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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 73

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From the Word4 Be angry but do not sin. Consider your own heart upon your bed, and be grieved. Selah 5 Offer righteous sacrifices and trust in the Lord. (Psalm 4:4–5) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together

So, are Christians not expected to get angry? Of course, Christians get angry; but they are not supposed to be angry. Followers of Christ do not carry their anger with them day after day, nor are they to act on their anger in a way that wounds another, especially those “of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10). We should instead, “do good” (ibid.), but this presumes we have put our anger to bed. When we are angered, it is time to go somewhere quiet and meditate on our own hearts, so that we may remember that we too are sinners who annoy and even infuriate people, then turn our anger over to the Lord. We must fear, love, and trust God enough to offer him our rage before it consumes us. When we leave our anger on the pillow, we have sacrificed a private treasure and made a righteous offering.

Prayer: Lord, take my anger and replace it with your peace. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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Why Did Jesus Have to Die? is a six-week Bible Study that examines the most profound event of salvation history — the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the Atonement.


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