From the Word: 1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as an apostle, detached to the gospel of God, 2 which he promised through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 who was defined as the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience of faith in all the nations, for his name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are called Jesus Christ’s. (Romans 1:1–6)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Preface
When these three parts are comprehended, it is a person’s duty to also to know what to say about our Sacraments, which Christ himself instituted: Baptism and the holy Body and Blood of Christ, specifically in the texts that Matthew and Mark record at the close of their Gospels, when Christ said farewell to his disciples and sent them forward (Matt 28:19–20; Mark 16:15–16).
Pulling It Together: Why do we teach this condensed summary of the Holy Bible? We do so because Christ Jesus said, “Go” (Matt 28:19). Jesus tells his church to make disciples by baptizing them in the name of God and teaching them to obey his commandments (Matt 28:20). This gracious calling is to bring about the obedience of faith throughout the world. Submission to God in faith means that we try to obey his commands but, day by day, we depend upon his faithfulness to us, not our ability to be faithful to him. We try to honor our parents and love all our neighbors, but when we do not — for invariably, we will fail to do so, despite our best intentions (Rom 7:15) — we remember that we were baptized into the death of Christ at the font, and are further reminded of that promise of life at the table.
The conclusion of The Commandments is the forgiveness of a loving God. The point of The Prayer is that we may speak with a loving Father. The harmony of The Creed is that we know to whom we pray, and therefore, may depend upon his promises. And the point of the Sacraments is that we do indeed, have very gracious promises. We go with these teachings into all the world, beginning in our own backyard (Acts 1:8), to usher in the obedience of faith.
Prayer: Make of me a faithful priest in your kingdom, Lord. Amen.
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