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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 83

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From the Word11 Likewise, you know the occasion, that the moment has arrived for you to arise from sleep; for salvation is now nearer to us than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is advancing, so let us cast away the deeds of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk appropriately, as in the day—not in partying and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and indulgence, not in bitterness and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no consideration for the flesh, for its evil cravings. (Romans 13:11–14)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

Pulling It Together

We tend to consider the Sixth Commandment only in terms of sex. Yet, unfaithfulness to one’s spouse—whether human or divine—begins in the heart. It then, spreads to the lips and only afterwards, to the whole body. Both Paul and Luther teach us that appropriate Christian character goes beyond fleshly considerations: to words, and ultimately, to the heart. These follow the course of Jesus’ teaching, that evil intentions spring from the heart and find expression in the outward parts (Mark 7:14-23). So, the Small Catechism rightly urges chastity in terms of love, not merely sex, and in right words and actions, not simply sexual immorality. Faithfulness is a heart matter that unless armored by a right fear and the bright love of God, will end in the darkest deeds of human behavior.

Prayer: Remind me throughout this day, Holy Spirit, that I have put on the nature of Christ Jesus through baptism; and help me walk in that newness of life. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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Views of Baptism is written for a range of readers including the parent or sponsor about to baptize a child, the adult who wants to understand baptism more fully, and the professional teacher or preacher who needs the truth about baptism stated simply but backed by careful research. This books explores three views of baptism: the individual-centered view, the means-of-grace view, and the Roman Catholic view. It includes a description of how Christian baptism came to us in stages from its Jewish roots. A question and answer section addresses specific matters often raised when people contemplate baptism.


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