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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 21

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From the Word: 7 Sidestep profane and superstitious tales. Instead, train yourself toward godliness. 8 For physical exercise is a little useful, but godliness is beneficial for everything, having promise for this life and for that which is to come. (1 Timothy 4:7–8)

From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Introduction

Therefore, I again implore all Christians, especially pastors and preachers, not to be doctors too soon, imagining that they know everything. For unshrunk cloth falls short of the measure. Exercise yourselves daily in these studies and practice them constantly, so that you guard yourselves carefully and diligently against the poisonous infection of self-security and vain imagination. Keep on reading, teaching, learning, pondering, and meditating, and do so steadily. Do not stop until you are proven, and are certain that you have taught the devil to death, and have become more learned than God himself and all his saints.

Pulling It Together: When I was in elementary school, I was always the fastest kid in my class. Although sometimes, Melony or Raymond gave me a run for my money. Mrs. Allen, our fourth grade teacher, tested us throughout the year to determine the swiftest. By the eighth grade, I still imagined myself fleet of foot, so when I heard that David was on the track team, I laughed. When he challenged me to a race, I easily agreed. When I found out it was to be four laps around the school track — one mile — it gave me pause. I was good on the 50-yards, or even 100, but 1,760 yards?

David left me in the dust. He did so because he had been training, while I had been resting on what had always come naturally. I vainly imagined I was faster than he was because I once had been; but times change, and so do people. David disciplined himself; I did not.

It is, of course, the same with Christians. Do you think that because you were confirmed, you now know it all, or have already run the race and won the prize (1 Cor 9:24–27)? There are probably confirmands in your church who know more of the Bible than you, who are more spiritually aware than me. We must be diligent, like David, training every day in the mysterious race of godliness (1 Tim 3:16).

Prayer: Take me to your track, Lord, and train me. Amen.

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As the subtitle indicates, this Bible study was written for mature Christians. Consider the Years, by the Rev. Brad Hales, bears in mind the unique perspective of those who have seen many years in their relationship with God and may wonder how faith can speak anew to their daily lives. The study offers 13 brief sessions on issues seniors must navigate, emphasizing how God's Word can bring strength and comfort in the unknown.

This study has been printed in a larger type-face than other Sola Bible studies. The questions offered for discussion focus on Scripture texts that address some particular concerns of older Christians.

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