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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 66

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From the Word: Jesus answered, “Very truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he is unable to see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

As the First Commandment has instructed the heart and taught us faith, this commandment leads us outwardly and directs the lips and tongue to God. The first things that flow from the heart and manifest themselves are words. Now, as I have taught above how to answer the question, what it is to have a god, you must learn to comprehend simply the meaning of this, and of all the commandments, and to apply it to yourself.

Pulling It Together: The keeping of the commandments, so far as it depends upon us, begins with controlling the tongue. The Apostle James said that the tongue is a restless evil (James 3:8), so we must try to give it a rest. Nonetheless, no one can control the tongue. Controlling this seemingly small thing is really a work of the Spirit within our own spirits. Control of our words begins with being born again. Even then, as we try to tame the tongue, we will fail, and must go back the First Commandment, believing God to be a loving and forgiving Father. In our efforts to domesticate the tongue, we are learning to depend upon God above all else, including our efforts at righteousness.  

Prayer: Take possession of my mouth, Holy Spirit, that I may speak words pleasing to you today. Amen.

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