The Small Catechism – part 194

Scripture Text: Hebrews 10:17–18

Baptism is something God does to and for us. It is not our offering to God, as though God is a theatergoer soothed by our performance. It is not something we do in order to appease God.

Reflections on the Reformers

Scripture Text: Luke 9:28–36

It is clear that the three disciples had yet to full awaken spiritually since they seemed to credit all three who appeared in glory as equal.

The Small Catechism – part 193

Scripture Text: Genesis 17:11

The promise of God is for all people. Circumcision was a signal that there is something greater than the shedding of human blood. We are meant to look to something far greater.

The Small Catechism – part 192

Scripture Text: Hebrews 9:15

All our sins are drowned in Christian baptism, for the “old man” was buried with Christ in his death (Rom 6:3). At first blush, this hardly seems fair.

Reflections on the Reformers

Scripture Text: John 20:19-31

“I don’t believe it!” This is a common enough saying but in connection with the Lord’s promises, one is aghast that someone would doubt—especially one of the Apostles.

Reflections on the Reformers

Scripture Text: Acts 10:34-43

Go ahead; try to read it again. Do not skim over it; read it aloud; struggle to pronounce the words and their meaning will come to you (especially of you have spent much time in the King James Bible, for it owes much to Wyclif’s text).

The Small Catechism – part 191

Scripture Text: Genesis 15:6

Do we give up in our praying? Or do we persist and see the Lord’s will displayed in power and glory? Abram prayed and prayed, his petitions buttressed by Sarai’s pleas to the Lord for a child.

The Small Catechism – part 190

Scripture Text: John 4:50

“Thy will be done.” We may pray this, meaning, “Please, Lord, do my will. Make my will your own.” Instead, our weekly, if not daily, prayer must also be a confession to ourselves that it is God’s will that must be done.

The Small Catechism – part 189

Scripture Text: Hebrews 7:1–3

God has made believers a kingdom of priests (Isa 61:6; Exod 19:6; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6). Priests are the ones who receive the tithe from subordinates, as Melchizedek did from Abraham.

The Small Catechism – part 188

Scripture Text: Hebrews 6:13

Who has commanded us to pray in the manner of the Lord’s Prayer than God himself? And whose name, whose reputation, is higher than God’s. No one’s name is greater, so we may pray with confidence.

“Resurrection of the Body”

Scripture Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

Christ has redeemed everything we might consider corrupt, so the flesh, though it undergo decay or be consumed by fire, will be raised by the power of God.

Concerning the Church

Scripture Text: Romans 13:1-7

It is important for us to distinguish between the two kingdoms—the kingdom of God and worldly kingdoms. Both Church and State are under God’s authority but they serve different ends.

Concerning the Church

Scripture Text: Matthew 28:18-20

Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions urge us to be not only wary of false teachers and ministers, but to have nothing to do with them.

The Small Catechism – part 187

Scripture Text: Hebrews 3:12

Is there anything more evil than the human heart? “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

The Small Catechism – part 185

Scripture Text: Genesis 4:7

Sin is lurking in our doorways every day. Therefore, we must be certain it does not to rule over us. The idea here is not that Cain, and we too, somehow work hard enough to stop sinning.

The Small Catechism – part 184

Scripture Text: Hebrews 5:9–10

Jesus, sinless and therefore perfect in our minds, was nevertheless perfected through his suffering on the cross. Because of this perfecting, God designated his Son as our great High Priest.

The Small Catechism – part 183

Scripture Text: John 1:16

Life, and with it rescue from all evil, comes through the Living Word. Everlasting life comes only through him who is the life and light of humanity, when each person receives him by believing in him.

The Small Catechism – part 182

Scripture Text: Jeremiah 23:6

Do not be tempted to believe the claims others make about what you need to do in order to be saved. Instead, hang on with faith in what Christ did for you.

The Small Catechism – part 181

Scripture Text: Colossians 1:27

Temptations come in different forms. Typically, we think of them as being interior, compulsions of the mind or heart. But temptations are exterior as well, sometimes coming from the persuasive speeches of false preachers, or even friends and family.

The Small Catechism – part 180

Scripture Text: Colossians 1:21–23

How are we to be protected from the devil, or from the world, or even from our own corrupt nature? Can we provide our own protection? Are we able to purchase it with our deeds or those of someone else with the same debased disposition?

The Small Catechism – part 179

Scripture Text: Colossians 1:12–14

It is tempting to merely ask God to deliver us from urges to rebel against authorities, to hurt someone, commit adultery, steal, lie, or desire what belongs to others.

The Small Catechism – part 178

Scripture Text: Revelation 21:23

In eternity, the righteous will shine like the sun (Matt 13:43); but, I wonder, why should we wait for eternity? Let us burn brightly now. I know; I know. You ask, How can I, a poor sinner, blaze with such glory?

The Small Catechism – part 177

Scripture Text: Ephesians 4:31–32

It is our Christian duty to absolve one another (Matt 6:14–15; John 20:23; James 5:16), as Christ has forgiven us. Before we come to his table, we must graciously extend his peace to all.

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