The Small Catechism – part 85

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:1–3

Paul teaches us to disregard the false teachers in our lives, those who would hold any religious thing, any material or earthly thing, over our heads.

The Small Catechism – part 84

Scripture Text: Colossians 2:11–13

It is helpful to remember that you are baptized. In Christian baptism, Christ removed your sin, though that old nature would still rear its evil head in this life.

The Small Catechism – part 83

Scripture Text: Romans 13:11–14

We tend to consider the Sixth Commandment only in terms of sex. Yet, unfaithfulness to one’s spouse—whether human or divine—begins in the heart.

The Small Catechism – part 82

Scripture Text: Matthew 19:4–6

The Song of Solomon has many beautiful images, perhaps none so striking as Song of Solomon 2:4. “He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (Song 2:4 NASB).

The Small Catechism – part 81

Scripture Text: Matthew 5:27–28

Breaking the marriage covenant is not simply a physical matter. Adultery begins in the heart, with lust and intention or will. Jesus teaches us that it is possible to commit adultery mentally, in the deepest way: in the heart, as we say.

The Small Catechism – part 80

Scripture Text: Hebrews 13:4

It is vital that Christians honor the marriage bed, especially when culture plays fast and loose with the Sixth Commandment. We must make it an emphasis because our consciences are impaired...

The Small Catechism – part 79

Scripture Text: Ephesians 5:1–5

The sexually immoral person is an idol worshiper. The one who covets a neighbor’s spouse or anything else in that person’s household, is essentially, as the King James Version puts it, a whoremonger...

The Small Catechism – part 78

Scripture Text: Psalm 41:10–11

It has always been easy to have a polluted heart; indeed, we are born with such hearts, and are bent on folly. Consider David, who from a rooftop, looked upon Bathsheba with evil in his heart.

The Small Catechism – part 77

Scripture Text: Genesis 2:18–24

The Sixth Commandment is worded in the negative, but we readily perceive that “thou shalt not” (Exod 20:14 KJV) implies we must also do something.

The Small Catechism – part 76

Scripture Text: Philippians 4:6–7

We live in a time that is sometimes lamented as a post-Christian era in the United States. Complaints range from social media shutting out anything Christian, to the public square no longer allowing the church a voice.

The Small Catechism – part 75

Scripture Text: Matthew 5:5

The temptation is to lash out, to retaliate, to pay back. But that is not Jesus’ way, though he was tempted. When he was criticized and even beaten, Jesus could have called down legions of angels...

The Small Catechism – part 74

Scripture Text: Matthew 5:23–24

The greatest need our neighbors have, whether they know it or not, is emotional. We must not cause them any anguish, as it is ongoing, causing stress that mounts on stress, a daily trauma to be withstood.

The Small Catechism – part 73

Scripture Text: Psalm 4:4–5

Followers of Christ do not carry their anger with them day after day, nor are they to act on their anger in a way that wounds another, especially those “of the household of faith.”

The Small Catechism – part 72

Scripture Text: Matthew 5:21–22

In case you think Luther takes his explanation of the Fifth Commandment too far, consider Jesus. The catechism explains not killing in terms of fighting and of being a caring friend to our neighbors.

The Small Catechism – part 71

Scripture Text: Romans 12:20–21

The motivation for taking care of our neighbor, including our enemies, is the fear and love of God. We help others because we understand our own need of assistance.

The Small Catechism – part 70

Scripture Text: Isaiah 58:6–7

The faith is not about religious practice alone; it is not even just about God. Our devotion to God is most keenly observed, not in our worship and service, as much as God cherishes these acts, but in the love of our neighbor.

The Small Catechism – part 69

Scripture Text: Matthew 15:18–19

A mountain seems to stand steadfastly—until the plates far beneath the surface shift. Not murdering someone seems simpler to pull off than not saying something nasty.

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