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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 99

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From the Word: 31 And he traveled to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbath day. 32 And they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority. (Luke 4:31–32)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Third Commandment

For the Word of God is the sanctuary above all sanctuaries, indeed, the only one that we Christians know and have. For though we had the bones of all the saints, or all holy and consecrated garments upon the pile, it would still not help us in any way. Those are dead things, unable to sanctify anyone. But God’s Word is the treasure which sanctifies everything, and by which even all the saints themselves were sanctified. At whatever hour God’s Word is taught, preached, heard, read or meditated upon, there the person, day, and work are sanctified, not because of the external work, but because of the Word, which makes saints of us all.

Pulling It Together: Everywhere Jesus traveled, he healed people, and fed them, but also taught them in the synagogues, as well as on the mountains and plains. Never once did he complain that all those people ever wanted out of him was his word. No, he lamented that they only came out to him to get their bellies filled (John 6:26). Are we not very much the same sort of people? We cry out, Lord, make us well, help us get better jobs, or move our bosses to give us raises, and things of this sort. But do we cry out, “Teach me!”? Do we ask him to open our minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45)? Do we long for every day to be a holy day, one in which we may read, and pray, and be taught by the Spirit of God? Oh, that God’s people would hunger for his Word. That is where they would find a sanctuary of grace and peace—not in the things of the world, or frankly, of religion.

Whom we elect to the oval office or the house or senate will not give us peace. Whom our congregations call as their next pastors will not provide sanctuary for our hearts. We must find our way to the Word, so that we sanctify the present day to ourselves. Let it begin this Lord’s Day, and continue on each successive holy day. For indeed, we should hear Christ Jesus through his Word every day, so that each day may be hallowed, and so that we may have Christ’s peace.

Prayer: Teach me, Lord. 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, that refer 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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