The Small Catechism – part 154

Scripture Text: Zechariah 14:5b–7

On the last day, the Lord will return. These lengthening days of darkness will be no more, for the Lamb will be our light. We will have no concern for the heat of day, or cold, nor any interest in weather at all.

The Small Catechism – part 153

Scripture Text: Ephesians 1:15–18

Oh, the wonder of faith in Jesus Christ! It is faith in God that makes a saint, and saints make the church, which has the Lord Jesus Christ as her Head.

The Small Catechism – part 152

Scripture Text: Ephesians 1:7

Within the communion of the Christian church there is the true faith that receives the free gift of Christ Jesus. There, in that Body, the Head forgives; and he forgives abundantly, as there is full redemption in his blood.

The Small Catechism – part 151

Scripture Text: Luke 18:35–43

We may think of this calling of the Spirit as a solitary affair, as though the Spirit says, “You there, come and follow Christ.” And so he does call each one of us, but we follow Christ together.

The Small Catechism – part 150

Scripture Text: Luke 18:18–22

Jesus still calls. He beckons us to come to him from out of the darkness. Jesus calls us from the darkness of dependence upon anything but himself.

Reflections on the Reformers

Scripture Text: Ezekiel 37:1–14

C. S. Lewis reminds us, “The Church will outlive the universe.” (The Weight of Glory) One day, when days are no longer counted, every member of the Body will be called together and joined with the Head of the Body who is Christ.

The Small Catechism – part 149

Scripture Text: Psalm 107:28–30

If you have ever been on a boat in a bad storm, you know the helplessness of the situation. The closest many of us have come to this nautical nightmare is driving down an Interstate highway when a blinding rainstorm seems to come out of nowhere.

Reflections on Writings of the Reformers

Scripture Text: Romans 4:13-25

The great heresy today is one shared long ago by Pelagius. That Celtic theologian, fueled perhaps by an excessively strong Irish individualism, relied not on the sacrifice or resurrection of Jesus but...

The Small Catechism – part 148

Scripture Text: Psalm 105:1–5

Do not give up hope about the church. God’s Spirit is still calling, gathering, enlightening, and sanctifying his people. In doing so, he unites the whole Christian church on earth with Christ.

The Small Catechism – part 147

Scripture Text: Revelation 8:1–5

Frightful things are looming. Judgment is coming. “But rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Though God’s judgment on each person is approaching, there is hope for those who believe in Christ.

The Small Catechism – part 146

Scripture Text: Revelation 7:13–14

The Holy Spirit sanctifies me; I do not sanctify myself. He consecrates me by giving me what I need for what he expects of me, and by forgiving me every moment of the day for my various sins...

The Small Catechism – part 145

Scripture Text: Matthew 16:16–17

I do not believe in God by way of my reason, decision, determination, or strength. I come to God through God. It would be quite impossible to come to God by way of my own understanding.

The Small Catechism – part 144

Scripture Text: John 10:28

Jesus made a promise to all people that he would give eternal life to whomever would believe in him. We who confess the Apostles’ Creed believe in Christ Jesus.

The Small Catechism – part 143

Scripture Text: Philippians 3:20–21

We believe that God will raise our earthly bodies, just as Jesus was resurrected. Our humble bodies will be transformed to be like Christ’s in glory.

“The Forgiveness of Sin”

Scripture Text: 1 John 1:5–10

The forgiveness of sins is available because we admit our condition, the need of a Savior, and the truth that the Father sent his Son into the world to accomplish this very thing once and for all (Heb 10:10).

The Small Catechism – part 142

Scripture Text: 1 John 2:12

We believe in the forgiveness of sins. Pardon does not come by once being forgiven and then no longer sinning. The forgiveness of sins comes to us for his name’s sake, in other words, through the name of Christ.

The Small Catechism – part 141

Scripture Text: Hebrews 10:24–25

“I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian,” he told me. Then he added, “The Bible doesn’t say I have to go to church.” I was so informed by a police officer in the process of a raid on a house.

The Small Catechism – part 140

Scripture Text: Galatians 6:14–16

What is this holy catholic church? Let us look to the defining words; and let us do so in reverse order, allowing the descriptive words to address the direct object. What is the church?

Throwback Thursday

Scripture Text: Ephesians 1:1–14

Christians believe that the Lord our God is one God yet three persons, or Trinity. We have named the first two persons of the Trinity who is God.

The Small Catechism – part 139

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 12:3

If we agree with Luther’s teaching on the third article of the Creed, we are acknowledging that we cannot climb our way to God. We are conceding that we cannot even believe in God without the Holy Spirit’s assistance.

The Small Catechism – part 138

Scripture Text: John 15:26

Jesus did not leave his disciples alone when he ascended. Nor are we alone today; he has given us the same Spirit, his own Spirit, “the Spirit of Christ.”

The Small Catechism – part 137

Scripture Text: Acts 16:30b–31

We come now to Luther’s teaching on what good it is to know this second article of the Apostles’ Creed. These benefits include the confident hope of redemption, freedom, inclusion, eternal life.

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