess it is true, and am very sorry.” Then the Justice says, “All is well!”

How can it be? We live in a different land now—a land where there is redemption and forgiveness of sins.

Prayer: Thank you, Father God, for the forgiveness of sins you have granted through your beloved Son. Amen.

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