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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 45

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From the Word: He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for each of us, how will he not also graciously give us — along with him — all things? (Romans 8:32)

From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods before me.

So, you can easily understand what and how much this commandment requires, namely, that one’s entire heart and confidence be placed in God alone, and in no one else. For to have God, you can certainly see, is not to lay hold of him with our hands or to put him into a purse or lock him in a chest. To apprehend God is when the heart lays hold of him and clings to him. Clinging to God with the heart is nothing more than to trust in him entirely. For this reason, he wishes to turn us away from everything else that exists outside of him, and to draw us to himself because he is the only eternal good. It is as though he would say, Whatever you sought before from the saints, or however you have trusted in mammon or anything else, expect it all from me. Regard me as the one who will help you and pour out upon you richly all good things.

Pulling It Together: We should, without any difficulty, be able to expect from God alone all good things, for he has given us the greatest gift already. He has provided for us forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life through his Son. Since the Father has bestowed on us the best of all gifts through his Son, how could we not expect from him every other good? He is our Father, and a loving Father as well.

Would you go next door and ask the head of that household for something that your own father could and would provide? It would be incredibly rude, perhaps to your neighbor, but especially to your own parent. You have laid hold of the most giving Father, through faith in the loving grace of God. You may trust him for all temporal needs, since he has already provided that which is the only eternal good. The First Commandment requires such trust.

Prayer: Thank you for all of your loving gifts, Father, but especially for the gift of your Son. Amen.

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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).

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