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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 68

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From the Word: 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 For his disciples were gone away into the city to buy food. 9 So, the Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her and said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:7–10)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

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

Everyone can easily conclude from this when and in how many ways God’s name is misused, though it is impossible to enumerate all its abuses. To tell it in a few words, misuse of the divine name is prevalent, first, in worldly business and in matters that concern money, possessions, and honor, whether publicly in court, the market, or wherever else people make false oaths in God’s name, or pledge their souls in any matter. This is especially widespread in marital affairs, where two people go and secretly consent to marry, and afterward disavow their oaths.

Pulling It Together: See how near the Samaritan woman was to missing the grace of God. Old wounds and deep pride kept her from speaking the truth. This happens so often when people feel cornered, when the truth is near enough to unravel the past. It is best to keep one’s promises and then, not need to worry about hiding the past. Of course, that being rarely accomplished, one’s only recourse is to ask for living water: for mercy and forgiveness and peace.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your great gifts that are mine in Christ despite my past. Amen.

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Saints and Sinners, Witnesses to the Faith, is the first in a three-volume series on saints and sinners in the New Testament who were powerful witnesses to faith in Christ. May this study of saints and sinners enrich your understanding of life with Christ and encourage you in discipleship.

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