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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 132

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From the Word: 9 Therefore God has also highly exalted him, and conferred on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9–11)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: In reference to yesterday’s lesson on Christ Jesus preaching to those spirits in prison, many people want to know who these spirits are and what this prison is exactly. It is enough to know the universality of Christ’s sovereignty. There is no place he cannot or will not go to preach the gospel. There is no one in any place who should not bow the knee and profess his lordship. His preaching and journey to both Hades and Hell should not cause us to wonder about these places and their inhabitants overly much. Instead, we should take note that these reflections must profoundly redirect our thoughts to the fundamental nature of his mission. Christ Jesus came to earth as God and man to destroy death by dying and rising, and to destroy sin by taking upon himself the sins of the world.

“It is enough if we know that Christ descended into hell, destroyed hell for all believers, and delivered them from the power of death and of the devil, from eternal condemnation and the jaws of hell. We will save our questions (and not curiously investigate) about how this happened until the other world. Then not only this mystery, but others also will be revealed that we simply believe here and cannot grasp with our blind reason” (Formula of Concord, Ep IX 4).

Prayer: O King of kings, I bow to you and confess that you are Lord of all, and so, Lord of me. Amen.

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Luther's Small Cat Discovers: The Seasons of the Church Year is written for 4th grade level students. This book takes students through the church year, accompanied by Luther’s Small Cat — a character who is just as inquisitive and precocious as the students. May your journey through the church year bring you closer to Christ, who walks through each moment of life alongside you.


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