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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 44

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From the Word: 26 Similarly, the Spirit helps our incapacity. For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with indescribable groanings. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26–27)

From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods before me.

Besides, consider what we were blindly doing under the papacy. If anyone had a toothache, he fasted and honored St. Apollonia, If he feared fire, he chose St. Lawrence as his patron. If he dreaded pestilence, he made a vow to St. Sebastian or Rochio. There are a countless number of such abominations, where everyone selected his own saint, worshiped him, and called for help to him in distress. This is the same class of idolatry as those who make a pact with the devil, so that he might give them plenty of money or help them in love affairs, preserve their cattle, restore lost possessions, etc., as magicians and sorcerers do. They place their heart and trust elsewhere than in the true God, neither expecting nor seeking anything good from him.

Pulling It Together: Where does your help come from; from whom should you expect any assistance? To place your hope and trust in anyone but God is idolatry. A modern version of this kind of fanatical worship has arisen in our times. We see people beseeching their false gods of government, expecting politicians to provide for them all they need.

But God already knows our needs, even when we do not know them ourselves, or even how to ask of him. His own Spirit mediates for us. Best of all, the Holy Spirit intervenes on our behalf according to God’s will, so that we may trust in him for all good and every needful thing.

Prayer: Help me trust in you, good Lord, for all good things. Amen.

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Disciples of the Cross is a two-part Bible study addressing the topic of Christian discipleship from a uniquely Lutheran perspective. Part 1, Who We Are, is an introduction to the theology of discipleship, laying the biblical groundwork for what it means to be called to live the life of faith as a follower of Jesus. Part 2, What We Do, is an introduction to the practice of discipleship, using the Lord's Prayer to take us through key aspects of our life of faith as followers of Jesus.

The study may be used in conjunction with various discipleship programs and studies to highlight themes from the Lutheran tradition that are not often addressed in many discipleship materials. These include: a Theology of the Cross, the centrality of the Word and Sacrament, an understanding of the Means of Grace, and a recognition of the Christian as both "Saint and Sinner."

• Part 1 Participant's Workbook  • Part 1 Leader's Guide

• Part 2 Participant's Workbook  • Part 2 Leader's Guide

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