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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 14

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From the Word: 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we know and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:15–16)

From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Introduction

And what need is there of many words? If I were to recount all the benefit and bounty which God’s Word produces, where would I find enough paper and time? The devil is called the master of a thousand arts. But what shall we call God’s Word, which drives away and brings to nothing this master of a thousand arts with all his skills and power? God’s Word must indeed be the master of more than a hundred thousand arts.

Shall we frivolously despise such power, profit, potency, and produce — we, especially, who claim to be pastors and preachers? If so, we deserve no food, and to be driven out, chased away by dogs and pelted with dung. Not only do we need God’s Word every day as we need our daily bread, but must also daily use it against the daily and relentless attacks and traps of the devil with his many arts.

Pulling It Together: The Catechism is a short discourse, packed with God’s Word. In it, the law accuses us, yet as we read on, we are reminded of the gospel, of God’s great love for us in Jesus Christ. Through the Word in the Catechism, the Holy Spirit reminds us where we live, and who it is who lives in us who believe.

The Catechism tells the story of God’s love for sinners. For who can read or recite the Ten Commandments and not be told yet again what a great sinner he is? Who can pray the Lord’s Prayer and not be reminded he is an everyday sinner in need of God’s everlasting forgiveness? But then, who can thoughtfully read or say the Apostles Creed without comprehending God’s solution in Christ?

This is why we must feast daily in the Word, for we need it every day as much as we need our meals. By the latter, we may live another day, but in the former we find a benefit that lasts forever, that gives us life in an eternal day. For in the Word, we find that God loves sinners like you and me. We must be reminded of this every day. “If you, therefore, would proceed wisely, you cannot do better than to be interested in the Word and in God’s works. In them he has revealed himself, and in them he may be comprehended” (Martin Luther from a sermon for Trinity Sunday).

Prayer: Open my heart to your Word, Lord. Amen.

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