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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 48

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From the Word: 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off that I might be engrafted.” 20 True enough; they were broken off because of their unbelief, while you stand through faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. (Romans 11:19–20)

From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods before me.

Their error is this: that their trust is false and wrong because it is not established in the only God, besides whom there is no true God in heaven or on earth. Consequently, the heathen actually make an idol from their invented notions and dreams of God, putting their trust in a sum of nothing.

Pulling It Together

There is no greater idol, no hollower false god, than self. When we puff ourselves up with religious pride, we should remember that only emptiness may be inflated. We stand before God by faith in the grace of Christ alone, not by our religious ideas, our inventions of what one must do to be saved, our various echoing idols of nothingness. Trusting in any of these things is to have a god above the Lord, and breaks the greatest commandment. 

Prayer: Help me to trust in you alone, Lord God. Amen.

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