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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 142

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From the Word: You keep in perfect peace the mind established because of trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.)

If we allowed ourselves to be persuaded that these works are pleasing to God and have so rich a reward, we would be inundated with blessings, and have what our hearts desire. But God’s word and command are lightly esteemed, as though some babbler had spoken. Let us see whether you are the person to challenge him. How difficult do you think it will be for him to reward you? You will fare much better with divine favor, peace, and happiness than with his displeasure and with disaster.

Pulling It Together: Let us be clear; Luther is not saying that God rewards our works and obedience with salvation. God grants salvation through faith in his grace alone (Eph 2:8–9). However, there are rewards in this life for our obedience. Instead of trusting God though, we try to create our own rewards. We skirt around actually honoring our parents and otherwise obeying God. Instead of obeying him, we do things we think will get us riches and easy life. This kind of reasoning asserts that we are wiser than our Father. In contrast, the person of faith fully trusts God for all good will have a firm mind, one at peace with God, and content with little or much (Phil 4:12).

Prayer: I trust you, Lord; help me to trust you still more. Amen.

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