From the Word: 15 We are Jews by nature, and not from Gentile sinners. 16 Yet, knowing that a person is not justified from works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed on Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, for no flesh will be justified by works of the law. (Galatians 2:15–16)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Preface
I remember the time — indeed, even now, it is a daily occurrence — when there were rude, old people who knew nothing and still know nothing of these things, but who, nevertheless, go to Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and use everything belonging to Christians. Yet, it is they who come to the Lord’s Supper who should know more and have a fuller understanding of all Christian doctrine than children and new disciples.
Pulling It Together: There are those who are members of a church, yet not members of the Church of Christ, Christ’s body. Perhaps they were raised in the church or had a moment when they thought joining would be a good idea. I have known people who were church members because it was good for business. They lack the understanding of faith but take part in all the mysteries of the church. They go through the motions of religion, as though that makes some difference. It does not. Faith is crucial. This is why the Catechism — at least — is so vital. Members of the body of Christ know what they believe; they understand that they are saved, not by the duties of religion, but through faith in Jesus Christ. Then the duties come genuinely and joyfully.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for justifying me through your Son. Amen.
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Portraits of Jesus is a nine-session Bible study that explores the "I AM" statements given to us by Jesus himself. In comparing Jesus' words with related Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments, the study provides a well-rounded look at the center of our faith in Christ.