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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 160

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From the Word: 5b To him who loves us—freeing us from our sins by his blood— 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be the glory and the dominion from everlasting to forever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5b–6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Petition

Thy kingdom come.

What does this mean?

The kingdom of God comes indeed by itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.

How is this done?

God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life now and in eternity.

Pulling It Together: We have no beasts to sacrifice, yet we are priests to our God. We have no temple where the people come to our services, for we are all priests to our God. We have no special, ornate garments, as in baptism we have been clothed in Christ (Gal 3:27), our robes whitened in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14). The duty of the old priestly system has been fulfilled in Christ. He is our great High Priest (Heb 4:14), his body and blood the fully sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (Heb 10:12). So, how is it that we are priests? What does this priestly role have us do?

Luther said that what we do have is God's Word, the Word that assures us of two things: that Christ Jesus is our High Priest, our Lord who sits in glory and dominion, and that we are, by this same Word, priests before God. But what are we to offer? Sacrifices? Deeds? Religious devotion? No, our offering is always the fear, love, and trust of God that manifests itself in faith. Our faith is what we give to the Father; it is all he desires. There are many things that flow from such God-fearing faith—the sacrifices of praise and prayer, good works, and worship—but faith is the priestly duty of Christians. When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we are asking that his kingdom come to us, and it does, by God’s grace through faith.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may your kingdom come in the hearts of those we love. Amen.

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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.

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