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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 78

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From the Word: And why do you not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust, and you will seek me, but I will not be. (Job 7:21)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Besides this, you must also know how to use the name of God correctly. For when saying, “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain,” he would have us understand at the same time that his name is to be used properly. For it has been revealed and given to us for the very purpose of being of constant use and profit.

Pulling It Together: Jesus taught us in the Fifth Petition of his prayer to trust in God for forgiveness of our sins. Human nature reasons that our suffering is caused by God no longer loving us, and that there must be a reason for the loss of his care. We think it must be because of some unconfessed, or even unforgiven, sin. The Spirit of God comforts our spirits, helping us to believe that it is God’s will to (Third Petition) forgive (Fifth Petition) and that we may properly call upon the name of the Lord for forgiveness. Furthermore, we are to know that we are forgiven of all our sins (Third Article), through Christ.

Forgiveness does not alleviate human suffering. Yet, the promise of the Father’s pardon allows us better reason, the knowledge that God does take away our iniquity, and that at the end of our suffering, when we are laid in the dust, he will indeed see us, for we will be when we are raised on that last day (Job 19:25–27).

Prayer: Place in my heart a love of your name, that I may use it as you intend. Amen.

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