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´╗┐Title: Lessons in the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther - For the Senior Department of Lutheran Sunday-Schools and for General Use
Author: Mezger, George
Language: English
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librarian, and still an LCMS pastor



LESSONS

in the

Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther.

For the Senior Department of Lutheran
Sunday-Schools and for General Use.

By

GEO. MEZGER,
Professor at Concordia Seminary,
St. Louis, Mo.

St. Louis, Mo.
CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE.
1923.


LESSON 1.

The Catechism and the Bible.

1. The little book we have before us is called the _Small Catechism._
The word "catechism" means _instruction._ This little book gives us
instruction in a brief and simple form, such as even a child can
understand. It teaches us what every Christian, as a child of God,
should believe, and how every Christian, as a child of God, should
live.--This book is called the _Small Catechism_ not only because it
is a small book, but mainly because we have also a _Large Catechism_ for
older people.

2. The _Small Catechism_ was written by _Dr. Martin Luther, the great
Reformer of the Church._ Luther was born at Eisleben, a small town in
Germany, November 10, 1483, and died at the same place, February 18,
1546. He published his _Small Catechism in the year 1529,_ for the
benefit of the common people and the children, who are most in need of
such instruction.

3. Our Catechism is a small book, indeed, but it is a most precious
little book. It does not contain Luther's thoughts and doctrines or
those of any other wise and learned man; it contains _God's own words_
revealed to us for our salvation. It does not teach us _all_ the
doctrines of God's Word, but those that every Christian must know in
order _to believe rightly, to lead a godly life, and when his last hour
is come to depart in peace._ Our Catechism teaches these doctrines in a
short form, in plain and simple words.

4. _Our Catechism teaches God's Word._ How do we prove this? Luther has
taken the contents of his Catechism from the Bible, and the Bible is the
Word of God.--The Word "Bible" means _book._ We call our Bible "the
book" because it really is the Book of books, the book in comparison
with which no other book is worthy to be called by that name, the most
important and valuable book.--The Bible is also called _the
Scriptures,_ or _Scripture,_ which means something written, a written
word. The Bible was written by _holy men of God._ These holy men did not
write the Bible of their own will. _"Holy men of God spake"_ (and wrote)
_"as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."_ 2 Pet. 1,21. God Himself moved
His holy men to write the Bible.

5. The Bible contains many _different books,_ written at different
times. We divide the books of our Bible into _two chief parts._ The
first we call the _Old Testament._ To it belong all the books written by
the prophets of God, by Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, and others, before
our Savior was born.--The second part we call the _New Testament,_
which contains all the books written by the evangelists and apostles,
such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, and others, after our
Savior came into this world. _Both Testaments teach us the same things
and doctrines._ In what respect do they differ?

6. The Bible is the written Word of God. It is true, holy men have
written the Bible, but they wrote being moved by the Holy Ghost, and
moreover, they wrote what God told them to write, they wrote by
inspiration of God. _"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God."_
2 Tim. 3,16. God inspired His prophets and apostles, that is, He taught
and told them what to write, He taught and gave them the very words
which they were to use. When a teacher dictates to his pupils, the
children, indeed, write the words; yet they do not write their own
words, but the words of their teacher. In a similar manner, God, as it
were, dictated His Word to the holy men; He told them what to write,
and how to write it. So the whole Bible is God's Word. Therefore it is
wholly _free from every error,_ it is _infallible._ Everything it tells
us is the truth. God will not and cannot tell us an untruth.

7. _For what purpose did God give us His Word in the Bible?_ The Holy
Scriptures _"are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith
which is in Christ Jesus."_ 2 Tim. 3,15. God's Word is to make us
_wise,_ not wise unto the things of this world, unto our daily life and
work, but _wise unto salvation._ It teaches us how we who are sinners
can be saved from damnation. Nobody can teach us this but God in His
Word.--Our salvation is in Christ Jesus. We are saved solely by faith
in Him who has taken away the sins of the world. The Scriptures testify
of Christ.--The Word of God is _able_ to make us wise unto salvation.
In it we find all we must know, all that is necessary to save us, to
give us eternal life. _"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto
my path."_ Ps. 119,105.

8. _How should we use the Scriptures?_ Our Savior says: _"Search the
Scriptures; for in them, ye think ye have eternal life; and they are
they which testify of Me."_ 3 John 5,39. We should _search_ the
Scriptures, that is, we should read and study them diligently. We hear
God's Word preached in our churches, we learn it in our schools, we
should read it daily in our homes. We should not only read, but _study_
it _with earnest prayer to God_ that He would open our eyes that we may
understand His Word.--We should read it so as _to seek and to find in
it Christ,_ our Lord and Savior, and through faith in Him have eternal
life. _"Blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it,"_ Luke
11,28.

9. From the Word of God our Catechism is taken. Luther took the most
important doctrines from the Bible for his Catechism. _It may be called
a small Bible._ Gladly should we study this little book. As new-born
babes long and cry for their milk and grow thereby to become strong men
or women, so children of God, newly born in Holy Baptism, should desire
the pure milk of the Word set before them in their Catechism and grow
thereby in knowledge and faith unto salvation. 1 Pet. 2,2.

REMEMBER:--

_The Bible is the Word of God, written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
God gave us His Word to make us wise unto salvation through faith in
Christ Jesus._

_We should diligently search the Scriptures to find in them Christ, our
Savior, and in Him, everlasting life._

MEMORIZE:--

_And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are
able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ
Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God._ 2 Tim. 3,15.16.

_Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and
they are they which testify of Me._ John 5,39.

_Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it._ Luke 11,28.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does the word "catechism" mean? 2. What does the Catechism teach
us? 3. By whom was our Catechism written? 4. Who was Dr. Martin Luther?
5. When was our Catechism published? 6. From what other book are the
doctrines of our Catechism taken? 7. What does the word "Bible" mean?
8. Why do we call this book the Bible? 9. How is the Bible also called?
10. By whom was the Bible, or Holy Scripture, written? Whose word is the
Bible? 11. How is the Bible God's Word, though it was written by men?
12. What are the chief parts of the Scriptures? 13. Of whom do both
parts testify? 14. In what respect do they differ? 15. For what purpose
did God give us His Word? 16. Unto what does the Bible make wise? 17.
How do we obtain salvation? 18. How should we use the Bible? 19. What
does the Psalmist say about God's Word? 20. Why should we also
diligently learn our Catechism?

LESSON 2.

The First Commandment.

Which is the First Commandment?

_Thou shalt have no other gods before Me._

What does this mean?

_We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things._

1. We all have been baptized. In Holy Baptism God has received us as His
children. _God is our heavenly Father._ A father gives his children his
commands. He tells them what they should do and not do, how they should
live to please him. So our heavenly Father has given us, His children,
His _commandments._ He tells us what, according to His will, we should
do and not do, how we should live and walk in His sight. As His obedient
children we will gladly hear and learn His will and try, with His
gracious help, to lead such lives as will please Him. It should be our
pleasure to fulfil His commandments, for they are the will of our
Father, who loves us so dearly.--_The Ten Commandments are our
heavenly Father's will; they tell us what we should do and not do._

2. _"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,"_ that is the first of the
Ten Commandments. That is the will of God, our Lord and Father, that we
are to have no other gods before or besides Him. He who is the only true
God should be our God. Him alone, and nobody and nothing besides Him, we
are to have and regard as our God. _"I am, the Lord, that is My name;
and My glory will I not give to another"_ Is. 42,8. When do we regard
God as our God? When is He our God indeed? Our Catechism says: _"We
should fear, love, and trust in God above all things."_ When we fear
God, and love Him, and trust in Him above all things, then He is truly
our God.

3. _"We should fear God."_ A dutiful child fears his father. He
certainly is not afraid of him, but he honors and respects him. In the
same manner we should fear God. He says: _"I am the almighty God."_ Gen.
17,7. He has, through His mighty word, made heaven and earth. Because
God is so great and mighty, we should fear Him. We should not be afraid
of Him,--the almighty God is our Father,--but we should honor and
respect Him above all things.

4. A child shows his fear and filial respect for his father _by not
doing anything wrong,_ because his dear father might see it or hear of
it. He is afraid he might displease his father by disobeying him, yes,
cause him grief. _God is always with us. He sees and hears everything
we do or say, yea, He knows the very thoughts of our hearts._ We should
always remember that He is present wherever we are, and therefore behave
accordingly. We should be afraid to grieve our heavenly Father by doing
wrong. _The fear of God will keep us from doing anything against His
holy will. "By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil."_ Prov. 16,6.
_Think of Joseph, in Egypt!_ When he was tempted by Potiphar's wife, he
remembered that God was with him, therefore he told her: _"How, then,
can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?"_ Gen. 30,9.
Remember always: God is with me! and you will not do such great
wickedness and sin against your God. _"I am the almighty God; walk before
Me and be thou perfect."_ Gen. 17,1.

_We fear God, when we honor and respect Him, when we walk before Him,
and for His sake keep away from sin._

5. _"We should love God,"_ We all love our parents. We esteem them
highly, our hearts cling to them, because we know how dearly they love
us, and that they are doing all they can for us. God ought to be dearer
to us than everything in this world, dearer even than our parents. He is
our heavenly Father, our greatest Benefactor. From Him we receive all
that we have and enjoy. He loves us first, He has so loved us that He
gave His dear Son for us. _So we should love Him and cling to Him with
our whole heart._

6. _"This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."_ 1 John
5,3. If we love God, we shall gladly do as He bids us do. Thus our
_Lord Jesus_ loved His heavenly Father. He says: _"I will delight to do
Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy Law is within My heart."_ Ps. 40,8.
_Abraham_ loved God, and therefore he was willing to sacrifice his only
son for God's sake. Gen. 22,1-12.

_We love God when we cling to Him with our whole heart and from love to
Him fulfil His commandments._

7. _"We should trust in God."_ To trust in God means to put our
confidence in God and His promises, to be assured that He will give us
what we need and what is good for us in this life and in the life to
come. We trust in God when we believe that He will not forsake us in the
day of trouble, that whatever He sends us, though it seem evil, will be
for our good. Our Father can and will give us only good and perfect
gifts. Thus _David_ trusted in the Lord when he went forth to conquer
Goliath. 1 Sam. 17. Thus, too _those three men _trusted in God who
suffered themselves to be cast into the fiery furnace rather than deny
their God. Dan. 3.

_We trust in God when we put our confidence in Him and firmly believe
that He will give us all we need, that He will never forsake us, and
that everything which He sends us will be for our welfare._

8. "We should fear and love God and trust" in Him _"above all things,"_
that is, more than in all other men or things. We may, and we really do,
fear and love many things besides God. We fear and love our parents, our
teachers, our friends, and we trust in them. God Himself bids us do so.
For God's sake we fear and love them. But we must fear and love _God_
more than all other things, more than even our parents, or our dearest
friends. _He must be first in our heart and in our life._ If our
parents, or friends, or anything else would separate us from God, or
prevent us from fearing and loving Him, or from trusting in Him above
all things, we must cast them aside. If we fear and love and trust in
anything more than in God, we make a creature our god; then we have
other gods besides God; then we are worshiping idols (other gods that
are no gods), as the heathen do. _"Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy
God, and Him only shalt thou serve."_ Matt. 4,10.

9. Fear, love, and trust God demands from us. Fear, love, and trust are
to be found in the heart. _God claims our hearts in this commandment.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart."_ Prov. 3,5. Together with our
hearts God wants our whole lives, all we are and have. _The First
Commandment is the greatest of them all._ In this all the others are
included. Let us daily pray God to grant us His grace to fear and love
Him and trust in Him above all things, in order that we may have no
other gods before Him.

REMEMBER:--

_1. We should fear and love God and trust in Him above all things; then
we shall have no other gods before Him; then He, the true God, will be
our God indeed._

_2. We should fear and love and trust in God above all things. God wants
our whole heart and life, all that we are and have._

MEMORIZE:--

_I am the almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect._ Gen. 17,1.

_Trust in the Lord with all thine heart._ Prov. 3,5.

_Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve._
Matt. 4,10.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does God tell us in His commandments? 2. Why has God a right to
give us these commandments? 3. Which is the First Commandment? 4. Who
should be our God? 5. When is the only true God our God? 6. What does it
mean to fear God? 7. How do we show that we fear God? 8. What does the
Lord say Gen. 17,1? 9. What does it mean to love God? 10. What shall we
fulfil if we love God? 11. What does it mean to trust in God? 12. What
shall we firmly believe if we trust in God? 13. How should we fear and
love God and trust in Him? 14. Why should we fear and love God above all
things? 15. What sin do we commit if we fear and love any one more than
God? 16. What does our Lord say Matt. 4,10? 17. What does God demand of
us in the First Commandment? 18. Why is the First Commandment the
greatest of all?

LESSON 3.

The Second Commandment.

Which is the Second Commandment?

_Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use
witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every
trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks._

1. We learned in the first Commandment that we should _fear and love our
God above all things._ That is the will of our Father in heaven. If we
fear and love God, we shall gladly fulfil His commandments and do His
will. And it is only if we fear and love God that we shall do so. All
our obedience to God and His commandments must come from a heart that
fears and loves God. In every commandment our God demands again that we
fear and love Him. Therefore our Catechism begins the explanation of
every commandment with these words: _"We should fear and love God."_

2. _"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain."_
Because we fear and love God, we must not take His name in vain. God has
a name, just as you and everybody has a name by which he is known and
called; indeed, God has many names. You already learned several of His
names. _(God, Lord, Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost, the Almighty,
Creator, Savior,_ etc.) These names God has given Himself in His Word.
Through His names He shows us who and what He is, what He has done and
still is doing for His children. God is called Savior, and He really is
the Savior; He is called Creator because He has created heaven and
earth; He is called the Almighty, for with Him nothing is impossible.
_God's name is God Himself as He has revealed Himself to us._

3. _We are not to take God's name in vain._ To take God's name in vain
means to use His holy name _thoughtlessly_ and _without any need._ Many
persons, it is sad to say, very often use the name of God, and
especially that of Jesus Christ, in their speech without thinking of
their Savior, without even knowing that they do so. They use it even
when they talk of vile things. They take God's name in vain and mock
God. _"Be not deceived; God is not mocked."_ Gal. 6,7.

4. Our Catechism shows us more plainly how God's name is taken in vain:
_"We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use
witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name."_ We should not _curse._ To
curse by God's name means _to call down upon oneself or another God's
punishment. Peter_ cursed. Matt. 26,74. He said God should punish him if
he knew "the man" Jesus. Christians should never curse. They bless and
praise God, their Father; how, then, can they curse their fellow-men and
wish them God's punishment? Blessing and cursing should not come out of
the same mouth. Jas. 3,9.10.

5. _We should not swear by God's name._ We swear when we use God's name
to affirm the truth of what we say, as we hear it done so often in daily
life. Our Lord says to His disciples: _"I say unto you, Swear not at
all. ... But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for
whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."_ Matt. 5,34,37.

6. _We should not use witchcraft by God's name._ We use witchcraft when
we try to perform things which by natural means we cannot do, such as
_fortune-telling, calling and asking the dead_ (as the Spiritualists
claim to do), etc. Such works are in themselves grievous sins, works of
the devil. But such sins are much greater when God's holy name is used
in performing them. Christians should have nothing to do with these
works of darkness, these works of the devil. (Read Deut. 18,10-12.)

7. _We should not lie or deceive by God's name._ Lying by God's name
means telling a lie and using God's name and Word in order to make the
lie seem to be the truth. So the _false prophets_ use God's name and
Word in order to hide their false doctrines and make them appear as
God's truth. _"Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that
use their tongues and say, He saith." _Jer. 23,31, The hypocrites
deceive by God's name. They use God's name, they talk about God and His
Word in order to hide their evil life. _"Not every one that saith unto
Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that
doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven."_ Matt. 7,21. Think of
Ananias and Sapphira. Acts 5.

8. To take God's name in vain is a _grievous sin._ God is greatly
displeased with it. How can we, who fear and love God, grieve Him by
taking His holy name in vain? _And God has threatened to punish all that
misuse His name. "The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His
name in vain."_ Ex. 20,7.4

9. God has revealed His name to us in order to _bless and save us._ He
wants us to use His holy name _in the right way. "We should call upon it
in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks."_ That is the right use
of our Lord's name.--He wants us to _call_ on Him, to beg for His
help, especially in all our troubles; for He alone can help us in all
our needs. God says: _"Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will
deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."_ Ps. 50,15.--We should
_pray_ in His name; for in every true prayer we use His name aright. He
wants us to come to Him daily and speak with Him, as a child speaks to
his father.--We should use His name in _praising_ and _thanking_ Him
for His manifold goodness, for all His benefits, all the great things He
does for us. If He has delivered or helped us, we should glorify Him.
_"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy
name."_ Ps. 103,1. _"O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good;
because His mercy endureth forever."_ Ps. 118,1. If we rightly use the
name of our God, we shall be blessed by it. _"The name of the Lord is a
strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe."_ Prov. 18,10.

REMEMBER:--

_1. God has given us His holy name that we may be blessed and saved by
it._

_2. He forbids us to take in vain and misuse His sacred name by cursing,
swearing, using witchcraft, lying, or deceiving, or by thoughtlessly
speaking it._

_3. He commands us to use it aright by calling upon it in all our needs,
by praying, praising, and giving of thanks. We should fear and love God
and so use His blessed name._

MEMORIZE:--

_I say unto you, Swear not at all, but let your communication be, Yea,
yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."_ [tr.
note: sic on quotation mark] Matt. 5,34.37.

_Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their
tongues and say, He saith._ Jer. 23,31.

_Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt
glorify Me._ Ps. 50, 15.

_Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy
name._ Ps. 103,1.

QUESTIONS.

1. How does our Catechism begin the explanation of every commandment
after the First Commandment? 2. When only can and will we fulfil all the
commandments? 3. What, therefore, does God demand of us in every
commandment? 4. Enumerate some of God's holy names. 5. For what purpose
has God revealed His name to us? 6. What does it mean to take God's name
in vain? 7. What does it mean to curse by God's name? 8. When do we
swear by God's name? 9. Whose work is witchcraft? 10. What people lie by
God's name? 11. What does God say about the false prophets? (Jer. 3,31.)
12. What does it mean to deceive by God's name? 13. What has God
threatened those who take His name in vain? 14. What is the will of God
with respect to His name? 15. How should we use God's name? 16. What
does it mean to call upon God? 17. When especially should we do so? 18.
Recite Ps. 50,15. 19. Why should we praise the Lord and give thanks unto
His name? 20. Recite Ps. 103,1.

LESSON 4.

The Third Commandment.

Which is the Third Commandment?

_Thou shalt sanctify the holy-day._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His
Word, but hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it._

1. _"Thou shalt sanctify the holy-day,"_ that is the Third Commandment.
We Christians have a _holy-day._ We celebrate as our holy-day the first
day in week, Sunday. We do not do this because God has commanded us to
keep this day or any other day holy, more sacred than the rest of the
week. In the Old Testament, before Christ came into the world, God had
given His people a certain day as a holy-day, the seventh day of the
week, the _Sabbath._ In the New Testament, after Christ was born, God
has given no such commandment. _The Church, the Christians themselves,_
has chosen a holy-day. The Church chose Sunday, because it was on a
Sunday that our dear Lord, our Savior and our King, arose again from the
dead. Every Sunday should remind us of the resurrection of our Savior,
of His victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil.--We also
keep other days holy, for instance, Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter,
and other festival days. Can you name some other Christian festival?

2. _Why do we Christians celebrate certain days as holy-days though God
has not commanded us to do so?_ It is God's will that His children
should come together for services of _preaching and hearing His Word,_
that they should come together in their churches for public worship. In
order to do this, it is necessary to set aside a _certain day._ That is
the reason why the Church celebrates Sunday and other feasts. _We
celebrate them not by divine command, but in order to have time for
public worship,_ for going to church, for services of preaching and
hearing the Word of God. To the question, "What does this mean?" namely,
to sanctify the holy-day, our Catechism rightly answers: _"We should
fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but
hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it."_

3. _We should not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred,_
that is the will of God according to the Third Commandment. Remember, it
is _His_ Word, the holy Word of our _heavenly Father,_ whom we should
fear and love. It is God Himself who speaks to us in His Word, in the
Bible, when we read it. It is God Himself who sends His messengers to
us, our pastors and teachers, to preach His Word that we may the better
understand it. Our Savior says concerning His messengers: _"He that
heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he
that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me."_ Luke 10, 16. In
despising His Word, we despise our Lord, yea, our God and Father
Himself. A child does not despise the words of his respected and beloved
father. How deeply would we, then, offend our heavenly Father by
despising His Word!--If we really fear and love God, we shall not
despise His Word, but hold it sacred. We shall not forget that we are
hearing our dear Father's voice when we are reading our Bible. When
God's Word is preached to us in our churches, we shall hear and receive
it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God.
1 Thess. 2,13.

4. _When is this done?_ When do we not despise God's Word, but rather
hold it sacred? God's Word is _preached to to us in public worship._ We
despise the preaching of His Word when we do not go to church at all, or
only now and then, at long intervals, because we prefer to stay at home
to do our work or to amuse ourselves. We despise preaching when we
go to church, but hear the sermon carelessly when we do not pay
attention to the pastor. He that will not hear God's Word is not of God;
such a one cannot remain God's child. John 8,47.--If we keep the
preaching of God's Word sacred, we shall go to church regularly every
Sunday, unless sickness, or something else that we cannot avoid, hinders
us. We shall go to church in order to hear the sermon, to listen
attentively to it. We shall hear the Word willingly and gladly and
rejoice that we may again hear the dear Gospel of the love of God in
Jesus Christ, our Lord. We shall rejoice and say: _"Lord, I have loved
the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth."_
Ps. 26,8.--God's Word is also preached and taught us in our
_day-schools_ and _Sunday-schools._ Come to your school regularly, hear
the lessons from the Word of God diligently and attentively and you will
hold His Word sacred; you will do the will of your Father.

5. God's Word is not only preached, God has also given us the _Bible,
His written Word._ He wants us to read His Word in our _homes. "Search
the Scriptures,"_ John 5,39, our Savior says. We should not only read
it, but read it carefully and often, read it with prayer to God that we
may more thoroughly understand it. The Word of God should dwell among us
_richly, abundantly._ Col. 3,16. If we do not read and study our Bible
at home, we are despising the Word of God.

6. We should not only hear and read the Word of God, and hear and read
it gladly; our Catechism also tells us _that we should learn it._ Like
Mary, the mother of Jesus, _so we, too, should keep all these words and
ponder them in our hearts._ Luke 2,19. We should try with the help of
our Lord to live more and more according to God's Word. _"Thy Word is a
lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."_ Ps. 119,105. If we do
this, we are holding God's Word sacred and shall be blessed by it.
_"Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it."_ Luke 11,28.
Remember _Hannah,_ the mother of little Samuel, 1 Sam. 1,2; _Mary_
sitting at Jesus feet and hearing His Word, Luke 10,39. Remember
especially how our _Lord_ loved His Father's house. Luke 2,41-52.

7. There is one thing we should not forget: to keep God's Word sacred.
God sends His messengers to us, our pastors and preachers. We should
_honor and esteem and love them_ for their work's sake. We should obey
them when they preach God's Word and _pray_ for them. We should help
that the blessed Word of God may be preached to all nations, to
all men, that all may hear it and be saved by it.

8. In the First Commandment we learned that throughout our life we
should fear and love God and trust in Him with our whole heart; in the
Second, that we should not misuse His holy name, but use it to the
praise of God and the salvation of our neighbors and ourselves; in the
Third, that we should diligently hear and learn God's Word, so that all
our actions, our entire life, may be ordered according to it. _These
three commandments relate to God. They teach us the love of God._ Now
follow the other seven, which relate to our neighbor, _whom we should
love as ourselves._

REMEMBER:--

_1. We sanctify our holy-day when we fear and love God that we may not
despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred._

_2. The fear and love of God will induce us to hear and read God's Word,
not carelessly, but diligently and gladly, to learn it and to live
according to it._

MEMORIZE:--

_He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me;
and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me._ Luke 10,16.

_Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where
Thine honor dwelleth._ Ps. 26,8.

_Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth
in all good things._ Gal. 6,6.

QUESTIONS.

1. Which day did God institute in the Old Testament as the holy-day of
His people? 2. Did God in the New Testament give us a certain day as our
holy-day? 3. Why does the Christian Church choose a holy-day, though God
did not command us to do so? 4. What is God's will concerning His Word?
5. What is necessary that Christians may come together to preach and
hear God's Word? 6. How do we, therefore, sanctify our holy-days? 7. Why
should we not despise God's Word, but keep it sacred? 8. How do we show
that we do not despise the preaching of His Word? 9. Whose voice do we
hear in the sermon? 10. As whose word should we, therefore, hear and
accept the sermon? 11. Where do we also hear the Word of God? 12. In
which book do we find the written Word of God? 13. How should we us
our Bibles, the written Word of God? 14. What does it mean to learn
God's Word? 15. How must we, finally, show our love of God's Word? 16.
To whom do the first three commandments relate? 17. What does the First
Commandment teach us? 18. The Second? 19. The Third? 20. What is the sum
of these commandments? 21. To whom do the other commandments relate? 22.
How should we love our neighbor?

LESSON 5.

The Fourth Commandment.

Which is the Fourth Commandment?

_Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with
thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may not despise our parents and
masters, nor provoke them to anger, but give them honor, serve and obey
them, and hold them in love and esteem._

1. _"Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother."_ Go has given us a
commandment in regard to our _father_ and _mother,_ our _parents._ This
is a very important commandment for all children. It is God's will that
we not only _love_ our parents, but also _honor_ them. We honor those
who occupy a higher position than we, who have been placed above us, who
have a right to command us and demand our obedience. By commanding us to
honor our parents, God places them above us. He wants children to regard
their parents as being in God's stead, above them, as His
representatives, whom for His sake they should honor. Never forget that
your dear parents have been placed over you by God. Never forget to
honor and respect them for God's sake.

2. What does it mean to honor father and mother? _"We should, fear and
love God that we may not despise our parents ... nor provoke them to
anger."_ We should not _despise_ our parents. We despise them when we do
not respect the high station in which God has placed them over us, when
in our hearts we do not esteem them as God's representatives, when we
act as though we were their equals or even stood above them.--We
should not _provoke them to anger,_ that is, we should not by word or
deed excite them to just anger or cause them pain and distress, by being
unkind, stubborn, disobedient, even insolent towards them, or by wicked
deeds and sins which dishonor them. Remember _Absalom,_ who despised his
father David and caused him bitter grief by rebelling against him and
making himself king in his stead. 2 Sam. 15. Remember the wicked sons of
Eli. 1 Sam. 2,12.--God is displeased with this sin. _"The eye that
mocketh at his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of
the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it,"_ says
the Word of God. Prov. 30,17. God will severely punish all bad and
disobedient children, very often in this life, as He did with Absalom,
and if they do not repent, in eternity.

3. We must not despise our parents, but should _give them honor,_ that
is, we should regard them in our hearts as God's representatives; we
should respect their station, even if they are lowly, or poor, or even
queer. They are still our parents, and therefore should not be deprived
of their honor because of their failings. It is _God's will_ that we
honor them.

4. We should show in words and deeds that we honor our parents. We
should _serve_ them, we should do for them whatever we can, even if they
do not ask for it, and do it gladly. When they become old or sick, we
should do all in our power to help them, and so try to repay the love
and care which they have shown us when we were young and weak and so
much in need of their kindness. Your dear parents did and still do so
much for you that you will hardly ever be able to repay them. _"Let
them_ [the children] _learn . . . to requite their parents_ [to repay
their love]; _for that is good and acceptable before God."_ 1 Tim. 5,4.

5. We should, furthermore, show the respect we owe our parents by
_obeying them._ We should do what they tell us, carry out their
commands, and do it without a murmur, willingly, quickly, fully, and
gladly. In this manner you, at your age, can best prove that you honor
your parents. _"Children, obey your parents in all, things; for this is
well-pleasing unto the Lord."_ Col. 3,20. _"Hearken unto thy father that
begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old."_ Prov. 23,22.

6. _"We should hold them in love and esteem."_ God has given us our
parents as a most precious gift. Through them our heavenly Father
bestows upon us numberless other gifts and blessings. Our parents
provide for us; they give us all we need in this life; they shelter and
protect us. They try to lead us to our Savior by teaching us the Word of
God, by sending us to a Christian school. They bring us up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord. Eph. 6,4. Should we not love and
esteem them as a precious gift of God? Should we not thank Him with all
our heart, thank Him by doing His will in regard to our parents? Do not
forget: _We honor our parents because we fear and love God, who has
given us this most precious gift._

7. Our Catechism not only says that we should honor our parents, but it
adds the word _"masters."_ God has placed other persons besides our
parents over us, in _home, school, and state._ Our parents are also
those who take our parents place, _who take care of us and protect us_
if our parents are dead or otherwise unable to take care of us. God has
placed over us our _teachers_ in our schools, who instruct us in our
parents stead. There are many persons in our country, in our cities and
towns, who have been placed above us, such as the President of the
United States, the governor of our State, the mayor of our city, etc. It
is God who has placed also these rulers over us. He commands us to hold
all these in honor and esteem, to serve and obey them in all things in
which He has placed them over us.

8. God has added to the Fourth Commandment a _special promise: "Honor
thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise: That
it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."_ Eph.
6,2.3. This shows how well-pleasing it is unto God if we keep this
commandment, if we honor and love our parents and masters. Our gracious
Lord will abundantly reward all children who honor their parents and
masters, and do it in the fear and love of God. He will bless them here
on earth in a way which is good for them, and He will bless and reward
them more abundantly in heaven. The most beautiful example of the
fulfilment of this commandment is our _Lord Himself,_ of whom we read:
_"And He went down with them_ [His lowly parents], _and came to
Nazareth, and was subject unto them."_ Luke 2,51. He even remembered His
mother when He was nailed to the cross. John 19,26.27.

REMEMBER:--

_1. Parents are a most precious gift of God. God has placed them over us
that through them He may provide for us, protect us, and lead us to
Himself, our Savor, and to eternal life._

_2. We should therefore highly honor and esteem our parents, serve and
obey them in the fear and love of God, our heavenly Father._

_3. This is well-pleasing to God, who will graciously reward us._

MEMORIZE:--

_Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with
promise: That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the
earth._ Eph. 6,2,3.

_Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well-pleasing
unto the Lord._ Col. 3,20.

_Let them learn ... to requite their parents; for that is good and
acceptable before God._ 1 Tim. 5,4.

QUESTIONS.

1. What is God's holy will regarding our parents? 2. What place does God
give our parents by commanding us to honor them? 3. Whose
representatives are they? 4. When do we despise our parents? 5. When do
we provoke them to anger? 6. Give examples of children who despised
their parents. 7. How will God punish children who despise their
parents? 8. What does it mean to hold our parents in honor? 9. How do we
show in words and deeds that we honor our parents? 10. When do we serve
them? 11. At what time especially can we repay their love? 12. What does
it mean to obey our parents? 13. How should we carry out their commands?
14. Why should we love and highly esteem our parents? 15. Who are the
"masters" whom God has placed over us? 16. What has God added to this
commandment? 17. What does God teach us by adding this special promise?
18. Who is the most beautiful example of the fulfilment of this
commandment?

LESSON 6.

The Fifth Commandment.

Which is the Fifth Commandment?

_Thou shalt not kill._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God, that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor
in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need._

1. You all know what it means to kill. It means to take our own life or
the life of our neighbor, our fellow-man. This is what God forbids in
this commandment. _God is the Giver of all life._ He alone, therefore,
has the right to take it away. God made man in His image. How dare we
destroy the image of God! Our neighbor's life should be _sacred_ to us.
God will punish him who takes his neighbor's life. _"Whoso sheddeth
man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God
made He man."_ Gen. 9,6. Remember _Cain_ and _Judas._

2. God forbids still more in this commandment. Our Catechism explains it
by saying: _"We should fear and love God that we may not hurt ... our
neighbor in his body."_ In the story of the good Samaritan we learn what
this means. The man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell among
thieves (robbers), who wounded him and, leaving him half dead, departed.
Luke 10,30. These robbers hurt the Jew in his body, they brought his
life into danger. But for the Samaritan he certainly would have died.
The life of our neighbor may be hurt in other ways. Pharaoh of Egypt
endangered the lives of the Israelites by compelling them to do labor
that was too hard for them. We should not wound our neighbor in his
body, or in any other way bring his life or health into danger and thus
shorten his life.

3. _We should not harm our neighbor in his body,_ that is we should not
by spiteful words or wicked deeds embitter his life and in this way
shorten it. Remember how Joseph's brothers embittered his life by
selling him into slavery, how they embittered the life of their father
by telling him that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal They made
life a burden both to their brother and to their father.

4. _We should fear and love God that we may ... help and befriend our
neighbor in every bodily need._ Our neighbor is in bodily need when he
is in danger of losing his life and health. Look again at the story of
the good Samaritan. There you will learn what it means to help and
befriend our neighbor in his bodily need. The poor Jew fell among
robbers, who stripped him of his raiment, wounded him and carelessly
departed, though that poor man was nearly dead. The Jew certainly was in
bodily need, being in great danger of losing his life. A Samaritan
passed, and, seeing this poor man, he took compassion on him. He went up
to him and helped him. He bound up his wounds, set him on his own beast
brought him to an inn, and took care of him. He helped the poor Jew in
his bodily need and saved his life.--But the good Samaritan did more.
The next day, not being able to stay any longer with his afflicted
brother, he gave money to the host of the inn, and asked him to take
care of the wounded Jew in his stead after his departure; he even
promised to give the innkeeper more money if it should be necessary. The
good Samaritan befriended the Jew, he acted as a friend to him. Not only
did he save him from death, he also assisted him until he was no longer
in bodily need. _"Go, and do thou likewise,"_ our Lord says.--That
Jew, like all the Jews at that time, most probably, was an enemy of the
Samaritans. The Samaritan knew that, and still he helped and befriended
him. We should help and befriend not only our relatives and friends, or
those who are able and willing to repay us and help us when we are in
need, but also our enemies, those who hate and despitefully use us, _"If
thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink,"_ Rom.
12,20. _"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them
that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and
persecute you."_ Matt. 5,44.

5. The Samaritan _took compassion_ on the Jew, therefore he helped him.
The compassion, or pity, was in his heart. All our good works and all
our sins issue from the heart. _We should watch over our hearts, over
our thoughts._ No anger and hate against our neighbor should be in our
hearts. And even if our neighbor does us wrong, if he injures and
insults us, we should not revenge ourselves, but love our brother.
_"Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no
murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."_ 1 John 3,15.--We should
always be kind, merciful, and forgiving to our neighbor, even to our
enemy. _"Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy."_ Matt.
5,7. And above all, we should _fear and love God,_ then we shall help
and befriend our neighbor, him whom God has made in His image.

REMEMBER:--

_1. Life is God's gift. Only He who gave it has the right to take it.
The life of our neighbor should be sacred to us._

_2. Therefore we should not kill or hurt or harm our neighbor, our
fellowman, in his body, nor hate him or be angry with him. God has made
man in His image._

_3. We should help and befriend our neighbor whenever he is in bodily
need, always be kind and merciful to him and forgive him when he wrongs
us._

MEMORIZE:--

_Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the
image of God made He man._ Gen. 9,6.

_Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no
murderer hath eternal life abiding in him._ 1 John 3,15.

_Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him
drink._ Rom. 12,20.

_Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy._ Matt. 5,7.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does it mean to kill? 2. Why should we not take our fellow-man's
life? 3. In whose image did God make man? 4. What does God, furthermore,
forbid in this commandment? 5. What does it mean to hurt our neighbor in
his body? 6. What does it mean to harm him in his body? 7. From whom may
we learn how to fulfil this commandment? 8. How did the good Samaritan
help the Jew? 9. How did he befriend him? 10. When, even, should we help
our neighbor? 11. What does our Lord say Matt. 5,44? 12. Where do all
our good works and all our sins rise? 13. What kind of thoughts should
not be in our hearts against our neighbor? 14. What does the Bible tell
us of him who hates his brother? 15. How should we be disposed towards
our neighbor if he wrongs us? 16. When will we fulfill this commandment?
17. What does our Lord say about the merciful?

LESSON 7.

The Sixth Commandment.

Which is the Sixth Commandment?

_Thou shalt not commit adultery._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may lead a chaste and decent life
in word and deed, and each love and honor his spouse._

1. _We should lead a chaste and decent life,_ that is the demand of our
God and heavenly Father according to the Sixth Commandment. Our hearts
must be chaste to make our lives chaste and decent. Our _hearts_ should
be _chaste,_ that is, free from evil lusts, free from unclean and lewd
thoughts and desires. When our hearts are chaste and pure, our lives
will be decent and modest and clean. The chastity of our hearts will
show itself in all the acts of our life. _"Keep thyself pure,"_ says the
Word of God. 1 Tim. 5,22. Keep your heart pure and chaste.

2. _We should lead a chaste and decent life in word._ We should refrain
from _all filthy words_ that prove our heart to be unclean, from all
words, songs, jests, etc., of which we would be ashamed before God, or
before parents if they would hear them. We should shun all those jests
and verses which boy whispers to boy, or girl to girl, lest decent
persons might overhear them. Only such words as are good and clean
should pass our lips. Never use a word that you would be ashamed of in
the presence of your parents and teachers! Always remember that God is
with you, that He will hear every word you utter in secret. _"Let no
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is
good."_ Eph. 4,29.

3. _We should lead a chaste and decent life in deed._ We should shun all
acts which are mostly done in secret, all deeds which we would be
ashamed of in the presence of God, our parents, or other decent people.
We should walk honestly as in the day. Rom. 13,13. We should keep all
members of our body clean and pure. _Our body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost._ 1 Cor. 6,19. How could a child of God use a member of his body
for filthy purposes and so defile God's temple, make it impure! We
should be modest and decent in our behavior, manners, dress, etc.

4. _What must we do to lead such a chaste and decent life?_ Our hearts,
by nature, are unclean and unchaste full of evil desires. We cannot
hinder evil lusts from springing up in our hearts at times. But with the
help of God we must try, and try earnestly, _to quench them, to put them
down,_ lest they gain a place in our hearts. We can do this only _by
means of God's Word and prayer._ Think of God's holy commandment, of the
will of our heavenly Father according to which we should be pure in
heart. God says: _"Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see
God."_ Matt. 5,8. Remember that God knows the secret thoughts of your
heart, and you will say with Joseph: _"How, then, can I do this great
wickedness and, sin against God?"_ Gen. 39,9. The fear and love of God
will put down all evil lusts and lewd thoughts. And whenever filthy
desires arise and tempt you, pray to God for His help, pray earnestly
and fervently: _"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right
spirit within me."_ Ps. 51,10.

5. In order to lead a chaste and decent life, _we should, as far as
possible, shun all temptations and all places and occasions where such
temptations will come upon us._ The world is an unclean place, full of
evil lusts. Temptations meet us everywhere. Therefore we must always
watch over ourselves. _"Flee youthful lusts,"_ 2 Tim 2,22, as Joseph
fled when Potiphar's wife tempted him. We should not go to places where
such temptations may be met; we should shun bad company, impure books or
pictures, theaters, etc. where indecent talk or pictures may excite evil
lusts in us.

6. _When we are alone and idle,_ the devil often comes to tempt us with
impure thoughts and desires In order to lead a chaste and decent life,
we should avoid idleness and work diligently and faithfully. Find
something useful to do in work or innocent play, and Satan will find
less time to tempt you with lustful thoughts. But above all, pray to
your heavenly Father that He would guard you in all temptations, that
you may overcome and obtain the victory.

7. We should fear and love God _that each may love and honor his spouse.
Spouse_ is man or wife, persons who live in holy matrimony, as your
parents do. _Matrimony_ is instituted by God, and it is His will that
husband and wife should love and honor each other, that they should
faithfully live together till death parts them. If one is unfaithful to
the other, or leaves the other, he or she commits _adultery._

REMEMBER:--

_1. God alone can make your heart chaste and keep it clean from sinful
lust. Pray to Him: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right
spirit within me."_ Ps. 51,10.

_2. When temptation comes near you, when you feel in your heart the
sinful lust, remember: God is with me, He sees and hears everything I
do, even the innermost thoughts of my heart. "How, them, can I do this
great wickedness and sin against God?"_ Gen. 39,9.

_3. Watch over yourself and keep away from all places where temptation
is sure to come. "Flee youthful lusts."_ 2 Tim. 2,22.

MEMORIZE:--

_Let us walk honestly as in the day._ Rom. 13,13.

_Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which
is good._ Eph. 4,29.

_Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me._
Ps. 51,10.

_Keep thyself pure._ 1 Tim. 5,22.

_Flee youthful lusts._ 2 Tim. 2,22.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does God command in the Sixth Commandment? 2. When will our
_hearts_ be chaste? 3. When will our lives be decent? 4. What does God
demand 1 Tim. 5,22? 5. When will we be chaste and decent in _words?_ 6.
What kind of words should we never use? 7. How do we lead a chaste and
decent life in _deed?_ 8. What does God Himself call our bodies in His
Word? 9. When do we defile this temple of God and make it impure? 10.
How should our behavior, our manners, be? 11. How are our hearts by
nature? 12. What feelings will therefore often arise in our hearts? 13.
By what means can and should we put down these evil thoughts? 14. What
should they not gain in our hearts? 15. What places should we avoid in
order to lead a chaste life? 16. Name some such places and occasions.
17. What should we also avoid, in order that Satan may have less
opportunity to tempt us? 18. What does God command those who live
together in holy matrimony? 19. How long should husband and wife live
together in this union? 20. What sin do they commit if they prove
unfaithful to each other?

LESSON 8.

The Seventh Commandment.

Which is the Seventh Commandment?

_Thou shalt not steal._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbor's money
or goods, nor get them by false ware or dealing, but help him to improve
and protect his property and business._

1. _We should not steal;_ that means, _we should not take our neighbor's
money or goods._ Our neighbor's, our fellow-man's, money and his goods
do not belong to us, but to him _They are his property._ It is God's
will that men should have property, money, and goods that belong to
them. All the goods in the world come from Him, they are His gift. He
gives to every one as much earthly goods as He pleases, as much or as
little as is best for him. There always will be rich people and poor
people among us. _The property of our neighbor should be sacred to us
because it is given him by God, our heavenly Father._

2. _We should not take our neighbor's money or goods._ It belongs to him
according to God's will; therefore we should not steal, that is, not
take his property away from him. He may give and present it to us, if he
so chooses, but we should not take it. We may buy his goods at a fair
price, if he is willing to sell, but we should not take it against his
will. This may be done in various ways. Think of the _thieves_ into
whose hands the Jew fell who came down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Luke
10,30. They stripped him of his raiment; _openly_ and _by force_ they
took his clothes and all that he had. We call such men _robbers._--
Others do not take their neighbor's property by force, they sneak into
their neighbor's house and take his money and valuables _secretly,_
without his knowledge, or they pick his pockets when there is a chance.
_Achan_ took some of the spoils of the city of Jericho secretly and hid
the goods in the earth under his tent, in order that nobody might know
what he had taken. Josh. 7,21. Such men are called _thieves;_ their sin
is called _theft._ Also to-day there are many robbers and thieves in the
world.--Beware of taking your fellow-pupil's property, be it ever so
small, a pen or a pencil, etc. That would be theft. Remember that your
heavenly Father, whom you fear and love, will see you. Our Lord says:
_"Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working
with his hands the thing which is good."_ Eph. 4,28.

3. _We should not get our neighbor's money and goods by false ware or
dealing._ That is another way of taking our neighbor's property. Taking
our neighbor's property in this manner is generally called fraud or
cheating. _"Let no man go beyond_ [what belongs to him according to the
will of God], _and defraud his brother in any matter_ [in his trade and
business], _because that the Lord is the avenger of all such"_ (the Lord
will punish all that commit such frauds). 1 Thess. 4,6. We should not
take our neighbor's money _by false ware,_ that is, by selling bad, poor
wares to him in place of good ones for which he pays. We should not take
his money _by false dealings,_ that is, by using short weights and
measures, and in this way keeping back what belongs to our neighbor, by
taking too much profit when buying or selling anything, and thus
cheating our brother, by borrowing money or other goods and not
returning them, etc. _"The wicked borroweth and payeth not again."_ Ps.
37,21. There are many ways of taking our brother's money or goods. A
child of God will shun them all, he will be _honest_ in all his dealings
with his neighbor.

4. _We should help our neighbor to improve ... his property and
business._ We should help and assist our neighbor as much as we can, by
_word and deed,_ that his property and business, by means of which he
earns his living, may be _improved,_ become better. If our neighbor is
poor and suffers want, we should help him by _giving_ him of our money,
or other goods which he may be in need of. _"He that hath pity upon the
poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him
again."_ Prov. 19,17 We should lend him our money if he is in need,
until he may be able to repay it. _"Give to him that asketh thee, and
from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."_ Matt. 5,42.
_Zacchaeus,_ after having joyfully received the Lord into his house, was
ready to give half of his goods to the poor. Luke 19,8. How
_well-pleasing_ it is to our Lord when we help the poor and needy! _"To
do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is
well pleased."_ Heb. 13,16.

5. _We should help our neighbor to ... protect his property and
business._ Our neighbor's property and business sometimes is in danger,
in danger by water or fire, or by wicked men who try to harm our
brother. We should _warn_ him against these dangers, we should give him
_good advice how to overcome them._ But we should not only warn and
advise but also assist him as much as we can that his property may not
be lost or come to harm. Our love to God should prompt us to serve our
brethren. _"This commandment have we from Him, that he who loves God
love his brother also."_ 1 John 4,21.

REMEMBER:--

_1. All our property has been given us by God. God bestows these goods
as He pleases. Rich and poor will always be among us. The property of
our neighbor should be sacred to us because God has given it to him._

_2. We should, therefore, not take our neighbor's money and goods against
his will, neither by robbery and theft, nor by defrauding him by poor
wares or crooked dealings. Always be honest!_

_3. We should rather help him to improve his property and business and to
preserve it from danger and harm._

MEMORIZE:--

_Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee
turn not thou away._ Matt. 5,42.

_He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which
he hath given will He pay him again._ Prov. 19,17.

_To do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God
is well pleased._ Heb. 13, 16.

QUESTIONS.

1. Stating it in one word, what do we call all the money and goods our
neighbor has? 2. From whom did he receive his property? 3. How should
the property of our neighbor be to us? 4. What does it mean to steal? 5.
In what way do men take the property of their neighbor against his will?
6. What do we call robbery? 7. What is theft? 8. How should we also not
take our neighbor's money or goods? 9. When do we take our neighbor's
money by false wares? 10. When do we take it by false dealings? 11. How
does the Bible call him who borrows money but does not repay it? (Ps.
37,21.) 12. What does God command us to do in behalf of our neighbor's
property and business? 13. How should we help our neighbor when he is
poor and suffering want? 14. What does our Lord say Matt. 5,42? 15. To
whom does he lend who takes pity on the poor? 16. What do we learn from
Heb. 13,16? 17. What should we do to protect our neighbor's property?
18. If we love God, whom shall we love also?

LESSON 9.

The Eighth Commandment.

Which is the Eighth Commandment?

_Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray,
slander, nor defame our neighbor, but defend him, speak well, of him,
and put the best construction on everything._

1. _"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,"_ that is
the command of our heavenly Father in the Eighth Commandment. _False
witness_ is any false statement against our neighbor, anything false and
deceitful that we say against him. A _false_ statement is saying
something that is not true; it is a statement _against_ our neighbor
when it will harm him, or hurt his good name, or deprive him of it
altogether.--False witness comes out of an evil _heart,_ a heart that
is false and insincere against our neighbor. We should not even _think
evil_ of him. _"Let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against your
neighbor."_ Zech. 8,17. If we love God and for His sake our neighbor, we
shall always think well of him, even if he is our enemy.

2. We can bear false witness against our neighbor in many ways. Our
Catechism explains: "We should fear and love God that we may not
deceitfully belie, betray, slander nor defame our neighbor."--_We
should not belie our neighbor. Potiphar's wife_ belied Joseph. She told
her husband a lie about Joseph, saying that he had tried to wrong her.
She did so in order to harm Joseph, to bring him into prison.--_We
should not lie,_ we should never wilfully and knowingly tell an untruth,
or withhold the truth from our neighbor to harm him. Be careful always
to tell the truth. Our Lord tells us that the _devil_ is a liar and the
father of it. John 8,44. If you tell a lie, you do the work of the
devil. Remember that you are a child of God and that a child of God
fears and loves his heavenly Father. God hates all liars and will most
certainly punish them. _"He that telleth lies shall not tarry [remain]
in My sight,"_ says the Lord Ps. 101,7.

3. _We should not betray our neighbor._ We should not reveal his
secrets, not tell others what our neighbor does not want other people to
know. It shows a false and deceitful heart against our brother to reveal
his secret sins. _"A talebearer revealeth secrets; but he that is of a
faithful spirit concealeth the matter."_ Prov. 11,13.

4. _We should not slander nor defame our neighbor._ We are not to speak
evil against our brother behind his back, when he is not present and
therefore not able to defend himself. Even if the evil which we tell of
him be true, we should not tell others of it. Holy Scripture admonishes
us: _"Speak not evil one of another, brethren."_ Jas. 4,11. Because we
are brethren, we should not speak evil, but well, of one another. If we
slander and backbite our neighbor, speak evil of him when he is not
present, we _defame_ him, that is, we harm his good name; it is our
fault if other people will think evil of him. We are all much inclined
to these sins; therefore beware of backbiting and slandering your
neighbor. Honor and a good name are easily taken away, but not easily
restored.

5. We should never speak against our neighbor to harm and injure him,
but we are to speak _for_ him. _We should defend him._ When in our
presence anybody speaks evil of our brother behind his back, so that
this brother cannot speak for himself, we should not remain silent, but
speak for him, defend him against all false statements and lies uttered
against him. We should never allow our neighbor to be slandered in our
presence.

6. _We should speak well of our neighbor._ We are to speak well of his
good works and deeds, to praise them as far as it can be done in keeping
with the truth. Especially when others speak evil of our brother, when
they slander and defame him, we ought to take his part and speak
well of him, so that he may keep his good name. We read of Jonathan,
David's friend: _"And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul, his father_
[who was David's enemy and wanted to kill him], _and said unto him, Let
not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he hath not
sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward_
[towards you] _very good."_ 1 Sam. 19,4. And in verse 6 we read that
Saul listened to Jonathan and resolved not to kill David. Owing to
Jonathan's good words, then, David was safe for a while. The Jews who
asked Jesus to heal the servant of the centurion spoke highly of him.
They besought the Lord instantly to hear the prayer of the centurion,
saying, _"That he was worthy for whom He should do this, for he loveth
our nation, and he hath built us a synagog."_ Luke 7,4.5. In the same
way we should speak well of our neighbor and praise him.

7. _We should put the best construction on everything_ that we hear of
our neighbor, or that we see him doing. We should put the best
construction on everything, that is, in love and charity we should cover
his faults and not make too much of them. We should explain all his
words and deeds in his favor as far as this can be done in keeping with
the truth. _"Charity shall cover the multitude of sins."_ 1 Pet 4,9.
True love and charity always thinks the best of the neighbor, always
hopes for the best, and will suffer wrong rather than do wrong.
_"Charity believeth all things, hopeth all things endureth all things."_
1 Cor. 13,7. It is a noble virtue to explain as best you can all you may
hear of your neighbor.

8. In this commandment God demands of us, His children, many good works
which are well-pleasing to Him, if only we would recognize them. There
is nothing which can do both greater good or harm in all matters than
our tongue, though it is such a small and feeble member of our body.

REMEMBER:--

_1. If we love God and, for His sake, our neighbor, we shall always
think well of him, even though he is our enemy._

_2. A child of God should never tell a lie. God hates a liar and will
punish him._

_3. Always speak well of your neighbor, defend him if he is falsely
accused, and explain his deeds and words in his favor._

_4. "There is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it
altogether."_ Ps. 139,4.

MEMORIZE:--

_Let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor._
Zech. 8,17.

_Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor._
Eph. 4,25.

_Speak not evil one of another, brethren._ Jas. 4,11.

_Charity shall cover the multitude of sins._ 1 Pet. 4,8.

QUESTIONS.

1. Which is the Eighth Commandment? 2. What does it mean to bear false
witness against our neighbor? 3. When is a statement a false statement?
4. When is it a statement against our neighbor? 5. When do we belie our
brother? 6. What does it mean to lie? 7. Who was the first liar in the
world? 8. How does God look upon a liar? 9. What does it mean to betray
our neighbor? 10. When do we slander and defame him? 11. What ought we
to do to protect the good name of our neighbor? 12. When should we
defend him? 13. What does it mean to speak well of him? 14. Who, for
example, spoke well of his friend? 15. Whom did the Jews praise in the
presence of the Lord? 16. What does it mean to put the best construction
on everything? 17. What do we read 1 Pet. 4,8? 18. Of what member of our
body should we take especial care?

LESSON 10.

The Ninth and Tenth Commandments.

Which is the Ninth Commandment?

_Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our
neighbor's inheritance and house, nor obtain it by a show of right, but
help and be of service to him in keeping it._

Which is the Tenth Commandment?

_Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his
maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbors._

What does this mean?

_We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice
away from our neighbor his wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to
stay and do their duty._

1. In the Ninth and the Tenth Commandment God forbids the same. Both
commandments begin with the words: _"Thou shalt not covet."_ To covet
means eagerly and sinfully to desire and want what does not belong to
us, but to some one else, to our neighbor. We are covetous when we envy
our neighbor because of what he has, and want it for ourselves, and will
not be satisfied until we have obtained it for ourselves. Remember the
story of _King Ahab and Naboth._ Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, had a
strong desire for a certain vineyard which was the property of Naboth.
He offered to buy the vineyard, but Naboth did not want to sell it
because he had inherited it from his fathers. Ahab kept on longing for
the property of his neighbor and was not satisfied until Naboth was
stoned to death, and he was able to take possession of the vineyard.
1 Kings 21,1-16. Here we learn what it is to covet our neighbor's
property.

2. We are all, by nature, covetous. We all envy our neighbor and desire
to obtain what belongs to him. God forbids such evil desires. Already in
the Seventh Commandment we learned that our neighbor's property ought to
be sacred to us because God Himself gave it to him. God does not want us
even to covet it, to _desire_ to obtain it against the will of our
neighbor. We should, therefore, not _craftily,_ with cunning and fraud,
_seek to get our neighbor's inheritance,_ what he inherited from his
parents, or his _house,_ nor try _to obtain it by a show of right,_ in
such a way that it appears right before men while it is wrong in the
sight of God. We should not _force or entice away our neighbor's wife,
or servants, or cattle, or whatever belongs to him._

3. The property of our neighbor should be sacred to us. Because we love
him for God's sake, we should _help him and be of service to him in
keeping his property._ We should urge our _neighbor's wife or servants
to remain with him and do their duty towards him_ whenever we see that
they are seeking to leave him. God, our heavenly Father, tells us in His
Word: _"By love serve one another."_ Gal. 5,13. And furthermore He says:
_"Look not every man on his own things, but ever man also on the things
of others."_ Phil. 2,4.

4. God forbids us to covet our neighbor's property, all that belongs to
him. _Covetousness is a sin of the heart._ God teaches us a very
important lesson in these last two commandments. He teaches us that not
only our evil deeds nor only our evil words are sins against the holy
God, _but also our evil thoughts._ In the sight of God every desire for
anything that He has forbidden in His Word is evil, is a sin, even if
this sinful thought does not break out in evil words or deeds. Every
lust in itself is truly a sin which God has threatened to punish. _"Thou
shalt not covet,"_ is His demand. Every sinful thought, every impure
desire in our heart, proves that we do not fear and love our heavenly
Father as we should, that we have broken not only these two
commandments, but the first also, yea, all the commandments of our Lord.

5. God demands that our hearts be holy. There should be no evil lust, no
desire for any sin in our hearts, _but only a holy desire to serve our
God and Father. "Ye shall be holy [without any sin], for I, the Lord,
your God, am holy."_ Lev. 19,2. Our hearts should be so filled with fear
and love of God and all that is good in His eyes that no evil thought,
no sinful lust, can find room in them. _"Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."_ Matt. 5,48.

6. These last two commandments, even as the First Commandment,
especially teach us that we have not kept the commandments of our Lord,
and _that we cannot keep them perfectly._ Our hearts are full of lust
against the demands of God, full of evil thoughts. Our lust so often
entices and tempts us to sin by word and deed. We must confess that
_we all are sinners in the sight of God._ And "the wages of sin is
death." We are poor and lost sinners. Therefore _we daily pray for God's
forgiveness,_ we beg our heavenly Father to be gracious unto us for
Christ's sake, who has fulfilled the commandments of God in our stead
and borne our sins.

REMEMBER:--

_1. "Thou shalt not covet," is God's command. If you covet what belongs
to your neighbor, you sin against God. Every desire in your heart to do
what the Lord has forbidden is a sin in the sight of God._

_2. God wants our hearts to be without sin, perfect and holy, as He
Himself is holy._

_3. My heart is sinful. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a
right spirit within me."_ Ps. 51,10.

MEMORIZE:--

_By love serve one another._ Gal. 5,13.

_Ye shall be holy; for I, the Lord, your God, am holy._ Lev. 19,2.

_Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is
perfect._ Matt. 5,48.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does God forbid in the last two commandments? 2. What does it
mean to covet? 3. Why should we not covet our neighbor's property? 4.
How should we not seek to get our neighbor's inheritance and house? 5.
What does it mean to obtain our neighbor's property by a show of right?
6. Whom should we not force and entice away from our neighbor? 7. What
should we do concerning our neighbor's inheritance and house? 8. What
does our Lord tell us Gal. 5,13? 9. What should we do concerning our
neighbor's wife and servants? 10. What important lesson do these
commandments teach us? 11. What does every impure desire in our heart
prove? 12. How should our hearts be? 13. What does our Lord command Lev.
19,2? 14. With what ought our hearts to be filled? 15. What does our
Savior say Matt. 5,48? 16. What must we confess when we consider
the commandments of God? 17. What should therefore be our daily prayer?

LESSON 11.

The Close of the Commandments.

What does God say of all these Commandments?

_He says thus: I, the Lord, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth
generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of
them, that love Me and keep My commandments._

What does this mean?

_God threatens to punish all that transgress these commandments.
Therefore we should fear His wrath, and not act contrary to them. But He
promises grace and every blessing to all that keep these commandments.
Therefore we should also love and trust in Him, and willingly do
according to His commandments._

1. Thus says the Lord of all His commandments: _"I, the Lord, thy God,
am a jealous God."_ God reminds us that He who has given us His
commandments is the _Lord._ He is our Lord, we are His servants. He, as
our Lord, has the right to give us His commandments, and we are in duty
bound to obey them.--He furthermore reminds us that He is _our God._
Through Christ, our Savior, God has become our God, our Father. A father
will give only good gifts to His children. Our heavenly Father means
well in giving His commandments. They are to be a blessing to us and
will be a blessing, if we rightly use them. We should thank Him for His
commandments.--God tells us that He is a _jealous God._ God is not
like a weak father who gives his children commands, but does not see to
it that his children obey. God is a strict, a very strict father. He
watches over His children whether they fulfil His commandments or break
them.--And do not forget: Our God is the _almighty_ God. He has the
power to do what He says, to carry out His threats and to fulfil His
promises. _"There is one Lawgiver_ [this lawgiver is God, who has given
us His commandments], _who is able to save and to destroy."_ Jas. 4,12.

2. God is a _jealous_ God. This He shows by _"visiting the iniquity_
[the wickedness] _of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
fourth generation of them that hate Him."_ That means: _"God threatens
to punish all that transgress these commandments."_ Those who break the
commandments of God surely deserve punishment. By breaking the Law of
God they sin against Him, they show that they _hate_ God, who has
created and preserved them, who gives them life and all they need, who
wants to be their Father in Christ, that they may become His children.
Instead of loving God, they hate Him, who is the Giver of all they have
and enjoy.--What punishment does God threaten those who hate Him? This
is what He threatens: _"Cursed be he that confirmeth_ [keeps] _not all
the words of this Law to do them."_ God's displeasure, His curse, His
anger and wrath, will be upon him that sins. How fearful is it to be
cursed by the almighty God!--When God gave Adam the first command, He
said: _"In the day that thou eatest thereof_ [of the tree] _thou shalt
surely die."_ Gen. 2,17. God threatens _death_ to every sinner. _"The
soul that sinneth, it shall die."_ Ezek. 18,20. _"The wages of sin is
death,"_ God tells us in His Word. Rom. 6,23. And after death eternal
damnation awaits the sinner. _Verily, we should fear God's wrath and
terrible punishment and not act contrary to His commandments._ We should
daily pray our heavenly Father for grace to help us shun and flee all
sins, even every evil thought that would bring God's wrath and
punishment upon us. Daily we will go to Christ, our only Savior, who has
redeemed us from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil.

3. Our God is a _merciful_ God. This He proves _"by showing mercy unto
thousands that love Him and keep His commandments."_ God threatens to
punish all that transgress these commandments, but He also _"promises
grace and every blessing to all that keep these commandments."_ Our God
is a gracious and loving God. He promises to reward those who keep His
commandments. It is true, we do not deserve any reward, even if we
fulfil His Law and live according to His will. It is our duty to do so.
But so kind and loving is He to His children that He will reward them if
they do what they owe Him.--What does our God promise us? He promises
_grace and every blessing._ The grace of God will be upon us when in
love of God we try to keep His commandments. He will be well pleased
with us, His children. What a great thing it is to be assured of God's
grace and good will! Who can harm us when the Lord is with us? He
furthermore promises _every blessing_ to those who keep His
commandments. God will bless His obedient children here on earth, in
this life, but far more will He bless them in the life to come with
eternal salvation. In heaven we shall see Him, our Father and Savior.
_Therefore we should also love and trust in Him and willingly do
according to His commandments._

4. The Ten Commandments teach us the _holy will of our God,_ or, as we
also call it, _His Law._ Here we learn what as God's children we should
do and not do, in order to please Him. Gladly we should learn it. We
desire to love Him who has loved us.--We learn also _that we have not
kept the Law,_ that we cannot keep it, that we daily transgress the
commandments of our Lord. We learn that we are sinners who have
deserved death and damnation. This also we should learn willingly, for
it teaches us _how much we need a savior._ And then we go to our only
Savior, to our Lord, who has fulfilled the Law in our stead.

REMEMBER:--

_1. God is our Lord. He has a right to give us His commandments, and it
is our duty to obey Him. He is a jealous God, who will see to it that
His Law is fulfilled._

_2. God threatens to punish all who hate Him and transgress His
commandments. Fear His wrath and do not act contrary to His holy will._

_3. God promises grace and every blessing to all who love Him and keep
His commandments. Love and trust Him, and willingly do according to His
will._

MEMORIZE:--

_There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy._ Jas. 4,12.

_Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this Law to do them._
Deut. 27,26.

_The soul that sinneth, it shall die._ Ezek. 18,20.

_The wages of sin is death._ Rom. 6,23.

_This do, and thou shalt live._ Luke 10,28.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does God call Himself at the close of the Ten Commandments? 2.
What right has God as our Lord? 3. What is our duty to Him? 4. Of what
does God remind us when He calls Himself a jealous God? 5. What does God
threaten to all that transgress His commandments? 6. What is the
punishment that God threatens? 7. What is the wages of sin? 8. What
punishment does God threaten the sinner after his death? 9. What does
God promise those that love Him and keep His commandments? 10. Why do we
not deserve any reward? 11. What is the reward which God promises us?
12. What should we do because God promises such rich reward? 13. What do
the Ten Commandments teach us? 14. What do we furthermore learn from
them? 15. Of whom are we in need because we are sinners? 16. Who is our
true and only Savior?

LESSON 12.

Review.

1. We have studied the Ten Commandments. Who gave us these commandments?
In all His commandments God tells us His holy will; He tells us what we
should do and not do. Why should we gladly obey Him? What is our
Father's will according to the _First Commandment?_ When do we regard
God as our God? When do we show that we fear and love Him? What does it
mean to trust in God? What sin do we commit if we fear and love any one
more than the true God?

2. Which is the _Second Commandment?_ Our Catechism begins the
explanation of every commandment after the First with these words: "We
should fear and love God." What do we learn from this? In the Second
Commandment God reveals His will concerning His holy name. Mention some
of God's names. In all these names God shows us who and what He is. His
name should therefore be sacred to us. When do we take His holy name in
vain? What does it mean to curse by God's name? How should we use His
holy name?

3. Which is the _Third Commandment?_ We celebrate as our holy-day the
first day of the week, Sunday. Who instituted this holy-day? How do we
sanctify our holy-day? We should not despise preaching and His Word.
When do we despise preaching and God's Word? How should we hold God's
Word? How is this done?--To whom do the first three commandments
relate? What is their sum? To whom do the other commandments relate? How
should we love our neighbor?

4. We should love our neighbor as ourselves. Of all our fellow-men our
dear _parents_ are nearest to us. What is God's will concerning our
parents? What place does God give them by commanding us to honor them?
Whose representatives are they? We should honor our parents as God's
representatives. God has placed them over us. What should we therefore
not do with regard to our parents? When do we honor them?

5. In the _Fifth Commandment_ God teaches us His will regarding the
life, body, and health of our neighbor. Who is the Giver of all life?
What right, therefore, belongs to God alone? God forbids us to kill, to
take the life of our neighbor. But He forbids more. What does God
furthermore forbid in this commandment? When do we hurt our neighbor in
his body? When do we harm him in his body? When should we help and
befriend our neighbor? What is "bodily need"? How should our hearts be
disposed towards our neighbor according to the Fifth Commandment?

6. According to the _Sixth Commandment_ we should lead a chaste and
decent life. How should our hearts be in order that we may lead such a
life? When are our hearts chaste? When do we lead a chaste and decent
life in words? What acts must we shun to lead a chaste and decent life
in deed? Our hearts, by nature, are unclean and full of evil lust; what
should we do that our hearts may become clean? Do you know the prayer
for a clean heart? Ps. 51,10. What kind of place is this world? What may
meet us everywhere? What places should we therefore shun? What does God
command of married people in this commandment?

7. In the _Seventh Commandment_ God protects our neighbor's property.
From whom do we receive all that belongs to us? The property of our
neighbor should be sacred to us because it is given him by God. What
does God therefore forbid in this commandment? When do we steal our
neighbor's property? There are many ways of taking our neighbor's
property. Name some of them. How do we take our neighbor's goods and
money by false ware and dealing? In what way should we help our neighbor
to keep and improve his property?

8. Which is the _Eighth Commandment?_ What is false witness? When do we
bear false witness against our neighbor? When do we tell a lie? Never
tell a lie. God hates all liars. Who was the first liar? What does it
mean to slander and defame our brother? How should we act toward our
neighbor according to the Eighth Commandment? When do we put the best
construction on everything we hear about him? Of which member of our
body should we take special care?

9. _The Ninth and the Tenth Commandment_ begin with these words: "Thou
shalt not covet." Covetousness is in the heart. What important lesson do
we therefore learn from these commandments? What should not be found in
our hearts according to these commandments? How should our hearts be?
Are they holy? What must we therefore confess? What should be our daily
prayer?

10. _What does God say of all these commandments?_ Why does He call
Himself the Lord? What does He mean when He calls Himself a jealous God?
What does He threaten in these words? Whom will He punish? What does He
threaten those who hate Him and transgress His commandments? Therefore
we should fear His wrath and not act contrary to His commandments. What
does God promise those who love Him and keep His commandments? What is
the reward which He promises them? Why does He give His children such
rich rewards? What should this grace and kindness of God induce us to
do? What do the Ten Commandments teach us? We do not perfectly fulfil
the will of God; we are sinners. Whom are we in need of because we are
sinners? Who is our true and only Savior?

Let us all diligently study the Ten Commandments and learn therefrom the
will of our Father. Let us pray to God for His Spirit that we may live
according to His will more and more.

LESSON 13.

Our Creed.

1. You have already learned by heart the Three Articles of the Creed.
These articles, together with their explanation, form the _Second Chief
Part of our Small Catechism._ The Three Articles are called the _Creed,_
that is, the _Christian faith._ In these articles is contained all that
we Christians _believe_ in our hearts, and _confess_ with our mouths,
_regarding God and His works,_ all that He has done and will do for us,
His children. Through Baptism you have become God's children; you must
therefore also believe and confess what our Church confesses in these
Three Articles. Consequently it is necessary for us to study them, in
order that we may understand them.

2. No man knows of himself who God is and what He has done for us. _God
alone_ can tell us about these things. And God has revealed Himself to
us; He has told us in His holy _Word_ who He is and what He has done for
us. From Holy Scriptures alone do we learn what we, as Christians, are
to know and believe regarding God and His works. And what God tells us
in His Word we verily may believe. It must be true, since God cannot and
will not lie.--All the doctrines in Holy Scriptures which teach us who
God is and what He has done and will do for us to save us, we call the
_Gospel._ The word Gospel means _glad tidings, good news._

3. In the first part of our Small Catechism we also studied a word of
God, and we have called it the _holy will of God,_ or the _Law._ So you
see that there are _two chief doctrines in our Bible;_ one we call the
Law; the other, the Gospel. Both are revealed to us by our heavenly
Father, both are the Word of God. _But they differ greatly from each
other._ The _Law_ tells us how, according to the will of God, we ought
to be and what we must do and not do to please our God. From it we learn
that we all are sinners, having not kept His commandments, and that God
threatens to punish all who hate Him and break His commandments; that,
therefore, as transgressors of His Law, we deserve His punishment, death
and damnation. The Law does not bring us glad tidings.--The _Gospel_
has quite another message for us. It brings a message of joy to sinners,
to those who have broken the commandments. It tells us that God loves
even us sinners. _"God so loved the world,"_ that is, all sinful men,
_"that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life."_ John 3,16. It teaches
us what and how much God, moved by His love and grace toward us sinners,
has done and will do to save us from the deserved punishment of the Law,
from sin, death, and hell. These are indeed good tidings, tidings of
great joy for all men, to know that we have a Savior who can and will
save us and give us eternal happiness in heaven. This Gospel of great
joy we hear and learn in the Three Articles of our Christian faith.

4. We call the Three Articles the Creed, or the _Apostles' Creed._ This
Creed contains what the apostles of the Lord believed and what they
taught in all the world, as the Lord Himself had commanded them: _"Go ye
into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."_ Mark
16,15. Let us give thanks to our dear Lord for having graciously sent
His Gospel also to us that we may be saved thereby.

5. We have three articles of faith, because God has done three great
saving works for us. We call these _Creation, Redemption, and
Sanctification._ In our next lesson we shall begin our study of the
first of the Three Articles, which treats of Creation.

REMEMBER:--

1. _In the Three Articles is contained all that we believe and confess
regarding God and His saving works for us. We call them also the
Apostles' Creed. Our Creed is taken from Scripture._

2. _There are two chief doctrines in the Bible, the Law and the Gospel.
Both are God's Word. The Law tells us how, according to the will of God,
we ought to be and what we must do and not do. It also tells us that God
will punish us because we have not fulfilled, His commandments._

3. _The Gospel brings to us the glad tidings of the grace and love of
God. It tells us what God in His grace has done and will do to save us
from the punishment of the Law, from sin and hell._

MEMORIZE:--

_The Gospel is the glad tidings of the grace of God toward all men,
proclaiming to them salvation from sin and death in Christ Jesus._

_God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting
life._ John 3,16.

_Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature._ Mark
16,15.

QUESTIONS.

1. Of what does the Second Chief Part of our Catechism treat? 2. How do
we also call these Three Articles? 3. What does the word "creed" mean?
4. Where are the Three Articles of our Christian faith taken from? 5.
How many chief doctrines are contained in the Scriptures? 6. How are
these two doctrines called? 7. What does our Lord tell us in His Law? 8.
With what does the Law threaten us because we have not fulfilled it? 9.
What will our punishment be according to the Law? 10. What is the
Gospel? 11. What does the word "Gospel" mean? 12. What does God reveal
to us in His Gospel? 13. Recite the Gospel-message that we find John
3,16. 14. In what work especially has God shown His love toward mankind?
15. Who, according to the words of our Savior, shall not perish? 16.
What will God give to him that believeth? 17. Why are the Three Articles
called the Apostles' Creed? 18. Why do we confess our faith in three
articles? 19. What are the three great works which God has done and will
do for our salvation? 20. To whom is the Gospel to be preached? 21.
Recite the command of our Lord to His disciples to preach the Gospel to
all the world. 22. What does the word "creature" in this verse mean?

LESSON 14.

The First Article.

Of Creation.

Which is the First Article of the Creed?

_I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth._

What does this mean?

_I believe that God has made me and all creatures._

1. _"I believe in God,"_ thus the First Article begins. Every Christian
should confess and every true Christian does confess: _I, I myself,_
believe in God. It is of no avail to us that anybody else believes, we
ourselves must believe in God. _We believe in God the Father Almighty._
We believe that God is the Father Almighty, or the almighty Father. And
why do we believe that God is the almighty Father? Because He is _the
Maker of heaven and earth._ That is God's first great, saving work for
us. He has made heaven and earth. We call this work the _creation._

2. _God is the Maker of heaven and earth._ Our Catechism explains these
words thus: _"I believe that God has made me and all creatures."_ God
has made _me;_ it is due to Him that I came into existence, that I am
living. He gave me life and everything that I have. God, however, did
not only make me, but me _and all creatures._ Creatures are all things
that God has made. Heaven and earth, all the angels, the sun, the moon,
the glittering stars, all things on earth, the mountain and the mighty
oceans, all animals, large and small, all the plants on land and in the
water, man himself; all things that we see, yes, even those we do not
see, all things, visible and invisible, are His creatures. God has made
them all, they are the work of His almighty power. "In the beginning God
created the heaven and the earth." Gen. 1,1. "By Him were all things
created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and
invisible." Col. 1,16.

3. In Bible History you have already learned _how_ God made or created
heaven and earth. Before God began to create the world, nothing was
there except God alone, the Creator. God always was, is, and in all
eternity will be. _"From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God."_ Ps.
90,2.--God did not have any material out of which to make this world.
_Out of nothing_ He created heaven and earth. God simply said, "Let
there be light," and there was light. He simply said, Let there be the
sun and the moon and the stars, and, behold, there they were, shining in
all their splendor. In this manner, by speaking, by His word, God made
all things, visible and invisible, heaven and earth. God has created
everything without any means; _God has made heaven and earth and all
creatures out of nothing, by His word._ We do not understand how this is
possible; but we believe it because God Himself has revealed it to us in
His Word. _"Through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by
the word of God."_ Heb. 11,3. God made all things by His word, with the
exception of His foremost creature, man. It pleased Him to form the
first man in a different manner. Do you know how God made Adam? Read
Gen. 1,26-28 and 2,7.--God could have made heaven and earth, as we see
them now, in one instant, but it has pleased Him to do it in _six days._
In six days _"the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of
them."_ Gen. 2,1. And when all this was finished, _"God saw everything
that He had made, and, behold, it was very good."_ Gen. 1,31.

4. When we consider this great work of our Lord, consider that He has
made the whole world, the heavens and all the host of them, the mighty
sun, the countless stars, the earth with all its treasures, with its
millions of living creatures, must we not say that God, who created all
these things by His word alone, is a _mighty_ and _powerful_ God, more
powerful and mighty than all other things which He has made? And it is
true indeed, God is more powerful than His creatures. He is _almighty._
We believe in God, _the Father Almighty. "With God nothing shall be
impossible,"_ Holy Scripture tells us. Luke 1,37. _"He hath done
whatsoever He hath pleased."_ Ps. 115,3. God is an almighty Father. In
Him we can trust. He can and will be our help. No one and nothing can
resist His mighty power.

5. When we consider how wonderful this world is made, when we consider
that everything that came from the hand of God was very good, that
everything was made as it should be to serve its end, must we not say
that God is a very wise God, being able to plan such a wonderful and
good work? Yea, _our God is the all-wise God._ What He does is always
good and wise, even if we do not understand it.--And remember,
moreover, that God has created this beautiful world for us, His
children. This great and wonderful earth is to be our dwelling-place;
sun, moon, and the stars are to serve us. Is not our God a loving, a
good, a merciful God? Truly, _"the Lord is good to all; and His tender
mercies are over all His works."_ Ps. 145,9. _"God is Love."_ 1 John
4,8. In Him, our loving, merciful God, will we trust; He _will_ surely
help us.

REMEMBER:--

1. _I myself must believe in God the Father Almighty. The faith of
another cannot save me._

2. _In six days God created heaven and earth. He is the Creator of all
things, visible and invisible. He has created, that is, made, all things
out of nothing, by His word. This we believe because God Himself
has revealed it unto us in Holy Scriptures._

3. _God, the Maker of heaven and earth, always has been and always will
be. From everlasting to everlasting He is God. He is our almighty and
all-wise Father, always loving, good, and merciful. In Him we can and
will trust._

MEMORIZE:--

_In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth._ Gen. 1,1.

_Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of
God._ Heb. 11,3.

_From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God._ Ps. 90,2.

_With God nothing shall be impossible._ Luke 1,37.

_God is Love._ John 4,8.

QUESTIONS.

1. Why do we say in our Creed, _I_ believe? 2. In whom do we believe
according to the First Article? 3. Why do we call God "the Father
Almighty"? 4. How does our Catechism explain the words "Maker of heaven
and earth"? 5. What are creatures? 6. In how many days did God create
heaven and earth? 7. What does it mean when we say God _created_ them?
8. Why do we believe that God made everything out of nothing, merely by
His word? 9. Recite Heb. 11,3. 10. How was everything when God had
finished the work of creation? 11. What do we learn of God from Ps.
90,2? 12. Why is God called the almighty Father? 13. How does the
creation show us that God is all-wise? 14. Which other qualities of God
do we learn from His work of creation? 15. Why can and will we always
trust in the almighty, all-wise, loving, and merciful God?

LESSON 15.

The First Article.

God Has Made Me And Still Preserves Me.

Which is the First Article of the Creed?

_I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth._

What does this mean?

_I believe that God has made me and all creatures, that He has given me
my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my
senses, and still preserves them._

1. God is the Maker of heaven and earth. I believe that God made all
creatures, all things in heaven and earth. He also created _man._ About
the creation of man we read in the Holy Scriptures: _"And God said, Let
us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the
cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the
image of God, created He him; male and female created He them. And God
blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of
the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that
moveth upon the earth."_ Gen. 1,26-28. _"And the Lord God formed man of
the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of
life; and man became a living soul."_ Gen. 2,7. There is a _great
difference_ between the creation of man and the creation of all other
visible things. God, so to say, took especial care about this last of
all His wonderful works. He did not merely say: Let there be a man, but
God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as it were, _deliberated_ and
_planned_ beforehand how to make man. God then formed man, that is, his
body, _out of the dust of the ground,_ and _breathed the breath of
life,_ his soul, into his nostrils, his nose, and so man became a living
soul.--And what is more, God created man _in His own image, after His
likeness._ As God is Lord and Master over all things and governs them,
so He gave to man the power to govern all things on earth; He gave him
_dominion_ over all the creatures on earth, to be Lord over this world.
God made man in His own image. Adam and Eve were created _holy, without
any blemish and sin._ They _knew_ and _loved God,_ their Creator, and
lived according to His holy will. Truly, man is the _foremost of all of
God's visible creatures._ God has made all men; therefore I confess, He
made _me._

2. _"I believe,"_ I know it to be true from the Word of God, _"that God
made me." He has made me by giving me body and soul._ True, God did not
make me as He made Adam, by forming my body out of the dust and
breathing the breath of life into my nostrils. He made me by giving me
body and soul through my parents. Nevertheless it is true that God has
made me, that my body and my soul are _the gift of God,_ my heavenly
Father. I confess: _"The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of
the Almighty hath given me life."_ Job 33,4.

3. How wonderfully did God make me! _"He has given me my body and soul,
eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses."_ Consider
how beautifully and wonderfully God made your body. He gave you _eyes_
and _ears._ You can _see_ and _hear;_ you can see all the great works of
Go, the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the animals and plants, the
mighty mountains and the vast seas. You can see your fellow-men, your
friends and parents, and hear their voices, hear their words that
instruct and console you. You ca read your Bible and hear the preaching
of God's Word. He gave you not only eyes and ears, but _all the members
of your body_--your mouth so that you are able to talk to your friends
and parents and make known your needs and wishes; your feet and hands
for your work.--We are wonderfully made. God has given you a _soul,_
and He has endowed it with _reason,_ and has given you _all your
senses._ You are able to _think_ about the great work of God that
surround you, to try to understand what they are and for what purpose
God created them, You are able to understand all that God tells you in
His Word about Himself, His will, and His grace, and thus to know Him.
You are able to _feel_ His goodness, His fatherly love and mercy. Surely
we must say: _"I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made. Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well."_
Ps. 139,14.

4. _"I believe that God has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and
all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still preserves them."_
Every Christian confesses: God, my Father, _preserves_ me, my life, my
body and soul, all that I am. God has not made us and given us His great
gifts and then left it to us how to preserve and keep them. This we
could never do. He is not like a builder who, having finished a house,
leaves it and lets others take care of it in the future. _"He is not far
from every one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our
being."_ Acts 17, 27.28. He will preserve us, and He alone, our Almighty
Father, can do it. He has preserved me until this day. The fact that I
am still enjoying life, that I still have body and soul with all their
precious gifts, that I still can see and hear and have the use of my
members, that I still have the gift of reason and the use of my senses,
all this is not my work, not due to my prudence, or the care of my
parents, or the skill of a physician, _but it is God's work and gift
alone. "He upholds all things by the word of His power."_ Heb. 1,3. And
I believe that God, my Father, will also in future preserve me, His
child, until the hour of death, and that He will then for Christ's sake
take me up to heaven, body and soul, and there preserve me forever.

REMEMBER:--

1. _God has made you. He has given you your body and soul, eyes, ears,
and all your members, your reason and all your senses. He is your
almighty Father._

2. _God has preserved and still preserves you. That you are still
living, that you have body and soul and the use of your reason and all
your members, is God's free gift alone. God is your almighty Father._

3. _How precious are these gifts of God! Never forget how wonderfully
you are made. God, your almighty Father, is also a very kind and loving
Father._

MEMORIZE:--

_I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous
are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well._ Ps. 139,14.

_He is not far from every one of us; for in Him we live and move and
have our being._ Acts 17,27.28.

_He upholds all things by the word of His power._ Heb. 1,3.

QUESTIONS.

1. On which of the six days did God create man? 2. What is the
difference between the creation of man and the creation of all other
visible creatures? 3. What did God do before He created man? 4. Out of
what did He form his body? 5. How did God create his soul? 6. What does
it mean that God created man in His own image? 7. How were Adam and Eve
after God had created them? 8. How did they show that they were holy and
without sin? 9. How did God make _you?_ 10. Through whom did He give you
body and soul? 11. Which gift did God bestow upon your body? 12. Why are
eyes and ears and all members such wonderful gifts of God? 13. Which is
God's greatest gift to your soul? 14. Why is reason His greatest gift?
15. What does God do for us in addition to having created us? 16. What
does it mean that God preserves us? 17. Until what day did God preserve
you? 18. How long will He preserve you? 19. What, therefore, is God to
me because He made me and preserves me?

LESSON 16.

The First Article.

How My Heavenly Father Provides For Me And Guards My Life.

Which is the First Article of the Creed?

_I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth._

What does this mean?

_I believe that God has given me also clothing and shoes, meat and
drink, house and home, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my
goods; that He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to
support this body and life; that He defends me against all danger, and
guards and protects me from all evil._

1. In the First Article of our Christian faith we say: _"I believe in
God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth."_ This means, as we
have learned: _I believe that God has made me and has given me my body
and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses,
and still preserves them._ God generally does not preserve us by His
word and will alone, but through _earthly means._ In order to preserve
our life and body, we must eat and drink, have clothing, house and home,
etc. True, God could preserve us without these means. He is the
Almighty. He has done so at times. He preserved Moses' life for forty
days and nights without food and drink on Mount Sinai. Ex. 34,28. Jesus
twice, as you know, fed several thousand people with a few loaves of
bread and with a few fish. God can do so to-day, and He will do it if
His children are in need of it. But generally it pleases God to preserve
our body and life through outward means. _God preserves me by providing
me with all that I need to support my body and life._

2. I need many things to support my body and life. Our Catechism names
quite a number of them. In order to support our life, we must have _meat
and drink._ We must have _clothing and shoes, house and home_ to protect
our bodies from sunshine and rain. True, you have not everything that
is named in our Catechism; but all these things are necessary to
preserve our lives, and somebody must have them. The farmer must have
_fields_ and _cattle_ to provide for his life and for the lives of many
other people. _All my goods,_ all that I need and have, clothing and
shoes, meat and drink house and home, father and mother, brothers and
sisters, were given me _by God, my heavenly Father. "The eyes of all
wait upon Thee, and Thou givest them their meat in due season Thou
openest Thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every living thing."_
Ps. 145,15.16.

3. God provides me with all that I need to support my life. God
generally does it through _the work of our hands._ He can do it without
our work, or labor, and at times has done so. Remember how God gave
manna from heaven to the children of Israel when they were in the
desert. Deut. 8,3.4. Remember how He fed His prophet Elijah during the
famine by sending the ravens to bring him his daily bread. 1 Kings 17.
God can do the same thing to-day, and He certainly will do so whenever
His children are in need of it. _"Cast all your care upon Him; for He
careth for you."_ 1 Pet. 5,7. As a rule, however, God wants us to work
diligently and carefully to save what we earn. But still it is _God_
that provides for us. He gives us strength and health for our work. He
blesses our labors. Without His blessing all our labor would be in vain.
_"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."_
Ps. 127,1.

4. God provides me with all that I need for my life and body, and He
does so _richly and daily._ God provides me _richly._ I have a rich
Father. He is the Maker of heaven and earth. Everything belongs to Him.
Out of His abundance He gives us richly all that we need, and often more
than we need. He gives us daily, that is, He never tires of giving.
Every morning He begins anew to bless us by giving us our daily bread.

5. One thing more is needed to preserve us. Our life and our body are in
constant danger. But a child of God confesses: _"He defends me against
all danger, and guard and protects me from all evil."_ Remember how He
defended the children of Israel against their enemies, the Egyptians, at
the Red Sea. Ex. 13.14. Remember how He guarded His Son, the
Christ-child, whom King Herod sought to kill. Matt. 2,13-15. So God
defends and guards all His children. _"There shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."_ Ps. 91,10. True, also
children of God have to suffer, they have many troubles and misfortunes;
but their Father protects them in all these troubles, so that nothing
can really harm them, but that everything must work together for good to
them. Joseph in Egypt had to suffer much that was meant to do him harm,
being cast into prison; but God was with him and made everything turn
out for his welfare. He himself said to his brothers: _"Ye thought evil
against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this
day, to save much people alive."_ Gen. 50,20.--In protecting His
children from evil, God often uses His _angels,_ those holy spirits whom
He has created, and whom He sends out to minister to His children. By an
angel God protected Daniel in the den of the lions and the three men in
the fiery furnace. He sends His angels to protect us from evil. _"He
shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands lest thou dash thy foot against a
stone."_ Ps. 91, 11.12.

REMEMBER:--

1. _God preserves you by providing you with all things that you need for
your life and body. He does so richly and daily. Therefore trust in Him,
your rich and merciful Father._

2. _God wants you to work diligently and earn your daily bread; He also
wants you to be thrifty, saving, with what He has given you. But with
all your working and saving you could never provide the necessary food
and clothing without God's blessing. He alone provides for you._

3. _Trust in God! He will defend you against all danger and guard and
protect you from all evil. He will send His angels so that no evil may
harm you._

MEMORIZE:--

_The eyes of all wait upon Thee, and Thou givest them their meat in due
season. Thou openest Thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every
living thing._ Ps. 145,15.16.

_Cast all your care upon Him, for He careth for you._ 1 Pet. 5,7.

_There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy
dwelling._ Ps. 91,10.

_He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy
ways._ Ps. 91, 11.

_Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it
to pass._ Ps. 37,5.

QUESTIONS.

1. How does God preserve you? 2. What must you do to preserve your life
and body? 3. Where has God shown that He can preserve us without any
means? 4. In what manner does God generally preserve us? 5. Which of the
things that are needed to support our life and body does our Catechism
mention? 6. Who gave me all the good things I have? 7. In what way does
God generally provide us with the things necessary for our life? 8.
When, for instance, did God show that He can provide for us without the
labor of our hands? 9. What, however, is God's rule in this matter? 10.
Can you show that God provides for us even though we work to earn our
living? 11. How does God provide you with all that is needed for your
life? 12. Why can He provide richly for His children? 13. What more does
God do to preserve us? 14. Give examples of God's protecting care over
His children. 15. What is our consolation when we have troubles and
misfortunes? 16. Whom does God often send forth to protect His children?
17. What do we read Ps. 37,5?

LESSON 17.

The First Article.

God Has Made Me And Preserves Me Out Of Fatherly, Divine Goodness And
Mercy.

Which is the First Article of the Creed?

_I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth._

What does this mean?

_I believe that God does all this out of fatherly, divine goodness and
mercy, without an merit or worthiness in me._

1. We have learned that God has _made_ me by giving me my body and soul,
and that He still _preserves_ me by giving me richly and daily all that
I need for life and body, by guarding and protecting me from all evil.
Now we ask, _Why has God done all this for me?_ Our Catechism answers:
He has done _"all this purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and
mercy."_ This answer is taken from the Word of God. _"The Lord is good
to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works."_ Ps. 145,9.--
God is moved by His _goodness_ to bestow His manifold blessings on us.
_Our God is good._ Ps. 118,1. He loves all His creatures, especially
those whom in Holy Baptism and through faith in Jesus Christ He has
accepted as His children. He wishes to make them happy here on earth and
above all, eternally in heaven. He also loves you; therefore He has
formed your body so beautifully and given you an immortal soul;
therefore He provides you with all that is needed for your life and
body, and does this richly and daily.

2. God is moved by His _mercy_ to provide for me and protect me. _"His
tender mercies are over all His works." Our God is a merciful God._ He
knows that without Him, without His provident care, we are helpless,
unable to support our life, not even for a single day. And He has
compassion on us. He does not like to see His children in need and
danger. His tender mercies are over you also; therefore He feeds and
clothes you through your parents or friends; therefore He guards and
protects you, His child.

3. His goodness and mercy is _fatherly_ goodness and mercy. He provides
for me and protects me as a _father_ provides for his children and
protects them. _"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord
pitieth them that fear Him."_ Ps. 103,13. Not only in His Word does God
assure us that He is our loving Father, but He daily proves it to us by
the blessings He sends us. He has given me my beautiful body and a
rational soul, that is, powers to think and understand; He daily
provides for everything I need; He is at my side in every danger to
defend me; from every evil that comes near me He protects me. Surely
_God is my Father._--His goodness and mercy are a _divine_ goodness
and mercy, such as only God has and can have, a _perfect_ and
_never-failing_ goodness and mercy. My Father is the _Father
Almighty,_ who daily will and can provide for and protect His
children. _"His compassions fail not. They are new every morning."_
Lam. 3,22.--Therefore I confess: _I believe in God, my almighty
Father,_ that is, I do not only know from the Word of God and from the
blessings I am daily receiving from Him that the almighty God is my
Father, but _with all my heart I trust in Him,_ I confide in Him, I
rely on Him as on my true Father. When I am in need, I trust in Him,
my Father; He will and can provide for me. When dangers surround me, I
trust in Him, my Father; He will and can defend me. When evil seems to
come near me, I trust in Him, my Father; He will and can protect me. _To
believe in God the Father Almighty means to be fully assured that the
almighty God is my Father, and with all my heart to trust in Him who is
my Father for Jesus' sake._

4. Whatever God does for His children, He does _"purely_ out of
fatherly, divine goodness and mercy." His fatherly goodness and mercy--
nothing else--moves Him to show us goodness and mercy. He provides and
protects me _"without any merit or worthiness in me."_ When a man
performs some work for another man, he has done something for him and
thereby earned, or _merited,_ payment for such service. We have not
given anything to God, so that He would be in duty bound to reward us
for it. We have not earned His fatherly love, nor can we ever do so.--
When a rich man bestows a free gift upon a poor man, this poor man has
certainly not merited this gift, but he may be _worthy_ of the help. His
worthiness may have moved the rich man to take pity on him. We are _not
worthy_ of anything that God bestows upon us; we do not deserve His
fatherly love and kindness. We have transgressed, and daily transgress,
His holy commandments. We are sinners. We so often misuse God's kindness
and His gifts. If God were to treat us according to our merits and
worthiness, He would not be able to bless us, but he would have to
punish and condemn us. In us God does not find anything that might move
Him to love us and to care for us. It is _purely_ out of His fatherly,
divine goodness and mercy that He loves me and provides for me, an
unworthy sinner. We must confess with Jacob: _"I am not worthy of the
least of all the mercies and of all the truth which Thou hast showed
unto Thy servant."_ Gen. 32,10.

REMEMBER:--

1. _In bestowing all His blessings on me God is moved only by His
goodness and mercy, not by any merit or worthiness in me. All I am and
all I have and receive is a free gift of His love and kindness._

2. _God's goodness and mercy are a fatherly and divine goodness and
mercy. He daily shows that He is my Father indeed, who loves me and
cares for me with a most perfect, never-failing, never-ceasing love._

3. _To believe in God the Father Almighty means to know and be assured
from Scripture that the almighty God is my Father, and with all my heart
to trust and confide in Him who is my Father for Christ's sake._

MEMORIZE:--

_The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His
works._ Ps. 145,9.

_Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that
fear Him._ Ps. 103,13.

_I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth
which Thou hast showed unto Thy servant._ Gen. 32,10.

_I believe in God the Father Almighty, that is, I know and am assured
that the almighty God is my Father; with all my heart, therefore, I
trust and confide in Him who is my Father for Christ's sake._

QUESTIONS.

1. Who has made you and still preserves you? 2. What moves God to do
this? 3. Whom among His creatures does God especially love? 4. How does
He show His goodness and love toward His children? 5. What furthermore
moves God to care for His children? 6. What does it mean that God is
merciful? 7. How are His goodness and mercy called in our Catechism? 8.
What do we read Ps. 103,13? 9. How does God daily show His fatherly
goodness toward you? 10. How are His goodness and mercy furthermore
called in our Catechism? 11. Why is His goodness called a divine
goodness? 12. What do we therefore confess because God daily shows us
His fatherly love and mercy? 13. What does this mean, "I believe in God
the Father Almighty"? 14. Why may and should we trust and confide in God
as in our Father? 15. What does not move God to love us and provide for
us? 16. Why do we not merit God's love and kindness? 17. Why are we not
worthy of His goodness and mercy? 18. What have we sinners merited? 19.
Recite what Jacob said to the Lord. Gen. 32,10.

LESSON 18.

The First Article.

For His Goodness And Mercy I Will Thank And Praise My Father, And Serve
And Obey Him.

Which is the First Article?

_I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth._

What does this mean?

_I believe that for all this it is my duty to thank and praise, to serve
and obey Him. This is most certainly true._

1. Great are the blessings which we daily receive from our heavenly
Father. It is He who preserves our bodies and souls. It is He who
provides us with all that we need for our lives, and who defends us
against all danger and guards and protects us from all evil. And He does
all this without any merit or worthiness in me, moved purely by His
fatherly, divine goodness and mercy. When we consider all this love
and kindness, we ask, _What, then, is our duty toward our Father in
heaven? "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward
me?"_ Ps. 116,12. Our Catechism answers: _"For all which it is my duty
to thank and praise, to serve and obey Him."_

2. For all His benefits we should, and, most certainly, every child of
God gladly will, _thank_ our Father. When somebody has shown us a
kindness and given us valuable gifts, we certainly thank him. How we do
look down with contempt upon an ungrateful person! If we give thanks to
our human benefactors, how much more should we thank God, our greatest
Benefactor, from whom we receive every good and perfect gift! It is
_God's will_ that we thank Him. _"O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is
good, because His mercy endureth forever."_ Ps. 118,1. Remember how well
pleased our Lord was with the _grateful Samaritan_ who alone of the ten
came back to thank Him for the gift of his health. Luke 17, 17-19. To be
able to thank God we must _believe in our hearts_ that everything that
we are, have and enjoy is God's gracious gift. Yet many do not admit
this. They boast that they themselves provide for their life by their
daily work, that they themselves defend their bodies and souls from
danger and evil, and so they do not consider it their duty to thank the
Lord. We are assured that all we have is a free gift of God, and
therefore we must and will thank Him in all our prayers. Do not forget
to do this, especially in your morning and evening prayers, as well as
before and after meals. (See the prayers in your Catechism.)

3. _We should praise God, our Father._ With glad and rejoicing hearts we
will _tell_ others, our fellow-men, of the great and wondrous things the
Lord has done for us. We will _make know_ to them what a mighty and wise
as well as gracious, merciful, and loving Father our God is, and thus
_glorify_ His name in the world, also in the presence of _unbelievers.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits!"_ Ps.
103,2. "To God, the Father of all love, the God of earth and heaven, the
mighty God who reigns above, be praise and glory given! With healing
balm my soul He fills and every pain and sorrow stills: To God all
praise and glory!"

4. _It is our duty to serve the Lord._ God, it is true, is not in need
of our poor services, for it is He who gives us day by day everything we
have. But He has told us in His Word that what we do to our brethren for
His sake _we have done unto Him._ Matt. 25,40. _In serving our brethren
we serve God._ We serve Him by not using the gifts we receive from Him
merely for our own benefit, much less for sinful purposes, in the
service of sin and Satan, but _by using them to help our neighbor in
distress._ We serve Him by using our worldly goods _to further our
Father's kingdom here on earth, by laboring and giving for His Church,
for Foreign and Home Missions, and for all purposes pleasing to God._ In
this manner our whole life will be a service and a thank-offering to
God, our gracious Father. "O grant that I may through Thy grace use all
my powers to show Thy praise, and serve and help my neighbor."

5. _Finally, it is my duty to obey Him, my Father._ I know that God is
my Father, and I am His child. How can a child show his love and his
gratitude toward his father better _than by obeying him?_ So will I
render my thanks unto my heavenly Father by cheerfully and willingly
obeying Him and by doing according to His commandments. Above all, I
will, according to His First Commandment, _love Him and trust in Him,_
my Father, in every need and danger, firmly believing that He will never
leave nor forsake me.

6. _"This is most certainly true."_ With these words we conclude our
First Article. These words are the explanation of the word _Amen_ which
we find at the end of our Creed. _Amen_ means: "This is most certainly
true." We declare it to be most certainly true what we have confessed
and what we believe. It is most certainly true that God has made me
and still preserves me. It is most certainly true that God has given me
my body and soul, that He provides for me and defends, guards, and
protects me. It is most certainly true that He has done all this purely
out of His fatherly, divine goodness and mercy. It is most certainly
true that God is my almighty Father whom I, His child, am in duty bound
to thank and praise, to serve and obey. _From God's Word we know that
all this is most certainly true._

REMEMBER:--

1. _God is our heavenly Father, our greatest Benefactor; therefore we
should thank and praise, serve and obey Him. Let us never forget all His
benefits._

2. _We thank God when we believe and acknowledge it to be true that all
we have is the gift of God's goodness and mercy, given us without any
merit or worthiness in us.--We praise Him when we glorify Him and His
gracious deeds also before our fellow-men._

3. _We serve our heavenly Father by devoting all the powers of body and
soul, all of which are His gifts, not to the service of sin and Satan,
but to the service of our fellow-men and of the Church of God.--We
obey Him by fulfilling His will, by keeping His commandments, especially
by loving Him and trusting in Him._

MEMORIZE:--

_What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?_ Ps.
116,12.

_O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; because His mercy endureth
forever._ Ps. 118,1.

_Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits!_ Ps. 103,2.

QUESTIONS.

1. Which are the great blessings we receive from God, according to the
First Article? 2. What do we ask when we consider these blessings? 3.
How is this expressed in Ps. 116,12? 4. How does our Catechism answer
this question? 5. Why is it our duty to thank God? 6. How can you prove
from Scripture that God is pleased with our gratitude? 7. What must we
admit in our hearts in order really to thank God? 8. Most men do not
admit this; what do they believe regarding their worldly goods? 9. At
what time especially should we thank God for His benefits? 10. What does
it mean to praise God? 11. Before whom also should we glorify Him? 12.
Recite Ps. 103,2. 13. What, in addition, is our duty towards God? 14.
How can we serve our Father? 15. How do you know that you are serving
God by serving your neighbor? 16. What should I also do to serve God?
17. What finally, is our duty towards our Father in heaven? 18. When do
we obey Him? 19. How should we obey Him, according to the First
Commandment? 20. What do we express in the last words of the First
Article? 21. How do we know that everything we have confessed in this
article is most certainly true?

LESSON 19.

The First Article.

Review Lesson.

1. We have begun to study the Three Articles of our Creed. These
articles contain all that we believe and confess regarding God and His
works, all that He has done and Will do for us, His children. Where did
God reveal Himself and His works to us? What do we call all the
doctrines of Scripture that teach us who God is and what He has done for
us? What is the meaning of the word _Gospel?_ There are two chief
doctrines in the Bible. What are they called? What does the Law tell us?
What are the good tidings brought to us in the Gospel?

2. We confess in the First Article that God is the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth. God is the Maker of heaven and earth. What do
we call this great work of God? What is the meaning of the word create?
What do we call all the things that God has made? What does it mean to
say: God created all things _by His word?_ In how many days did God
create this world, heaven and earth?--When we thoughtfully consider
this great work of God, His creation, we can learn from it how wonderful
our God is. What does creation teach us about God? When we say, God is
almighty, what does that mean? How does creation teach us that God is an
all-wise God? How does creation show us God's great love and kindness
toward His creatures? How were all creatures when God had made them?

3. God is the Maker of heaven and earth, He created all things.
Therefore He also created man. How did God create the first man? Man is
the foremost of all the visible creatures. How do we prove this? In
whose image did God make our first parents? In what respect did God make
man in His image? How were our first parents when God had made them?
Whom did they know and love? How did they live?--God made all men;
whom, therefore, did He also make? What did God give me in making me? It
is true that God did not make me in the same manner as He made our first
parents. Through whom did He give me my body and soul?--Consider how
wonderfully God has made you. Why did God give you eyes and ears? What
can you do because God endowed your soul with reason? All this proves
that we are God's foremost creatures.--God has made you, but what do
we furthermore confess? What does this statement mean: God preserves me?
What do we read Heb. 1,3? In whom do we all live and move and have our
being?

4. We confess in the First Article that our heavenly Father has made me
and all creatures, that He has given me my body with all its members, my
soul, my reason and all my senses, and that He still preserves me, so
that in Him we live and move, and have our being. How does God preserve
me? from whom do we receive all things to support our body and life?
Recite Ps. 145,15.16. In what manner does God, as a rule, provide us
with all the things that we need to support our body and soul? Why is it
that we, nevertheless, must say that God provides for us? What must God
also do to preserve my body and life? Whom does God often use to protect
His children from danger and evil?

5. God has done great things for me. He has made me, He has given me my
body and soul. He still preserves me by providing daily and richly all
that I need for my life and body, by guarding and protecting me from all
evil. What moves God to give me all these great benefits? Recite Ps.
145,9. What does that mean: God is good to all His creatures? Whom
especially does God love? What does that mean: God is merciful? How are
God's goodness and mercy called in our Catechism? Why is His goodness
called a fatherly goodness? Why is it called a _divine_ goodness? Why do
we say that it is _purely_ fatherly and divine goodness that moves God?
What have we merited by our conduct toward God? Why are we unworthy of
all the benefits of God? What must we confess with Jacob? Gen. 32,10.
What do we say by confessing: "I believe in God the Father Almighty"?

6. Great are the blessings which we have received, and daily are
receiving, from our heavenly Father. And He gives all His blessings out
of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness
in me. What, therefore, is our duty over against God? We should, in the
first place, thank our Father. What do we think of an ungrateful person?
What do we read Ps. 118,1? With whom was our Lord well pleased? Why are
so many men not thankful to God? When only shall we be truly thankful?
--In the second place, we should praise our Father. What does it mean
to praise God? Before whom also should we glorify God?--In the third
place, we should serve God in order to show Him our gratitude. How can
we serve God although He is not in need of our services? How ought we to
use all the gifts of God in order to serve Him?--Lastly, we should
obey our Father. When do we obey Him? Which commandment, especially,
should we keep? What does this commandment require of us? Why do we
close the First Article with the words: "This is most certainly true"?

We all believe in one true God,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Present Helper in all need,
Praised by all the heavenly host,
By whose mighty power alone
All is made and wrought and done.

LESSON 20.

The Second Article: Of Redemption.

I Believe That My Lord Jesus Christ Is True God.

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord._

What does this mean?

_I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from
eternity, ... is my Lord._

1. _"I believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord"_ thus the Second Article of
our Creed begins. Every true Christian, every child of God, confesses: I
believe in my Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord.
We do not only believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and
earth, but likewise in our Lord Jesus Christ. You know what it means to
believe in Jesus Christ. It means, I know and am assured by God's Word
that Jesus Christ is my Lord, and with all my heart I trust and confide
in Him as in my Lord. Our Catechism teaches us _two things_ about our
Lord Jesus Christ: 1. _who our Lord Jesus Christ is,_ and 2. _what He
has done for me to become my Lord._

2. _Who is our Lord Jesus Christ?_ We confess _"I believe in Jesus
Christ, His only Son,"_ that is, God the Father's only Son. Many are
called, and in truth are, God's children. _"Ye are all the children of
God by faith in Christ Jesus."_ Gal. 3,26. All who believe in our Lord
Jesus Christ are sons and daughters of God. How, then, can we say that
Jesus Christ is God's only Son? Our Catechism says: _"I believe that
Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, is my
Lord."_ All those who believe in Christ are God's children; God has
_adopted_ them as His children for Christ's sake. Christ, however, is
God's _own Son, begotten, born of the Father from eternity._ Before God
created heaven and earth, Christ was God's Son, begotten of the Father.
God Himself says to this His only Son: _"Thou art My Son; this day_
[that is, from eternity] _have I begotten Thee."_ Ps. 2,7. _"God so
loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."_ John
3,16. Christ is God's Son, begotten of the Father from eternity, and it
is for this reason, too, that in the First Article we call God the
_Father._ He is the Father of His own only Son, through whom He is also
our Father.

3. Whoever is born of human parents is a true man; he has a human body
and a human soul. Our Lord Jesus Christ is born of the Father from
eternity, and therefore _He is true God._ We confess that we believe in
Jesus Christ, true God. He is true God in the same sense as the Father
is true God. _Together with the Father He is the one true God._ He
himself has said: _"He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."_ John
14,9. _"I and My Father are one."_ John 10,30 The Father is the
_almighty_ God; likewise the Son, our Lord, is the _almighty_ God. _"All
power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."_ Matt. 28,18. God the
Father is always with us wherever we are; likewise the Son, our Lord, is
with us always. _"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world."_ Matt. 28,20. God the Father has created all things; likewise
the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. _"All things were made by Him; and
without Him was not anything made that was made."_ John 1,3. He tells us
that we should _honor_ Him as we honor the Father. _"All men should
honor the Son even as they honor the Father."_ John 5,23. He tells us
that we should believe in Him as we believe in the Father. _"Ye believe
in God, believe also in Me."_ John 14,1.

4. Jesus Christ is true God from eternity. When our Lord was dwelling
here on earth among men, He _showed_ that He was true God. His apostle
John tells us: _"We_ [the apostles] _beheld His glory, the glory as of
the Only-begotten of the Father."_ John 1,14. With His almighty word He
healed the sick, He made the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to
hear, He brought the dead to life again: the daughter of Jairus, the son
of the widow in Nain, and Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha.
Remember how the winds and the sea obeyed Him, how He stilled the storm
and walked on the sea as on dry land, how He changed water into wine.

5. _Our Lord Jesus Christ is true God, the only-begotten Son of the
Father._ His disciples confessed it time and again. Simon Peter
confessed regarding the Lord: _"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
living God."_ Matt. 16,16. Thomas said to Him, _"My Lord and my God."_
John 20,28. And Jesus was well pleased with their confessions and
accepted them. _"This_ [our dear Lord] _is the true God and eternal
life," is what John the Apostle tells of Him._ 1 John 5,20. And St. Paul
writes: _"Who_ [Christ] _is over all, God blessed forever."_ Rom. 9,5.
_From our Bible, from the Word of God,_ we know it to be most certainly
true that our Lord is true God, begotten of the Father from eternity.

6. Never forget that our dear Lord, together with the Father, is the one
true God. _Therefore I believe in Him and trust in Him with all my
heart._ In every need and trouble, in every danger, I lift up my hands
to my Lord and God and _pray_ to Him. He will not forsake me, for He is
_"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday to-day and forever."_ Heb. 13,8.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only Son of God the Father, His own
Son, begotten of the Father from eternity._

2. _Our Lord Jesus Christ is true God, with God the Father the one true
God in whom we believe, and to whom we pray._

3. _This we know and believe because God Himself has revealed it to us
in His holy Word. Our confession is and always will be: "I believe in
Jesus Christ, His only Son." I believe that Jesus Christ is true God,
begotten of the Father from eternity._

MEMORIZE:--

_This is the true God and eternal life._ 1 John 5,20.

_Who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen._ Rom. 9,5.

_Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God._ John 20,28.

_For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting
life._ John 3,16.

_All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth._ Matt. 28,18.

_Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world._ Matt. 28,20.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord? 2. What two
things does our Catechism teach us about our Lord Jesus Christ? 3. Whose
only Son is Jesus Christ? 4. Who also are God's children? 5. Why is
Jesus called God's _only_ Son? 6. Where in the Bible is Christ called
the only-begotten Son of God? John 3,16. 7. Christ is the own, the
only-begotten Son of God; what must He therefore be? 8. What is Christ
together with the Father? 9. Where does our Lord Himself say so? 10.
Where does our Lord say that He is almighty? 11. Where does He promise
that He will always be with us? 12. What great work of God the Father is
also done by the Son? 13. How should we honor the Son? 14. How did
Christ show, when He was dwelling visibly on earth, that He is true God?
15. What did Peter confess of the Lord? 16. What did Thomas say to Him?
17. What does the Apostle John write about the Lord? 18. What does St.
Paul write? 19. How do we know that it is most certainly true that
Christ is true God? 20. What must our confession regarding Christ always
be?

LESSON 21.

The Second Article.

I Believe That My Lord Is True God And True Man.

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by
the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried._

What does this mean?

_I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from
eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord._

1. We confess that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, begotten of the
Father from eternity and therefore true God. We also confess _that He is
born of the Virgin Mary and therefore is a true man,_ with a human soul
and a human body. Holy Scripture expressly calls our Lord a man. _"There
is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."_
1 Tim. 2,5. Our Lord is indeed true man. While He was visibly dwelling
here on earth, He lived as a man among men. He was born in Bethlehem as
a little child. In the house of His mother and His foster-father Joseph
He grew up like other children. He became hungry and thirsty, He ate and
drank, He grew tired and slept, and lastly, He died.

2. Christ, our Lord, is _true_ man, man in the true sense of the word.
He is our Brother. But there is _one great difference_ between Him and
all other men. We confess in the Second Article that He was _conceived
by the Holy Ghost._ Though our Lord was born of a human mother, He did
not have a human father. He was conceived by the power of God the Holy
Ghost without sin. _"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee_ [the Virgin
Mary], _and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore
also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son
of God."_ Luke 1,35. Christ, our Lord, was born _holy, without sin,_ and
during His life He never committed any sin, but always fulfilled the
will of God, His Father.

3. Christ, our Lord, is true God and true man. There are not two
Christs, one who is God, and another who is man, but _only one Christ,
who is God and man at the same time, God and man in one person, the
God-man._ He is _Emmanuel,_ that is, God with us, God in our flesh and
blood. Matt. 1,23. How this is possible we cannot understand, but we
firmly believe it because God Himself has revealed it to us in His Word.
The Son of God, the true God, became a true man, born of a woman. _"The
Word_ [the Son of God] _was made flesh_ [man], _and dwelt among us."_
John 1,14.

4. The Son of God, the true God, became man, but more than that. _He
also humbled Himself._ He did not, as a rule, show forth His divine
glory nor use His divine powers, but was like any other man. He did not
come to us as a great prince, in kingly splendor, but though He is our
God and King, He came to us _as a low, poor man._ From Bible History you
know the life of the God-man, how He was _born_ a little child in
Bethlehem, of the Virgin Mary, a lowly maid in Israel, though she came
from the royal house of the great King David. And after He was born, He
_suffered._ His whole life was a constant suffering. He was despised by
His people, persecuted by the priests and Pharisees. He was so poor that
He did not have where to lay His head. Remember how He suffered that
unspeakable agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and in the courts of His
enemies, where they passed that cruel sentence of death upon Him who had
never committed a sin. And _under Pontius Pilate,_ the governor of
Judea, He was _crucified,_ nailed to a cross. And on the cross He
_died,_ died the death of a criminal. And after His death His friends
_buried_ His body, just as they would have buried that of any other man.
Verily, the Son of God, our Lord, _deeply humbled Himself;_ He humbled
Himself unto death, even the death of the cross.

5. _Why did our Lord do all this?_ Why did the Son of God become man?
Why did our Lord humble Himself so deeply? He did it for our sake, for
the sake of all men, for those who are His enemies. _He did it for me
that He might become my Lord and Savior._ Therefore our Lord was called
_Jesus._ This name means helper, savior. It was given to our Lord by the
will of God; for He had an angel tell Joseph: _"She_ [the Virgin Mary]
_shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He
shall save His people from their sins."_ Matt. 1,21. Jesus is our
Savior.--Our Lord is also called _Christ._ Christ means the _Messiah._
Our Lord is the Messiah whom God had promised to His people in the Old
Testament. All the prophecies regarding the Messiah in the Old Testament
have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, our Lord.--Our Lord Jesus Christ
is the Savior, and He is our _only_ Savior. _"Neither is there salvation
in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men
whereby we must be saved."_ Acts 4,12.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Our Lord Jesus Christ is true God, born of the Father from eternity;
but He is also true man, born in time of the Virgin Mary. He is like
unto other men, except that He is holy and without sin._

2. _Christ, our Lord, is true God and true man in one person--the
God-man. As such He is my Savior._

3. _The Son of God did not only become man, He also humbled Himself,
suffering and dying, dying on the cross._

4. _Christ, our Lord, has done all this to be Jesus, the Savior of all
men, to be Christ, the promised Messiah. He has done all this for me
that He might become my Lord._

MEMORIZE:--

_There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ
Jesus._ 1 Tim. 2,5.

_The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and
truth._ John 1,14.

_She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He
shall save His people from their sins._ Matt. 7,21.

_Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name
under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved._ Acts 4,12.

QUESTIONS.

1. What do we confess regarding our Lord? 2. What do we also confess? 3.
Recite the passage of Scripture where Christ is expressly called man. 4.
How did our Lord show in His life here on earth that He was truly a man?
5. By whom was Christ conceived? 6. How was He, therefore, when He was
born? 7. What, therefore, is the difference between Him and all other
men? 8. We confess that Christ is God and man, What do we mean by this?
9. What did the Son of God become? 10. How do we read John 1,14? 11. Our
Lord became true man; what did He also do? 12. What did He, as a rule,
not show and use while He was here on earth? 13. What kind of man did
our Lord become? 14. How was He born? 15. What was His whole life here
on earth? 16. How poor did He become? 17. How did He die? 18. Why did
Christ do all this? 19. For whose sake also did He humble Himself? 20.
Why is my Lord called Jesus? 21. Why is He called the Christ?

LESSON 22.

The Second Article.

My Lord Has Redeemed Me, A Lost And Condemned Creature.

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord._

What does this mean?

_I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and
condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and
from the power of the devil._

1. We have learned that our Lord is true God and true man. We have heard
that the Son of God became man and humbled Himself even unto death for
our sake to become our Lord and Savior. Our Catechism furthermore tells
us _by what means Jesus Christ, true God and true man, became my Lord
and Savior._ That is the great work of our Lord: He came into this world
to save, to redeem us. His work is our _redemption._ Let us diligently
and prayerfully consider this great work of our Lord--our redemption.

2. _Christ has redeemed me,_ so I confess. We were in great need of such
a Lord and of the redemption which He was to bring. For without such a
Lord _we are lost and condemned creatures._ We are _lost_ creatures.
What does this mean? Remember the beautiful story of the _Prodigal Son._
The father in this story said of his son after his return that he had
been lost. Wilfully and sinfully the son had left his home and his
father and gone into a far country, where he spent all his goods with
riotous living. He was now far away from his father, separated from him
and his home. He was lost in that far-away country, where great misery
and distress soon overtook him. Without his father he would have
_perished_ with hunger. Thus we are lost without Christ. We have sinned
against our heavenly Father, we have transgressed His commandments. By
committing sins we have left our Father and are separated from Him. We
are in a far-away country, in this sinful world, where misery and
distress surround us. We are without God and without hope in the world.
Without our Lord we must perish, suffer eternal death. _Without Christ
we are indeed lost._ Every one of us must confess: I am a lost creature.
_"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his
own way."_ Is. 53,6.

3. I confess also that I am a _condemned_ creature. God, as you have
learned, is a righteous and jealous God. He _threatens to punish_ all
that transgress His commandments. When Adam and Eye transgressed God's
command, the threatened punishment came over them. _"In the day that
thou eatest thereof,"_ God had told Adam, _"thou shalt surely die."_
Gen. 2,17. _Death_ is the punishment of all sinners, not only death here
on earth, but _eternal death,_ that is, _eternal damnation._ That is the
sentence which God passed upon all that have sinned, that they should be
separated from Him in eternity, from Him in whom alone we find life and
true happiness.--It was the _devil_ that tempted Adam and Eve to sin.
They heard and obeyed his voice instead of the voice of their Father. He
became their Lord and master. _"He that committeth sin is of the
devil."_ 1 John 3,8. Because we have sinned, we are under the power of
the devil, we belong to his kingdom. Without Christ we are all lost and
condemned creatures, that is, _we are separated from God, our Father; we
are under God's judgment of damnation; we are under the powers of sin,
death, and the devil. They are our masters. "We were by nature the
children of wrath."_ Eph. 2,3.

4. I am a lost and condemned creature; I am in the power of sin, death,
and the devil. _Who can help me in this misery and redeem and save me?_
Surely not I myself. How could I deliver myself from these mighty
enemies? I have nothing with which I might atone for my sins or remove
God's wrath and curse. Neither can any other man help me, powerful and
wise though he may be. _All_ men are lost and condemned creatures, just
as helpless as I am. _There is only One who is able to help and redeem
us, Jesus Christ, our Lord._ He is the _God-man._ He could conquer these
fearful enemies, sin, death, and the devil. He is the _almighty God._ He
alone among men is without sin, and therefore not in the power of the
devil. He can redeem me, _and He has redeemed me._ In order to redeem
the world, the Son of God became man, humbled Himself, and suffered and
died. Thankfully I confess _that Christ has redeemed me, that He is my
Lord._

5. I confess that Christ, my Lord, has redeemed me. But not only me did
He redeem, but _all men,_ from Adam up to the last man that will be born
before the Day of Judgment. God loved the _world,_ all _mankind,_ and He
so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son to redeem and save
the world. All men are lost and condemned creatures, all are under God's
wrath and in the power of sin, and our Savior Himself said: _"The Son of
Man is come to save that which was lost."_ Matt. 18,11. John the Baptist
pointed to Him and said: _"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sin of the world."_ John 1,29. _"He is the propitiation for our sins,
and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."_
1 John 2,2. Christ, my Lord, has redeemed all mankind, and therefore I
know that it is most certainly true: _He has redeemed also me._

REMEMBER:--

1. _Without Christ, my Lord, I am a lost and condemned creature. I am
without God and hope in this world, separated from God and under the
sentence of damnation._

2. _By nature I am in the power of sin, death, and the devil. I belong
to Satan's kingdom. Sin, death, and the devil were my masters._

3. _In this dreadful distress no man was able to help me. Only Christ
could redeem me, for He is the God-man; and He has redeemed me and all
the world._

MEMORIZE:--

_He that committeth sin is of the devil._ 1 John 3,8.

_The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost._ Matt. 18,11.

_Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world._ John
1,29.

_He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also
for the sins of the whole world._ 1 John 2,2.

QUESTIONS.

1. What do we call the great work which Christ has done for us and all
men? 2. What do I confess in the Second Article concerning myself? 3.
From which parable of our Lord do we learn what it means to be lost? 4.
Why was the Prodigal Son called lost? 5. How did he become separated
from his father? 6. What happened to him in that far-away country? 7.
How did we become separated from our heavenly Father? 8. What always
separates us from God? 9. What do we furthermore confess concerning
ourselves? 10. Why are we condemned creatures? 11. What does God
threaten to those who transgress His commandments? 12. In what does the
punishment of sin consist? 13. What death is meant? 14. Who tempted Adam
and Eve to sin? 15. Of whom is he who commits sin? 16. Under whose power
are we because we have sinned? 17. Who alone is able to help us in our
misery? 18. Why can Jesus Christ surely help and save us? 19. Whom did
Christ redeem? 20. How can you prove from Scripture that Christ has
redeemed all men?

LESSON 23.

The Second Article.

Christ, My Lord, Has Redeemed Me With His Holy, Precious Blood.

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord._

What does this mean?

_I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and
condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and
from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy,
precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death._

1. Christ has redeemed and _purchased us,_ that is, He bought us. Our
Lord had to pay a price, a very high price for our redemption. He has
purchased or bought me not with _gold_ or _silver. "Ye know that ye were
not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold."_ 1 Pet 1,18.
Gold and silver are, indeed, highly prized among men. Much can be
accomplished, much can be bought with gold and silver for the support of
our life and for our comfort here in this world. But all the gold and
silver, all the treasures in the world, cannot buy our redemption. Gold
and silver cannot redeem one lost and condemned sinner from sin, death,
and the powers of the devil, from hell and damnation. A much higher
price was necessary. Our Lord has paid this price.

2. Christ redeemed and purchased us with His _blood._ He shed His blood
for us. He gave His _life_ for our redemption. Consider the great love of
our Lord. He gave His life not for His friends, but for us, who were His
enemies. We call this blood a _holy_ blood. _It is the blood of a holy
man._ Our Savior was born without sin, and He never committed a sin in
His life. We have been redeemed, not with gold or silver, _"but with the
precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without
spot."_ 1 Pet. 1,19. We call the blood of Christ a _precious_ blood.
This blood is the most precious thing in heaven and earth. It is the
_blood of the Son of God,_ shed for our sins. _"The blood of Jesus
Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin."_ 1 John 1,7.

3. Christ purchased us with His blood _and with His suffering and
death._ Suffering and dying our Lord shed His blood for us. We say it
was an _innocent_ suffering and death, because He did not deserve this.
He was without sin, He never did any wrong. He did not suffer and die
because of any guilt of His own. He suffered and died _on account of my
guilt and the guilt of the whole world._ During His whole sinless life
He fulfilled God's commandments. _We_ ought to have kept the
commandments, but we could not do it because we were born in sins.
Christ, our Lord, has fulfilled the Law of God _for us, in our stead._
He came into this world and was made under the Law that He might redeem
us, who were under the Law. _We_ had transgressed the commandments,
therefore the wrath of God was upon us, and we deserved His punishment.
_We_ ought to have suffered death, eternal death. _Christ_ was
_innocent,_ without sin, and still He suffered death on the cross. _He
did all this for us, in our stead. "Surely He hath borne our griefs and
carried our sorrows.... He was wounded for our transgressions, He was
bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him,
and with His stripes we are healed."_ Is. 53,4.5.--It was a high price
that Jesus paid for our salvation. He gave Himself for us. How thankful
we ought to be to our dear Savior, who lived and died for us that we may
be saved! How thankful we ought to be to our heavenly Father, who _"so
loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"!_ John
3,16.

4. Christ paid a high price for me. He gave Himself a ransom for my
salvation. But before His death on the cross my Savior cried out: _"It
is finished."_ His great work is finished indeed. My Lord _has_
purchased and redeemed me and all mankind. Because Christ shed His
precious blood, and suffered and died for us in our stead, we are
redeemed and free from _our sins._ By leading a sinless life Christ has
fulfilled all commandments of God for us; _in Him we have fulfilled
them._ We are free from the curse of the Law. _"Christ hath redeemed us
from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us."_ Gal. 3,13. All
the punishments for our sins were suffered by Christ. _In Him God has
punished us,_ and therefore we no longer need to suffer punishment for
our sins.--We have been redeemed from _all_ sins.  There is not a
single sin, either great or small, from which Christ, our Lord, has not
redeemed us. _He has earned forgiveness of all sins for us._

5. The penalty of sin is _death,_ eternal death and damnation. Christ,
our Lord, has taken away our sins, He has earned forgiveness for us;
therefore _we have been redeemed from death._ He has suffered death for
us and therefore we are free from death. Eternal death has no power over
us; for _"Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought life and
immortality to light."_ 2 Tim. 1,10. We no longer need to fear death. In
death our Lord gives us everlasting life.

6. Since Christ has suffered and died for us, _we have also been
redeemed from the power of the devil._ Through sin the devil has power
over us. Our sins are forgiven; by His death the Lord _destroyed the
works of the devil._ Satan has lost his power over me. He cannot force
me to sin nor keep me in his kingdom. _"Through death He destroyed him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil."_ Heb. 2,14. We thank
the Lord for having redeemed us from all sin, from death, and from the
power of the devil.

REMEMBER:--

1. _I have been bought with a price. My Lord has purchased me, not with
treasures of this world, but with His own precious blood, with His
innocent suffering and death._

2. _In my stead Christ fulfilled all the commandments of God. In my
stead He suffered and died for my sins. With His stripes I am healed._

3. _Now I am redeemed and free from all sins, from death, and from the
power of the devil. In Christ I have forgiveness of all my sins._

MEMORIZE:--

_Ye know that ye ware not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver
and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without
blemish and without spot._ 1 Pet. 1,18.19.

_The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sins._ 1 John
1,7.

_Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.... He was
wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the
chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are
healed._ Is. 53,4.5.

_Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse
for us._ Gal. 3,13.

_Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to
light._ 2 Tim. 1,10.

QUESTIONS.

1. What does it mean when we say that the Lord purchased us? 2. Wherein
did the price which He paid for us not consist? 3. With what did our
Lord redeem us? 4. Why do we call His blood a holy blood? 5. Why do we
call it a precious blood? 6. What do we read 1 John 1,7? 7. Why do we
call the suffering and death of our Lord an innocent suffering and
death? 8. Why did our Lord not deserve suffering and death? 9. For whom
did He suffer and die? 10. What did Christ during His whole life fulfil?
11. For whom did He do this? 12. What did we deserve for our sins? 13.
Who suffered the punishment we had deserved in our stead? 14. What does
the prophet say Is. 53,4.5? 15. What do we know regarding this great
work of our Lord? 16. From what have we been redeemed? 17. What did
Christ earn for us with regard to our sins? 18. From what have we also
been redeemed? 19. What need we no longer fear? 20. In what respect are
we redeemed also from the power of the devil?

LESSON 24.

The Second Article.

My Lord Has Won Me That I May Be His Own.

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord._

What does this mean?

_I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord, who has won me, that I may be
His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting
righteousness, innocence, and blessedness._

1. Christ, my Lord, has redeemed and purchased me, and we add: _He has
won me._ He has won me after a hard fight with sin, death, and the
devil. In the first prophecy of the promised Messiah, God said to the
serpent, to Satan: _"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and
between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise His heel."_ Gen. 3,15. This prophecy has been fulfilled in the
coming of Christ, our Lord. He is the _Seed of the woman._ The serpent,
Satan, indeed, bruised His heel. Christ had to suffer and die for us.
But through His death on the cross our Lord has gained the victory He
has bruised the serpent's head and destroyed his works. He has delivered
us out of the hand of our enemies. Sin, death, and the devil no longer
have any power over us. Christ has won us for Himself. _He has become my
Lord. I now am His own,_ I belong to Him, to Him alone, who has bought
me and won me. _Christ has won me in order that He may be my Lord and I
His own._

2. Christ, my Lord, has won me that I may _live in His kingdom._ Without
Christ we are all in Satan's kingdom, living under him. He is our evil
master, who rules over us But Christ has delivered us out of the hand of
our enemies that we should live in His kingdom.--_Our Lord has a
kingdom here on earth._ For the purpose of founding this His kingdom, He
came into the world and humbled Himself, and suffered and died for us.
Our Lord, truly, is a King. He Himself told us so. When Pontius Pilate
asked Him, _"Art Thou a king, then?"_ He answered: _"Thou sayest that I
am a King."_ To His kingdom all those belong who believe and trust in
Him and accept Him as their Lord and King. For this purpose my Lord
redeemed and won me, that I, too, may belong to His kingdom and live
under Him.

3. The kingdom of our Lord and King is a _most glorious kingdom._ The
Lord Himself reigns and rules in His kingdom with His grace and love. In
His kingdom we live _under Him._ He rules and governs my whole life.
Under His rule and care I shall not want. I live under Him, under His
protection. He protects me from the temptations of sin, the godless
world, and the devil. My Lord and King is always with me. Under His care
and protection I am _safe;_ for my King is _the almighty God, whom
nothing can withstand._ All power is given unto Him in heaven and in
earth. Matt. 28,18. _This kingdom of our Lord we call the Kingdom of
Grace;_ for with grace and love our King governs all who accept Him
as their Lord and King.

4. For this purpose Christ has redeemed and won me, that I may be His
own and live under Him in His kingdom and _serve Him,_ who has become my
Lord. Before Christ became our Lord, we had other masters. We served our
enemies, sin and the devil. We could not but serve them, and we served
them willingly, even joyfully. How miserable to be a servant of Satan
and sin, to do their will, to obey them! _The wages of sin is death,_
eternal, death and damnation. Our Lord has delivered us from sin and
Satan, He has won us as His own. _"That we, delivered out of the hand of
our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before Him, all the days of our life."_ Luke 1, 74.75. We live in the
kingdom of our Lord under His care; we need not fear our enemies if we
do not serve them. We serve Him who has delivered us. In His kingdom our
Lord gives us strength to serve Him by living according to His
commandments, by doing His good and gracious will. To serve this Lord is
a _noble_ service. Can there be a nobler service than to serve God, the
highest Lord, to serve the highest King, who has bought and won us out
of the hands of our enemies, of sin and Satan? _Gladly_ and _joyfully_
will we serve Him, our Savior and our Lord.

5. We serve our Lord _in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and
blessedness._ The kingdom of our Lord is, indeed, a glorious kingdom. In
His kingdom we serve Him in _righteousness._ We are not righteous in
ourselves, but our Lord has gained a perfect righteousness for us. He
has fulfilled the Law in our stead. Clothed in Christ's blood and
righteousness, we serve our Lord, and therefore our poor service is
_well-pleasing_ to God.--We serve our Lord in _innocence._ We are free
from the guilt of our sins. Sad to say, we daily sin in the service of
our Lord, we deserve nothing but punishment; but God forgives us our
sins_ daily and richly for Christ's sake, and so we are _innocent_ in
His sight. In holiness and righteousness we will serve Him all the days
of our life.--We serve Him in _blessedness._ It is blessedness to
serve this our Lord. He blesses His servants with all His rich gifts. He
blesses them here on earth and leads them to eternal blessedness in
heaven. It is _everlasting righteousness and innocence and blessedness
that our Lord gives us. He leads His servants to _His kingdom in
heaven._ Here in this world His kingdom is a _Kingdom of Grace;_ in
heaven it is the _Kingdom of Glory. "The Lord shall deliver me from
every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom; to whom
be glory forever and ever! Amen."_ 2 Tim. 4,18.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Through His sufferings and death, Christ has become my Lord, and
therefore I am His own. I am living in His kingdom, under Him, my King,
being delivered from the hands of all my enemies. He cares for me and
protects me._

2. _In His kingdom I am serving my King in everlasting righteousness,
innocence, and blessedness, which He bestows on me. For my Lord's sake
God forgives me all my sins and accepts my poor sinful service._

3. _Our Lord's kingdom is a twofold kingdom, the Kingdom of Grace here
on earth, in which our King reigns with His grace, with forgiveness of
sins, and the Kingdom of Glory in heaven, in which we shall reign with
our King, freed from all evil, in His glory forever and ever._

MEMORIZE:--

_I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and
her Seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise His heel._ Gen.
3,15.

_Pilate, therefore, said unto Him, Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered,
Thou sayest, I am a King._ John 18,37.

_That we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve
Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days
of our life._ Luke 1,74.75.

_The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me
unto His heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory forever and ever! Amen._
2 Tim. 4,18.

QUESTIONS.

1. From whom has our Lord won me? 2. To whom do I now belong? 3. Recite
the first prophecy of the promised Messiah. 4. Who has no power over me
since Christ has won me? 5. In whose kingdom may I live? 6. What does it
mean to live under Him? 7. What will our Lord do as our King? 8. Why are
we safe under His rule and protection? 9. How do we call His kingdom
here on earth? 10. Because Christ is our Lord, what should we therefore
do? 11. Whom must we serve when we are not in our Lord's service? 12.
Why is this service a miserable service? 13. Why can we now serve our
Lord? 14. Why is His service a glorious service? 15. who has given us
the righteousness in which we serve our Lord? 16. Why are we innocent
before God? 17. Why is it blessedness to serve the Lord? 18. How do we
call His kingdom in heaven?

LESSON 25.

The Second Article.

Review Lesson.

(1) 1. In whom does every Christian believe according to the Second
Article? 2. What do we mean when we say: I believe in Jesus Christ, my
Lord? 3. What two things does our Catechism teach us about our Lord
Jesus Christ? 4. What do we confess in the Second Article concerning the
_person_ of our Lord? 5. Prove from Scripture that Christ is God's only
Son, the only-begotten Son of the Father. 6. If Christ is God's
only-begotten Son of the Father, He must be true God with the Father.
How can you prove this from Holy Writ? 7. How did the apostles confess
Jesus Christ as their God? 8. What do we confess about our Lord in the
beginning of the explanation of the Second Article? 9. Together with
whom is Christ true God? 10. In what respect is there no difference
between Jesus and His Father? Christ is coequal with the Father. He has
the same divine majesty, glory and honor.

(2) We confess that Jesus Christ is God's only Son and therefore,
together with the Father, true God from eternity. 1. What do we
furthermore confess concerning our Lord? 2. How can you prove that
Christ is true man? 3. Christ is indeed true man, born of the Virgin
Mary. But there is one great difference between Him and all other men.
Which is it? 4. Why was Christ conceived and born without sin? 5. Christ
is true God and true man; there are, however, not two Christs, one true
God and the other true man; there is but one Christ. What is He? 6. The
Son of God became true man, but He did more. What kind of a man did He
become? 7. How does the Second Article describe the lowly life of our
Savior here on earth? 8. Why did Christ humble Himself so deeply? 9.
What does the name Jesus mean? 10. Why is He called Savior? 11. Why was
Jesus called the Christ?

(3) We learn from our Catechism not only who Jesus, our Lord, is, but
also what He has done for us to become our Lord. 1. What does our
Catechism say concerning the work of our Lord? 2. Christ has redeemed
me; how do we therefore call His work? 3. Why was it necessary that I
should be redeemed? We are by nature lost and condemned creatures. 4.
From which parable of the Lord can you learn what it means to be lost?
5. Why are we also condemned creatures? 6. Who had pronounced judgment
upon us because of our sins? 7. What was this punishment? 8. We were
under the power of sin, death, and the devil. Who alone could help us in
this distress? 9. We confess that Christ redeemed me, a lost and
condemned sinner; but I am not the only one whom He has redeemed. Whom
did He also redeem? 10. Prove from Scripture that our Lord redeemed all
men. 11. What conclusion may and should I draw from this truth?

(4) Our Catechism says that our Lord has redeemed and purchased us. 1.
What is the meaning of the Word purchase? 2. Christ has bought us with a
price. What is the price our Lord paid for our redemption? 3. Why could
we not be bought with gold or silver? 4. We have been purchased with His
blood. How did Christ purchase us with His blood? 5. It is, indeed, a
high price which our Lord paid for us. Why do we call His blood a holy
blood? 6. Why is it called a precious blood? 7. What does Christs blood
do for us regarding our sins? 8. Christ has purchased us with His
suffering. Why do we call His suffering an innocent suffering? 9. In
whose stead did Christ suffer all the punishment of sin? 10. What is the
punishment of sin?--11. Christ has purchased us with His holy blood
and His innocent suffering. From whom did He purchase us? Christ
redeemed us from the power of sin, and death, and the devil. 12. How did
Christ redeem us from all sins? 18. What did He fulfil in our stead? 14.
Why are we also free from death? 15. Being free from sin we are also
free from the power of the devil. Why are we free from his power?

(5) Christ, our Lord, has redeemed and purchased us. He has also _won_
us. He has won us after a severe fight with sin, death, and the devil.
1. Which is the first prophecy of this conflict between our Savior and
the devil? 2. Christ gained the victory in this conflict. He won us. To
whom do we now belong? 3. We are Christ's own; we live in His kingdom.
To whose kingdom do we belong without Christ? 4. Christ has won me from
the power and the kingdom of the devil; Christ now is my King. Who
belongs to His kingdom? 5. What do we call His kingdom here on earth?
6. Why do we call it the Kingdom of Grace? 7. In His kingdom we live
under Him. What does this mean? 8. Not only do we live under our King,
under His care and protection, we also serve Him. How do we serve Him?
9. Out of whose hand has our Lord delivered us? 10. How do we serve
our Lord? 11. Without Christ we had to serve sin and the devil. Why is
this service such a degrading service? 12. Why should we gladly and
willingly serve our Lord in His kingdom? 13. We serve our Lord in
righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. Which righteousness is here
meant? 14. In what respect are we innocent in the eyes of God? 15. Why
does His service bestow blessedness upon us? 16. To what kingdom does
our gracious Lord lead us after this life? 17. Why is this kingdom
called the Kingdom of Glory?

Let us give thanks to our dear Savior, who has become our Lord, that we
may be His own and in His kingdom live under Him and serve Him in
everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. Amen.

LESSON 26.

The Second Article.

How Our Lord As Victor Descended Into Hell And Rose Again From The Dead.

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.... He descended into
hell; the third day He rose again from the dead._

1. We believe and confess in the Second Article of our faith that Jesus
Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, became also true
man, born of the Virgin Mary, that He suffered, was crucified, died on
the cross, and was buried. All this our Lord has done to redeem us lost
and condemned creatures from all our sins, from death, and from the
power of the devil, that He may be our Lord, that we may be His own and
live under Him in His glorious kingdom and serve Him in everlasting
righteousness and blessedness. Our Lord died and was buried for our
sakes to redeem us. Is, then, our Lord still in death and in the grave?
Do we believe in a dead savior? Do we serve a dead and helpless king?
Thank God, we do not! _We know from Holy Writ that our Lord came to life
again, that our living Lord descended into hell and on the third day
after His death rose again from the grave._

2. We confess in the Second Article: _"He,"_ our Lord Jesus Christ,
_"descended into hell."_ When our Lord descended into hell, He was no
longer dead. It is true, when they took Him from the cross and buried
Him, He was really dead. Nobody, indeed, had taken His life from Him, He
had laid it down of Himself, of His own free will, laid it down for us
that we might not suffer eternal death; _but in His grave Christ, the
Son of God, took His life back again. "Christ was put to death in the
flesh, but quickened_ [came to life again] _by the Spirit."_ 1 Pet.
3,18. As our living Lord He went down into hell, into the place whither
the evil spirits, the devils and condemned men, have been banished.
Christ did not enter the gates of hell _in order to be punished there
for His sins;_ for our Savior was without sin and blemish. He did not
descend into hell _to suffer the penalty for our sins;_ this He had
already done on the cross. He descended into hell _to show that He had
won the victory over the devil and all his hosts._ "He made a show of
them openly, triumphing over them." Col. 2,15. As the triumphant Victor
over all His enemies Christ entered hell, the abode of Satan. Now we are
certain that the old Evil Foe cannot keep us in his power, that _we are
free from hell and damnation._

3. _On the third day our Lord rose again from the dead._ You have often
heard the Easter-Gospel, the joyful tidings of Christ's glorious
resurrection: Our Lord is not dead, but He lives. When, very early in
the morning, the women came to the grave to anoint the body of their
Master, they did not find Him, the grave was empty, and an angel of God
brought them the message: _"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is
not here, but is risen."_ Luke 24,5.6. After His resurrection our Lord
showed Himself to His disciples as their living Savior. They saw Him,
they spoke to Him, and ate with Him. _The Lord convinced them that He
was risen._ They are the witnesses of His resurrection. Even the
_soldiers_ whom the enemies had placed around the grave as a watch, lest
His disciples might come by night and steal the body, could not deny
that the grave was empty, that the Lord had risen. Matt. 28,4.11-15. _We
are sure that Christ, our Lord, is not dead, but lives; for God Himself
tells us in His Word that Christ was raised up from the dead by the
glory of the Father._ Rom. 6,4. Joyously we confess: _"I know that my
Redeemer liveth."_ Job 19,25.

4. Christ is risen. He came forth from His sepulcher with _the same
body_ that was laid in the grave. _The tomb was empty._ The disciples
knew Him when He showed Himself. They saw the print of the nails in His
hands and His feet and the wound in His side. He let them touch His
body in order to convince them that He was not a spirit. Luke 24,39.40.
But after His resurrection His body was _glorified;_ it was free from
all human weakness and sufferings, free from death.

5. _The resurrection of our Savior is full of comfort and consolation
for us. "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your
sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If
in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most
miserable."_ 1 Cor. 15,17-19. This would be our sad lot if Christ were
not risen. All our faith and hope in Him would be in vain. But He _is_
risen, and now we know _that He is the true Son of God._ We know that
Christ _has gained the victory over all our enemies,_ sin, death, and
the devil, who could not keep Him in their power. We know that Christ
_has paid the penalty for our sins,_ that our sins are forgiven. We know
that we have a _living_ Savior, _who is with us alway,_ to govern and
protect us in His kingdom. We know that we shall not perish when we die,
that our risen Lord will not leave us in the grave, but will _raise us
again unto eternal life. "Because I live, ye shall live also."_ John
14,19. Our Lord is risen, and so we put our trust in Him both in life
and death. "Jesus, my Redeemer, lives! I, too, unto life must waken
Endless joy my Savior gives; Shall my courage then be shaken? Shall I
fear, or could the Head Rise and leave His members dead?"

REMEMBER:--

1. _Christ descended into hell to show Himself as Victor over our
enemies, over the devil and all his hosts._

2. _Christ is risen. We know that our Redeemer lives. We have a living
Savior, our sins are forgiven. Our King lives forever; under Him we live
in everlasting righteousness and innocence._

3. _Christ is risen; He has conquered death. Though we must die, He will
recall us from our graves and raise us to eternal life and everlasting
blessedness._

MEMORIZE:--

_I know that my Redeemer liveth._ Job 19,25.

_If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished._ 1 Cor.
15,17.18.

_Because I live, ye shall live also._ John 14,19.

QUESTIONS.

1. Where did Christ go after He had come to life again in the grave? 2.
Why did Christ not descend into hell? 3. What was His purpose in
descending into the abode of Satan? 4. When did our Lord rise from the
dead? 5. What message did the angel bring to the women at the grave? 6.
Who are the witnesses of His resurrection? 7. How did our risen Lord
convince His apostles that He was alive again? 8. Who even could not
deny His resurrection? 9. What makes us perfectly certain that Christ
is risen and lives forever and ever? 10. How was Christ's body after His
resurrection? 11. What does that mean, Christ's body was glorified? 12.
What do we know regarding our sins since Christ is risen? 13. What
consolation does His resurrection give us for our Christian life? 14.
What consolation does it give us in the hour of death?

LESSON 27.

The Second Article.

The Triumphant Ascension Of Our Lord.

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.... He ascended into
heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty._

What does this mean?

_Even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity._

1. After His resurrection our Lord _remained here on earth for forty
days._ During these days He repeatedly appeared to His disciples; He
showed Himself alive to them by many proofs. He convinced them that He
was not dead, but lived. He spoke to them about the kingdom of God,
_His_ kingdom. He finally gave them His great command or commission, to
go out into all the world and preach the Gospel of their living Savior
to all men. Acts 1,3.

2. On the _fortieth day_ when the apostles were assembled in Jerusalem,
the Lord appeared to them again. He told them: _"Behold, I send the
promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem
until ye be endued with power from on high."_ Luke 24,49. He commanded
His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they had received the gift of
the Holy Ghost, that in His power they might be His witnesses unto the
uttermost parts of the earth. Then our Lord led them out to _Mount
Olivet,_ as far as to _Bethany._ And there He lifted up His hands and
blessed them. _While He blessed them, He was parted from His beloved
apostles and carried up into heaven._ While the disciples looked on
He was taken up higher and higher, until a cloud received Him out of
their sight. Luke 24,50.51; Acts 1,8.9. In this manner our Lord was
received up to His heavenly glory _Visibly,_ before the eyes of His
disciples, He ascended on high and entered into the glory of His Father.

3. Christ ascended into heaven, _and He did so for our sake._ He
ascended up on high as _the triumphant Victor_ over all His and our
enemies. His entrance into heaven assures us _that He has opened heaven
again for us through His sufferings and death._ Before His death He gave
His apostles the promise: _"In My Father's house are many mansions. I go
to prepare a place for you."_ John 14,2. This promise He has fulfilled.
He went up to heaven to prepare a place in His Father's house for all
who believe in Him, their Savior.--Our Lord ascended into heaven, _and
where He is, there shall we, His friends and disciples also be._ He will
not leave us behind in this world. As truly as Christ went up to heaven,
we, His own, will follow Him to His and our Father's house. _"Where I
am, there shall also My servant be."_ John 12,26. Our Lord prayed for us
before His death upon the cross: _"Father, I will that they also whom
Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory,
which Thou hast given Me."_ John 17,24. "Mighty Lord, in Thine ascension
we by faith behold our own."--Remember: _Our Treasure, our Lord and
Savior, is in heaven, and where our Treasure is, our hearts and hopes
should also be._

4. _"He was received up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God,"_
thus we read Mark 16,19. We, therefore, confess that our ascended Lord
now _"sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty."_ What does
this mean? It does not mean that in heaven, at the right hand of God the
Father, there is a special throne, prepared for our Lord, the God-man
Jesus Christ, upon which He is now seated in divine glory, adored and
praised by all the heavenly hosts, and that, because He is sitting on
that throne, He is _far away from us, His own._ It means--and so our
Catechism explains it--that our dear Lord, after being raised from
the dead, _"lives and reigns to all eternity."_ It means that Christ,
though He was dead, lives and is alive forevermore, that our living Lord
is with us and reigns over us as our gracious King to all eternity. He
is, and will be, according to His almighty power, our King forever and
ever.

5. Christ, indeed, ascended into heaven. He now is in heaven, in the
glory of His Father; _but He is not far away from us. He is with us._ We
cannot see Him, as His apostles saw Him, but He is with us _invisibly in
His Word, His Gospel._ When we read or hear His Gospel or think about
it, our Savior is always at our side. He Himself has promised us: _"I
will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you."_ John 14,18.--
_Our Lord lives and reigns to all eternity,_ that is, He rules and
governs us, His own, His disciples. He leads and protects us against all
our enemies. Out of His almighty hand no enemy can pluck us. Our mighty
Lord on God's throne is our Good Shepherd, who leads us in the paths of
righteousness for His name's sake. Ps. 23.--Christ's resurrection, His
ascension, and His sitting at the right hand of God assure us of the
fact that He is indeed our Lord, and will be our Lord and King to
eternity; and in His kingdom we shall live and Him we shall serve in
everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Christ, our Savior, ascended into heaven as the triumphant Victor
over all His and our enemies. He entered into heaven, into the glory of
His Father, there to prepare a place for us._

2. _His ascension assures us that the gates of heaven are open to all
who believe in Him, that we shall be where He is to see His glory._

3. _Our Lord sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, that is,
He, the God-man, lives to eternity, lives, and is with us in His Word,
and reigns over His own with His almighty power forever and ever._

MEMORIZE:--

_In My Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for
you._ John 14,2.

_I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there
ye may be also._ John 14,3.

_Where I am, there shall also My servant be._ John 12,26.

_I will not leave You comfortless; I will come to you._ John 14,18.

QUESTIONS.

1. How long did our Lord remain on earth after His resurrection? 2. What
did He do during these forty days? 3. Where were His disciples assembled
on the fortieth day? 4. What promise did the Lord give them? 5. Why were
they to be endued with the power of the Holy Ghost? 6. Where did Christ
lead the apostles? 7. In what manner was the Lord taken up into heaven?
8. Who were the witnesses of His ascension? 9. What has Christ prepared
for us in His Father's house? 10. What does our Savior say John 12,26?
11. Since our Lord is in heaven, who also shall be there? 12. What does
the sitting of Christ at the right hand of the Father not mean? 13. With
what words does our Catechism explain it? 14. How is our Lord with us
after His ascension? 15. What does it mean that our Lord reigns over us?
16. Of what does His resurrection, His ascension, and His sitting at the
right hand of God make us certain?

LESSON 28.

The Second Article.

Christ Will Come To Judge The World

Which is the Second Article?

_I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who sitteth at the
right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to
judge the quick and the dead._

1. When our Lord ascended into heaven and His disciples were looking
after Him as He was taken up before their eyes, higher and higher, two
men stood by them in white apparel, two angels, who said: _"This same
Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."_ Acts 1,11. We confess
therefore that our Lord _will come again,_ that He will come again in
like manner as His apostles saw Him taken up into heaven. He will come
_visibly._ All men on earth will see our Lord coming in a cloud with
power and great glory. Luke 21,27. He will not come again in deep
humility and poverty, as He came when He was born in Bethlehem, but
with great power and glory. _"The Son of Man shall come in the glory of
His Father with His angels."_ Matt. 16,27. All men will see Him as the
almighty King surrounded by His heavenly hosts. Every one will then have
to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and every one will have to bow to
Him. _Our Lord will come again visibly and in great glory._

2. When the Lord comes in His glory, the heavens shall pass away with a
great noise, and the earth and all the works therein shall be burned up.
2 Pet. 3,10. _The Last Day, the end of this world, will then have come._
On this Last Day our Lord will come to _"judge the quick and the dead."_
Christ has been ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. Acts
10,42. He will judge the _quick,_ that is, those who are still living
when He comes. He will judge the dead. On that day all the dead will
rise again and will be brought before the Lord to be judged by Him.

3. Christ Himself has given us a beautiful description of His Judgment.
(Read the whole passage, Matt. 25,31-46.) He tells us: _"When the Son of
Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then
shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be
gathered all nations."_ Matt. 25,31.32. Christ is the Judge of all
nations, of all men. _"We must all appear before the judgment-seat of
Christ, that every one may receive the things done in His body,
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."_ 2 Cor.
5,10. No one, be He ever so mighty, rich, or learned, can escape His
Judgment.

4. How will Christ judge? He says: _"And He shall separate them one from
another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall
set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left."_ Matt.
25,32.33. The _sheep are those who truly believe in Christ, their
Savior,_ and in Him have forgiveness of their sins. _The goats are those
who in this life rejected Christ and His grace._ To His sheep He will
say: _"Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world."_ V. 34. On the goats He will
pronounce this judgment: _"Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting
fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."_ V. 41. And then the Lord
will prove to all men that His judgment is a righteous one by the good
works of the believers and the evil deeds of His enemies.--This
judgment is final and will never be altered. His enemies _"shall go away
into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal."_
Matt. 25,46.

5. _When will this great Day of Judgment, the day of our Lord, come?_
This we do not know. Our Lord says: _"Of that day and that hour knoweth
no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the
Father."_ Mark 13,32. We should not try to find out the exact day of the
coming of our Lord. But God has in His Word revealed two important
things about this day. He tells us that His day will come _suddenly,
when nobody expects it. "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the
night."_ 2 Pet. 3,10. _"Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor
the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh."_ Matt. 25,13.--We also know
that this day will come _soon. "The end of all things is at hand."_
1 Pet. 4,7. We may and should expect the Lord _daily_ and be prepared to
receive Him. There are many signs which announce the coming of Christ.
Matt. 24,14-31; Luke 21,25-36.

6. _"This is most certainly true."_ With these words we conclude also
our Second Article. From God's Word we know that all we have learned in
the Second Article is most certainly true. Therefore we believe and
confess it.

REMEMBER:--

1. _On the Last Day our Lord will come again visibly and in great glory
to judge the quick and the dead, all men. You, too, must appear before
the judgment-seat of Christ._

2. _On this day He will cast away the wicked and unbelievers into
everlasting punishment. The righteous He will receive into His
everlasting kingdom. Believe in Christ, and you will be saved._

3. _We know neither day nor hour of His coming, but we know that His day
will come unexpectedly and soon. Watch always and be prepared to receive
your Lord._

MEMORIZE:--

_He is ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead._ Acts 10,42.

_The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night._ 2 Pet. 3,10.

_The end of all things is at hand._ 1 Pet. 4,7.

_We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one
may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad._ 2 Cor. 5,10.

QUESTIONS.

1. How did the apostles learn of the coming of their Lord at His
ascension? 2. How will the Lord come again, according to the words of
the angels? 3. Who will see our Lord in His second coming? 4. What is
the difference between His first and His second coming? 5. On what day
will the Lord come again? 6. What is the purpose of His coming? 7. Who
are the quick? 8. How can the Lord judge the dead? 9. Whom, therefore,
will Christ judge? 10. How will Christ judge? 11. Who are His sheep? 12.
Who are the goats? 13. What will Christ say to His sheep on that day?
14. What judgment will He pronounce on His enemies? 15. When will the
last day, the Day of Judgment, come? 16. What has God revealed to us
concerning this day? 17. When, therefore, should we expect our Lord and
prepare for His coming?

LESSON 29.

The Second Article.

REVIEW LESSON.

1. We confess in the Second Article that Christ, the God-man, is our
Lord. In order to become our Lord, He had to redeem and purchase us from
the cruel masters to whom we belonged, from all our sins, from death,
and from the power of the devil. To purchase us He had to pay a price,
a very high price--His holy, precious blood, His life. To purchase us
He of His own free will gave up His life; He died on the cross. Christ
was dead and buried. Do we now believe in a dead and buried Lord and
Savior? What happened after His death, when He was still in His grave?
Where did He go after having been quickened by the Spirit? What was His
purpose in entering the habitation of Satan and his evil spirits? Christ
showed Himself to be the Victor over Satan and hell. For whose benefit
did He win this victory? From whose power are we free?

2. What happened on the third day after the death of our Lord? Christ
rose from the dead. What does that mean? Christ came forth from His
sepulcher. Who brought this glad message to the women? How did the Lord
convince His disciples that He was living? Even who could not deny His
resurrection? What makes us sure that Christ rose from the dead? What do
we therefore gladly confess? (Job 19,25.)--With what body did Christ
come forth from His grave? How can we prove that it was the same body
that was laid in the grave? But how was Christ's body after His
resurrection? His body, indeed, was glorified. What does this mean?--
The resurrection of our Lord is of great importance for us. It is full
of comfort and consolation. If Christ would still be dead and lying in
the grave, how could He be our Savior and King, and how would it be
possible for Him to help us? Our faith in Him would be vain; indeed, we
would be of all men most miserable. What does the Apostle Paul say about
this? (1 Cor. 15,17-19.) But Christ is risen indeed. What great comfort
for us! Whom has He conquered? Who alone is able to conquer this
powerful enemy? What, therefore, must our Lord be? Christ rose after He
had given His life a ransom for our sins. What, therefore, does the
resurrection of our Lord prove concerning our sins? Christ is risen and
lives forever. What comfort does this give us for our whole life? What
comfort does it give us in the hour of death?

3. How long did our Lord remain with His disciples after His
resurrection? Why did He repeatedly show Himself to them? What happened
on the fortieth day? Where did His ascension take place? What promise
did the Lord give His apostles just before His ascension? Why were they
to be endued with the power of the Holy Ghost? In what manner did the
ascension of our Lord take place?--Christ ascended into heaven as the
triumphant Victor over all His enemies. His enemies are our enemies.
What does His ascension prove concerning our enemies? For whose sake,
therefore, did Christ ascend into heaven?--Christ ascended into
heaven. Heaven is His Father's house. Why did our Lord go to His
Father's house for us? He has prepared a place for us in heaven. He has
opened the gates of heaven for us. What does our Lord say John 12,26?
Where will our Savior lead us, His disciples, too? Christ, our Treasure,
is in heaven; what, therefore, shall be there also?

4. Christ ascended into heaven, and He now sits at the right hand of God
in the glory of His Father. How does our Catechism explain this? Though
Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, He is always with us, His
disciples. In what manner is He with us? What must we use, read, hear,
and think about in order that our Lord may be with us? What promise did
He give us, John 14,18? The Lord sitting at the right hand of God reigns
over us; what does this mean? Of what does Christ's resurrection,
ascension, and the sitting at the right hand of God make us certain?

5. When our Lord ascended into heaven, two angels stood by the
disciples. They told them that Christ would come again in like manner as
they had seen Him taken up into His glory. What do we learn from these
words about the coming of our Lord? Who will see Him when He returns?
What is the difference between the first and the second coming of
Christ? Our Lord will come again with power and glory. What will all men
have to confess on that day, even His enemies? Who will escort the Lord
when He returns in His glory?--What is the purpose of His coming? Whom
will the Lord judge? What judgment will He pronounce on His sheep? How
do we become His sheep? Who, therefore, will stand before the Son of Man
on Judgment Day? What terrible sentence will His enemies hear? Our Lord
tells us that after the Judgment His enemies will go away into
everlasting punishment, but His sheep into everlasting life. How,
therefore, is this Judgment?--Who alone knows the day and hour of the
second coming of Christ? What should we therefore never try to do? What,
however, does Scripture tell us concerning the Last Day? When,
therefore, should we expect His coming and prepare for it? What does our
Lord Himself say to us, Matt. 25,13? Believe in Jesus Christ, and you
will be saved.

And we believe in Jesus Christ,
Son of God and Mary's Son,
Who from heaven above came down
And leads us to heaven's throne;
By whose blood and death are we
Rescued from all misery.

LESSON 30.

The Third Article: Of Sanctification.

The Holy Ghost. The Triune God.

Which is the beginning of the Third Article?

_I believe in the Holy Ghost._

1. According to the Second Article we believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord,
that is, we do not only know that it is true what God's Word says about
Christ and His work for us, but _we put all our confidence, all our
trust, in Him as our Savior_ who has redeemed us. That is the true,
saving faith. This saving faith is not our own work. _It is the work of
God the Holy Ghost._ Without Him and the work which He performs in us no
man would come to Jesus and believe in Him. The Holy Ghost alone can and
does bring to Christ those that believe in Him. About the Holy Ghost and
the work which He performs in us we learn in the _Third Article of our
Christian Creed._

2. _"I believe in the Holy Ghost,"_ these are the first words of the
Third Article. We _believe_ in the Holy Ghost, thus we confess. To
believe in some one means, as we have learned, _to put one's whole
confidence and trust in him._ Now, God tells us in the First Commandment
that we should fear and love Him above all things _and trust in Him
alone. In God only_ we should believe. And therefore we believe in the
Holy Ghost, because He is the true God. _In saying that we believe in
the Holy Ghost, we confess that He is the one true God, that He is our
God, God as truly as the Father and Jesus Christ, His only Son, our
Lord._ The apostle says: _"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God, dwelleth in you?"_ 1 Cor. 3,16. Because the
Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, dwells in us, we are _God's_ temple. The
Holy Ghost therefore is the true God.--Remember what you learned in
the history of creation. There we read: _"And the Spirit of God moved
upon the face of the waters."_ Gen. 1,2. The work of creation is
ascribed to the Spirit of God, to the Holy Ghost. Creation is the work
of God. _Therefore the Holy Ghost must be God._

3. _We believe in the Father, and we believe in Jesus Christ, God's only
Son, and we believe in the Holy Ghost._ There are _three distinct
persons_ in whom we believe. There are three persons whom we confess to
be our God--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. And
we confess this according to Scripture. Christ, our Lord, commands us to
baptize in the name of God the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Matt. 28,19. Let me remind you of the _baptism of our Lord._ There the
three divine Persons revealed themselves. _God the Son,_ our Lord Jesus
Christ, stood in the river Jordan, being baptized by John. _God the
Father_ revealed Himself in a voice from heaven, saying: _"This is My
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."_ And the heavens opened, and
the _Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost,_ like a dove, descended upon our
Lord. _There are three distinct divine Persons in God, the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Ghost._

4. We confess that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy
Ghost is God. _There are not three gods, however, but only one God.
"Hear, O Israel: the Lord, our God, is one Lord."_ Deut. 6,4. The one
and only true God has revealed Himself in three distinct divine Persons.
_Our God, the one true God, besides whom there is no other God in heaven
and earth, is God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Ghost,
three divine Persons, but one God._ Because God has revealed Himself in
three divine Persons, we say: _God is the Triune God, the Holy
Trinity._--How it is possible that there are three distinct divine
Persons, but only one God, we do not _understand;_ but in accordance
with the Word of God we _believe_ in the Triune God, in God the Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost, who has created us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us,
or makes us holy. In Him we believe, Him we praise and adore as our God.

5. The Holy Ghost is the true God, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.
The Third Person is called the Holy Ghost because _He Himself is
perfectly holy,_ even as the Father and the Son. He is without sin.
_"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His
glory."_ Is. 6,3. Three times God is called holy, because there are
three divine Persons in God.--But the Holy Ghost is called holy also
_because He makes us sinners holy._ That is His work, making us holy,
who by nature are unholy and sinful. He makes us holy by bringing us to
Christ, our Savior, by kindling faith in Him in our hearts. This work of
the Holy Ghost we call _sanctification._

REMEMBER:--

1. _The Holy Ghost is true God together with the Father and the Son.
Therefore we confess that we believe in Him._

2. _The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
According to Scripture we confess three distinct divine Persons in God._

3. _There are not three gods, however, but only one true and eternal
God, who has revealed Himself in three Persons._

4. _The one true God, our God, is the Triune God, the Holy Trinity, God
the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost._

MEMORIZE:--

_Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?_ 1 Cor. 3,16.

_Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost._ Matt. 28,19.

_Hear, O Israel: the Lord, our God, is one Lord._ Deut. 6,4.

_Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His
glory._ Is. 6,3.

QUESTIONS.

1. Of whom does the Third Article treat? 2. In whom do we believe? 3.
What does it mean to believe in some one? 4. In whom alone should we
believe? 5. What do we therefore confess when we say that we believe in
the Holy Ghost? 6. How do we prove from 1 Cor. 3,16 that the Holy Ghost
is true God? 7. What divine work is ascribed in Scripture to the Holy
Ghost? 8. What, therefore, must the Holy Ghost be? 9. How many divine
persons do we confess in the Three Articles of our Christian Faith? 10.
How are they called? 11. In whose name are we baptized? 12. How did the
three divine persons reveal themselves at the baptism of our Lord? 13.
How many gods are there? 14. In how many persons did the one true God
reveal Himself? 15. Who, therefore, is the one true God? 16. How do we
call God because He has revealed Himself in three distinct persons? 17.
Which person of the Holy Trinity is the Holy Ghost? 18. Why is He called
holy? 19. What is His work? 20. By what other name is this work of the
Holy Spirit known?

LESSON 31.

The Third Article.

Without The Holy Ghost I Cannot Believe In Jesus Or Come To Him.

Which is the Third Article?

_I believe in the Holy Ghost._

What does this mean?

_I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus
Christ, my Lord, or come to Him._

1. We confess that we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in
Jesus Christ or come to Him. Whoever would be saved must believe in
Jesus Christ and so come to Him _"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
thou shalt be saved."_ Acts 16,31. Christ, our Lord, it is true, has
done everything that was necessary for our salvation. He redeemed us, He
paid the penalty for all our sins, by His sufferings and death He gained
for us the grace of God and the forgiveness of sins. He has done
everything that we might be His own and live under Him as our Lord. All
things are made ready for our salvation.

2. _The only thing that we need do now is to come to Christ and accept
from Him all He has gained for us._ Take an example. You are in great
want and distress. A rich and charitably inclined man offers you a sum
of money sufficient to help you out of your trouble. The money is yours,
for the rich man has given it to you. If you take it, your want will be
at an end. But suppose you do not take it. Perhaps you do not believe
that the rich man really means what he says, or you do not want to
accept it from him, or, if you have taken it, you are not making use of
it. The help has then been offered to you in vain. Your sad condition
remains as it was. So it is with what Christ, our Savior, has merited
for us. He has gained full salvation for us, and He offers it to us in
His Word. If we do not accept it, His work is in vain as far as we are
concerned; we remain in our sins.

3. How do we accept what Christ has gained for us? _By believing in Him
as our Savior._ He believes in Christ who from his whole heart
confesses: I know from the Word of God that Christ is _my_ Lord, that He
has redeemed me from all _my_ sins, from death, and from the power of
the devil. I know from the Word of God that _I_ am Christ's own, His
child, that He is really _my_ Lord. For His sake all _my_ sins are
forgiven. Through His suffering and death _I_ am free from death and
damnation and have everlasting life. _What Christ has done He has done
for me, a lost and condemned sinner._ In Him is my only hope. By faith
we come to Christ. Faith is, as it were, the _hand_ with which we take
everything that Christ has gained for us.

4. Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved, that is the only way
to heaven and everlasting life. But we confess that _we cannot by our
own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, or come to Him._ Alas!
also this is most certainly true. We are lost and condemned sinners. The
Scriptures tell us that all men are by nature _blind_ in these things.
We do not understand the glorious message that in Christ alone is our
salvation. We always try to save ourselves by our good works. If we are
told about this salvation, we think it _foolishness._ "The natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness
unto Him." 1 Cor. 2,14.--We have not the _strength_ to come to Jesus,
our Savior. We are _dead_ in the sight of God. _"Ye were dead in
trespasses and sins."_ Eph. 2,1. A dead person cannot do anything to
bring himself to life again. Lazarus could not raise himself from the
grave. So we cannot do anything to raise ourselves from our death in
sins. _"No man can say that Jesus is the Lord_ [that is, believe in Him]
_but by the Holy Ghost."_ 1 Cor. 12,3. And even if we could, we would
not come to Jesus and believe in Him. We are by nature God's enemies. We
do not want to be saved by Him. We cannot by our own reason or strength
believe in Jesus Christ, or come to Him. _As far as we are concerned, we
are lost._

5. But God has had pity on us. He sent His Holy Ghost. The _Holy Ghost_
does what we cannot do. He brings us to Christ, He works in us true
faith. True faith is God's work in us, the work of the Holy Ghost, _His
work alone._ Not our works, but His _grace alone_ moves Him to do this
work. _"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast."_
Eph. 2,8.9.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Christ has done everything for my salvation. All now depends upon my
coming to Jesus, my Lord and Savior._

2. _I come to Jesus by believing in Him. True faith in Christ is not my
own work. I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe
in Jesus Christ, or come to Him._

3. _Saving faith in Christ is the work of the Holy Ghost alone. Not my
works or my merits, but only His grace has moved Him to bring me to
Christ and save me._

MEMORIZE:--

_The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they
are foolishness unto Him._ 1 Cor. 2,14.

_Ye were dead in trespasses and sins._ Eph. 2,1.

_No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost._ 1 Cor.
12,3.

_By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is
the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast._

QUESTIONS.

1. What has Christ done for our salvation? 2. In what manner did He gain
for us the grace of God, forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting? 3.
What is now the one thing necessary for our salvation? 4. What happens
if we do not accept all that Christ offers us for our salvation? 5. How
do we come to Christ and accept in true faith what He has gained for us?
6. What does it mean to believe in Christ? 7. In what respect may we
compare our faith with a hand? 8. Which is the only way to heaven? 9.
What do we confess in the Third Article about our coming to Christ and
believing in Him? 10. Why are we not able to come to Christ by our own
reason? 11. How do we always try to save ourselves? 12. Why do we not
have strength to come to Jesus and believe in Him? 13. What does the
apostle say 1 Cor. 12,3? 14. Who alone can bring us to Christ and work
faith in us? 15. What moves the Holy Ghost to perform this work in us?

LESSON 32.

The Third Article.

The Holy Ghost Has Called Me.

Which is the Third Article?

_I believe in the Holy Ghost._

What does this mean?

_I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus
Christ, my Lord, or come to Him, but the Holy Ghost has called me by the
Gospel._

1. We cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, our
Lord, or come to Him. The Holy Ghost alone is able to bring us to
Christ, our Savior. How does He bring us to Christ? We confess as
children of God that _the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel._ By
calling me through the Gospel, the Holy Ghost has brought me to Jesus
Christ, my Lord and Savior. Let us see what this means.

2. Our Lord, in a parable, once spoke of a certain rich man who made a
great supper for his guests. And he sent out his servants at supper-time
to say to those who were bidden: _"Come, for all things are now ready."_
Luke 14,16.17. The meal was prepared, and the rich man invited his
guests to come and partake of it. At dinner-time, when your mother has
prepared dinner for the family, she calls to you, "Dinner is ready. Now
come and eat! It is prepared for you too." In a similar manner the _Holy
Ghost calls us and invites us to come to Christ and accept His
salvation._ Christ, our Savior, has prepared all things; He has prepared
forgiveness of all our sins, life, and salvation. All things necessary
for our salvation are ready in Christ. All is finished. And now the Holy
Ghost brings us these glad tidings: All things are now ready, all things
needed for your salvation. Come, whosoever you are, come to your Savior!
Come and take and enjoy what He in His great love has prepared for you.
_We come to Jesus only by faith._ The Holy Ghost calls us and invites
us, Come, _believe_ in your Savior, and You will be saved.

3. You do not see the Holy Ghost when He calls you. _The Holy Ghost
calls you by the Gospel._ The Gospel, as you have learned (Lesson 14),
_is the glad tidings of the grace of God for all men,_ the tidings of
what Christ has done for us to save us. As the rich man in the parable,
so the Holy Ghost sends His _servants._ These servants are all those who
tell you the Gospel of Christ, your minister, your teacher, your
parents, etc. When you hear the Gospel or read it, the Holy Ghost comes
to you and calls you. In the Gospel He says to you: All things have been
prepared by Christ; they are ready for you, for your salvation. In
Christ you have forgiveness of your sins and salvation. _Come now, you
lost and condemned sinner, and take what your Lord freely offers you.
Believe in Christ, and you will be saved._ That is the call of the Holy
Ghost by the Gospel. _"He called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of
the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."_ 2 Thess. 2,14.

4. When your mother calls you to dinner, you must come by your own will
and strength, and you have the strength to do so. We sinners have
neither the will nor the strength to come to Jesus. The Holy Ghost knows
that we cannot by our own strength come to our Savior. _By calling us He
gives us the strength to hear and to follow His call._ By His call He
brings us to Christ and works in us faith in our Lord, so that we
willingly come to Him. The call of the Holy Ghost is God's call, full of
power. This work of the Holy Ghost we also call _conversion._ The Holy
Ghost alone converts us, that is, He turns us from our sins to Christ.
"Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord, my God."
Jer. 31,18.

5. Remember that the Holy Ghost brings you to Christ _by the Gospel._
Only through the Gospel does He work in the hearts of men. The Gospel is
the means by which we obtain the grace of God and salvation. _If we do
not read or hear the Word of God, the Gospel, the Holy Ghost cannot
perform His work in us._ Therefore you should _diligently_ read and hear
the Word of God, the Gospel. _"It is the power of God unto salvation to
every one that believeth."_ Rom. 1,16.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Christ has prepared your whole salvation. All is ready, ready for
you. The Holy Ghost calls and invites you to come and partake freely of
what Jesus has gained for you._

2. _By His call the Holy Ghost gives you strength to follow His call, to
come to your Lord. He Himself works by His call in your heart the true
faith in your Savior and so brings you to Christ. This work of the Holy
Ghost is also called conversion. Conversion is the work of the Holy
Ghost alone. Our salvation is a free gift of God._

3. _The Holy Ghost calls us by the Gospel of Christ. Diligently read and
hear God's saving Word._

MEMORIZE:--

_Come, for all things are now ready._ Luke 14,17.

_Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord, my God._
Jer. 31,18.

_By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is
the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast._ Eph. 2,8.9.

_I am not ashame of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God
unto salvation to every one that believeth._ Rom. 1,16.

QUESTIONS.

1. What do we confess in the Third Article concerning ourselves? 2.
Whose work is it that we come to Christ? 3. Who has prepared all things
necessary for our salvation? 4. Who calls us to come and partake of all
that Christ has gained? 5. What do we mean when we say that the Holy
Ghost calls us? 6. By what means does the Holy Ghost call us to Jesus?
7. What is the Gospel? 8. Who are the servants the Holy Ghost sends to
us with the Gospel message? 9. What the Holy Ghost do when you hear or
read the Gospel? 10. What are we not able to do of ourselves when the
Holy Ghost calls us? 11. What does the Holy Ghost give us when He calls
us? 12. What does He work in us by His call? 13. What other name have we
for this work of the Holy Ghost? 14. Whose work alone is our conversion?
15. To whom does the Holy Ghost tun us when He converts us? 16. The Holy
Ghost converts us by the Gospel; what should we therefore diligently do?

LESSON 33.

The Third Article.

The Holy Ghost Has Enlightened, Sanctified, And Kept Me In The True
Faith.

Which is the Third Article?

_I believe in the Holy Ghost._

What does this mean?

_I believe that the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened
me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith._

1. The Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, and in doing so _He has
also enlightened me with His gifts._ By calling me, He has kindled true
faith in Christ in me, so that I know Christ and acknowledge Him to be
my Savior, I believe and trust, rejoice and find comfort in Him alone
for life and death. These are gifts of the Holy Ghost with which He
enlightens every child of God: _true knowledge of Christ as his
Redeemer, true faith in Him, peace with God, his Father, joy and comfort
in all distress._ What wonderful gifts! How rich does the Holy Ghost
make a child of God! _Do not forget to thank Him daily for the precious
gifts He bestows upon you._

2. _"The Holy Ghost has sanctified me,"_ that is, _He has made me holy,
and He does this every day, more and more._ He sanctifies me _"in the
true faith."_ By His call the Holy Ghost has called forth in us true
faith in our Lord. Through faith you have forgiveness of sins and are a
child of God, with whom God, for Christ's sake, is well pleased. _But it
is God's will that His children lead a holy life,_ flee and shun all
sin, and live according to His commandments. _"This is the will of God,
even your sanctification."_ 1 Thess. 4,3. Of ourselves we cannot do
this, but the Holy Ghost comes to our aid. _He sanctifies us, He makes
us holy._ Through faith He comes into our heart and dwells in us. _"Know
ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?"_ 1 Cor. 3,16. And the Holy Ghost _works_ in us, the
children of God. In His strength we begin _to hate the sins_ that we
formerly loved, and to flee them. In His strength we begin _to fear and
love God above all things, and to trust in Him._ We no longer serve the
devil and our sins, but begin to serve our Lord who has redeemed us, and
our Father in heaven.

3. True, we are not _perfectly holy,_ nor do we become so as long as we
live here on earth. True children of God also must confess _that they
daily sin much and deserve nothing but punishment._ But they are
heartily sorry for this. They daily ask God's forgiveness for Christ's
sake. And the Holy Ghost _daily_ gives them _new strength and power_ to
fight and struggle against all temptations of the devil and the world
and their own evil lusts. He daily gives them new strength to walk in
godliness, to love God and their neighbor. Let us abide in Him, and we
shall more and more overcome the devil, the world, and our sins, become
more and more holy as our Lord and God is holy. _"He that abideth in Me
and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can
do nothing."_ John 15,5.

4. _"The Holy Ghost has kept me in the true faith,"_ so a child of God
confesses. The Holy Ghost has already called and enlightened us and
begun to sanctify us _in Holy Baptism._ There already He has brought us
to Christ and has bestowed His precious gifts upon us. And to-day we
still have the true faith; we believe in our Savior, and in Him we are
children of God. _That is not our own merit, it is the work of the Holy
Ghost in us._ He has worked in us by the Gospel, through our parents,
through the Christian school and the church, and by the Gospel. He has
kept us in the true faith. _"Ye are kept by the power of God through
faith unto salvation."_ 1 Pet. 1,5.--And He has promised in His Word
_that He will keep us in this faith until our end. "He which hath begun
a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."_
Phil. 1,6.

5. This is the work of the Holy Ghost in all true believers, and _He is
willing to perform this work in every one who hears the Gospel._ God
earnestly desires to save all men. _"God will have all men to be saved
and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."_ 1 Tim. 2,4. Christ died
for all men; He redeemed all lost and condemned sinners. The Gospel is a
power of God unto salvation to all who read and hear it.--_And yet not
all men are saved; most men are lost._ What is the cause of this? They
are lost _by their own fault._ Most men will not be saved. They
obstinately resist the Holy Ghost and the saving Gospel, and so they do
not come to Christ, but are condemned. _"O Israel, thou hast destroyed
thyself, but in Me is thine help."_ Hos. 13,9.

REMEMBER:--

1. _The Holy Ghost has enlightened me and bestowed on me His precious
gifts, the right knowledge of Christ, true faith in Him._

2. _He sanctifies me and makes me holy. He daily gives me strength to
struggle against Satan, world, and sin, to overcome them and to lead a
godly life, to love God and my neighbor._

3. _He has, by the Gospel, kept me in the true faith until this day, and
He has promised me that He will do so until the end._

4. _This work the Holy Ghost desires to perform in all that hear the
Gospel. Whosoever is lost is lost by his own fault._

MEMORIZE:--

_This is the will of God, even your sanctification._ 1 Thess. 4,3.

_Ye are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation._ 1 Pet.
1,5.

_He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of
Jesus Christ._ Phil. 1,6.

_God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth._ 1 Tim. 2,4.

QUESTIONS.

1. Which is the second work of the Holy Ghost mentioned in our
Catechism? 2. With what does the Holy Ghost enlighten us? 3. What are
His gifts? 4. What has the Holy Ghost by His call kindled in us? 5.
Whose children are we through faith? 6. What is God's will regarding His
children? (1 Cor. 3,16.) 7. What does the word "sanctify" mean? 8. Who
performs this work in us? 9. What do we, by the grace of the Holy Ghost,
begin to hate? 10. Whom do we begin to love? 11. What must even true
believers confess? 12. What do we therefore daily ask of God? 13. And
what does the Holy Ghost daily grant us? 14. Which is the last work
which the Holy Ghost performs in us? 15. Since when has He kept us in
the true faith? 16. How long has He promised to keep us in the faith?
17. In whom will the Holy Ghost perform this work He has begun in us?
18. What is the gracious will of God toward all men? 19. What is the
reason that not all men are saved? 20. Whose fault is it that they are
lost? 21. By whose work alone are we saved?

LESSON 34.

The Third Article.

REVIEW LESSON.

1. In the Third Article of our Creed we learn about the Holy Ghost,
about His person and His work. We confess that we believe in the Holy
Ghost. In whom alone should we believe? What do we therefore confess of
the Holy Ghost when we say that we believe in Him? How can we prove
from Holy Scripture that the Holy Ghost is true God? 1 Cor. 3,16. Which
divine work is ascribed to the Holy Ghost?

2. In whom do we believe according to the First Article? In whom
according to the Second Article? And in whom according to the Third
Article? In how many Persons of the Godhead do we believe, according to
our Creed? There are three distinct Persons in whom we believe. We
believe in them; what, therefore, are they? All these three persons are
the true God. In whose name have we been baptized? On what occasion did
these three divine Persons reveal themselves to us? How did they reveal
themselves at the baptism of Christ? The Father is God, the Son is God,
and tho Holy Ghost is God; how many Gods are there? In how many Persons
did the one true God reveal Himself? Who, therefore, is the one true
God? What do we call God because He is one and has revealed Himself in
three Persons?--Why is the third Person of God called the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost makes us holy; what do we call this work of the Holy
Spirit?

3. What has Christ done for our salvation? What has He gained for us in
order to save us? What is now the one thing necessary for our salvation?
What becomes of us if we do not come to Jesus and accept what He has
merited for us? How do we come to Jesus and accept all that He offers
us?--Believe in Jesus Christ, your Savior; that is the only way to
heaven. But what must we confess concerning our believing and coming to
Christ? Why can we not by our own reason and strength believe in Christ
or come to Him? What do we read Eph. 2,1? We are dead in trespasses and
sins. A dead person cannot do anything to raise himself from death to a
new life. As far as we are concerned, we are lost and condemned
creatures. Who took pity on us? Whom did God send to raise us from the
death of our sins? To whom does the Holy Ghost bring us? Do we and can
we help Him to perform this work in us? Whose work alone is it? By what
is the Holy Ghost moved to bring us to Christ, our Lord, and thus to
save us?

4. The Holy Ghost alone can bring us to Christ. Our Catechism tells us
how the Spirit of God performs this work in us. What do we confess in
the Third Article about this work of the Holy Ghost? The Holy Ghost has
called me. In which parable does Christ Himself explain what this
means? As this rich man had prepared a supper for His guests, so Christ
has prepared, as it were, a supper for us, for all men. What is this
supper which Christ has prepared for all men? In what manner did He
prepare everything for our salvation? Who now calls us to the salvation
Christ has prepared? What does the Holy Ghost say to us in this call? We
come to our Lord and to the meal He has prepared for us by believing in
Him. The Holy Ghost calls and invites us to believe in Jesus Christ, our
Lord, and be saved.--By what means does the Holy Ghost call and invite
us to Christ, to faith in Him? Who, generally, are the servants He sends
out to call us to Christ by the Gospel? But who is it that really calls
us when we hear the Gospel?--The Holy Ghost calls us by the Gospel. He
says to us, Come to your Lord and be saved. What are we not able to do
by our own strength when the Holy Ghost calls us? What does the Holy
Ghost give us in calling us? What does He call forth in us by His call?
What do we call this work of the Spirit? Who alone performs conversion
in us? The Holy Ghost brings us to Christ, or converts us, only through
the Gospel. When can the Holy Ghost not perform this work in us? What
should we therefore diligently do?

5. What is the second work of the Holy Ghost? With what does the Holy
Ghost enlighten us? What are His gifts?--The Holy Ghost sanctifies me;
what does that mean? The Holy Ghost sanctifies us in the true faith.
Whose children are we through faith? What is God's will toward His
children? 1 Thess. 4,3. Who performs this work in us? The Holy Ghost
dwells in our heart, and renews and sanctifies it. What do we hate now
by the power He has granted us? Whom do we begin to love?--Our
sanctification in this life is never perfect. What must also the
children of God confess? What do they therefore ask of their Lord every
day? But what does the Holy Ghost daily give them? Against whom do the
children of God daily struggle and fight? In whose strength do they more
and more overcome the devil, the world, and their own sins?--Which is
the last work performed in us by the Holy Ghost? Since when has the Holy
Ghost kept us in the true faith? How long has He promised to keep us
with Christ?--In whom is the Holy Ghost willing to perform His work to
the end in order to save them? What is God's gracious will towards all
men? What additional proof can you give for the fact that God desires
all men to be saved? How is it that not all men are saved? Whose fault
is it that those are lost who are condemned? By whose grace and work
alone are we saved?

LESSON 35.

The Third Article.

The Holy Christian Church.

Which is the Third Article?

_I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church, the communion
of saints._

What does this mean?

_I believe that ... the Holy Ghost has called me, ... even as He calls,
gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth
and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith._

1. God the Holy Ghost has called me to Christ, sanctified me, and kept
me in the true faith. The Holy Ghost, however, has performed this work
of His grace _not only on me._ Besides me He has called, and still
calls, many poor lost sinners to Christ, enlightens them with His
precious gifts, with faith in their Savior. All these the Holy Ghost
also _"gathers,"_ as our Catechism states. The Holy Ghost does not
suffer those who have been converted by the Gospel to _be separate,_ but
adds them to His disciples, as on that first Pentecost all those were
added to the congregation of the disciples who had been converted by
Peter's sermon. Acts 2,41. All true believers are Christ's own; through
faith in Him they are closely united as brethren and sisters in the one
Lord. _All true believers, taken together are the holy Christian Church
on earth, which the Holy Ghost sanctifies and keeps in the one true
faith._

2. The Third Article calls the Christian Church _the communion of
saints._ It is a communion, a congregation, of _saints,_ that is, of
_holy people._ They are not holy in themselves, but the Holy Ghost has
sanctified them, or made them holy, through faith in Christ. In Christ
they have _forgiveness of all their sins_ and are holy in the eyes of
God. _Only true believers in Christ therefore belong to the Christian
Church; only they, but all of them._ Instead of the communion of saints
we might also say _the communion of true believers._--The Church is
the communion of saints. All believers in Christ are a _communion,_ a
_congregation;_ they form, as it were, one _body._ They do not all live
together at one place, in one city, or in the same country,--we find
them scattered over all the earth,--but they are _closely bound
together by one and the same faith in Christ._ They belong to one
family, of which Christ is the Head and Master, and all are members.
_The Church is the communion of saints; for believers only, but all
believers, are members of it._

3. We _believe_ that the holy Christian Church is here on earth, but we
do not _see_ it; it is invisible. Only true believers belong to the
Church, and no man can look into another's heart and see his _faith._
Only One really knows who the members of the Church are. _"The Lord
knoweth them that are His."_ 2 Tim. 2,19. We cannot see the Church, but
_we believe that it is here on earth;_ for holy Scripture assures us
that the Holy Ghost by the Gospel at all times calls men to Christ and
keeps them in the true faith to the end of the world. Our Lord says:
_"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it."_ Matt. 16,18.--The Church
is _holy_ because all its members are _holy by faith in Christ_ and in
the strength of the Holy Ghost _lead a godly life_ and serve their Lord
in His kingdom in righteousness.--It is called the _Christian_ Church
because it is built on _Christ. "Other foundation can no man lay than
that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."_ 1 Cor. 3,11. And He is not only
its Foundation, but also _the Head and King of the Church._

4. We do not see the Church, _but we know where it is, where we can find
it._ The Holy Ghost calls and keeps the Church only _by the Gospel._ God
has promised us that, where His Gospel is preached, it shall not remain
_without fruit;_ some of those who hear it will come to Christ and
believe in Him. _Wherever the Word of God is preached, and only where it
is in use, the holy Christian Church is to be found._

5. Scripture also speaks of a _visible_ Church, of visible congregations
of Christians. A visible Church is the number of all those who call
themselves Christians, who _profess their faith in Christ and are
gathered about God's Word._ In these visible congregations there are not
only true believers, but also _hypocrites,_ who indeed confess the
Christian faith, but do not believe in their Savior. Among the visible
churches there are _many false churches and one true visible Church._
The true visible Church teaches and confesses the Word of God _in all
its purity, without false doctrines. This true visible Church is the
Evangelical Lutheran Church._ To this Church we ought to belong, and to
no other; for our Lord says: _"If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My
disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth; and the truth shall make
you free."_ John 8, 31.32. _"Beware of false prophets!"_ Matt. 7,15.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Let it be your earnest concern to be and remain a member of the
invisible Church of Christ; remain steadfast in the true faith. He that
believes, and He only, shall be saved._

2. _Let it also be your earnest concern to belong to the true visible
Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In this Church the pure Word is
preached, the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation. Avoid
all false churches. "Beware of false prophets!"_

3. _Pray and work with all diligence for your Church that it may be
maintained and extended._ Matt. 28,19.

MEMORIZE:--

_The Lord knoweth them that are His._ 2 Tim. 2,19.

_Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it._ Matt. 16,18.

_Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus
Christ._ 1 Cor. 3,11.

_If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye
shall know the truth; and the truth shall make you free._ John 8,31.32.

QUESTIONS.

1. Who are the members of the holy Christian Church? 2. By whom was the
Church founded? 3. In what way does the Holy Ghost build up and preserve
the Church? 4. What is the Church also called in the Third Article? 5.
Who are the saints? 6. Why are believers called saints? 7. How are they
sanctified by the Holy Ghost? 8. What does the Word "communion" mean?
9. What binds true believers so closely together? 10. Why is the Church
called the _holy_ Church? 11. Why is it called the _Christian_ Church?
12. Where do we find the true Church? 13. Why is this so? 14. What is
the visible Church? 15. Who also, besides true believers, belongs to
these visible churches? 16. Which is the true visible Church? 17. How is
the true visible Church called? 18. Why should we belong to this Church
and avoid all false churches?

LESSON 36.

The Third Article.

The Forgiveness Of Sins.

Which is the Third Article?

_I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church, the communion
of saints; the forgiveness of sins._

What does this mean?

_In which Church He_ [the Holy Ghost] _daily and richly forgives all
sins to me and all believers._

1. We confess in our Catechism that the Holy Ghost forgives all sins to
me and all believers. _We believe that there is a forgiveness of sins.
God's Word assures us of this. _"There is forgiveness with Thee."_ Ps.
130,4. _How sorely do we need forgiveness of sins!_ You know that all
men, also believers, commit sin. A child of God indeed earnestly
strives against committing any sin, he tries not to transgress the
commandments of his heavenly Father; but, alas! also God's children sin
daily and much. _"There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and
sinneth not."_ Eccl. 7,20. With our sins we deserve nothing but God's
punishment. _"The wages of sin is death."_ Rom. 6,23. _Without
forgiveness of sins we are lost.

2. _But there is a forgiveness of sins with God._ He assures us in His
Word that by grace, for Christ's sake, He will forgive me all my sins.
He will do so _daily and richly._ Whenever we have sinned, we should
come to Him and pray to Him: Forgive me my trespasses. Even as a child
who has grieved his father by his disobedience penitently comes to him
and asks his forgiveness, so we in true penitence should daily come to
our heavenly Father, whom we have so sorely grieved, whose punishment we
deserve, and ask His forgiveness. _He will not cast us out._ He will
hear our prayer, and we will praise Him: _"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who
healeth all thy diseases."_ Ps. 103,2.3. The _publican_ came into the
Temple and humbly said: _"God be merciful to me, a sinner!"_ and God was
merciful to him; he went down to his house _justified._ He had received
forgiveness of his sins. Luke 18,9-14.

3. God forgives us our sins. He is moved to do this _not by our good
works or merits._ God does not see anything in us which could induce Him
to forgive us our trespasses. We deserve nothing but punishment. _His
free grace alone moves God to forgive us all our sins._ Our God is a
merciful God. He takes pity on us, His sinful children.--By grace God
_forgives_ us our sins, that is, He does not look upon our sins, does
not _impute_ them to us, but declares us sinners _righteous._ In the
beautiful parable of our Lord which we find Matt. 18,23 ff., the wicked
servant asks his Lord to have patience with him, whom he owed so much.
And the kind lord, moved with compassion, loosed the servant from his
fetters and forgave him all his debts, which he never would have been
able to pay. _Thus God, moved with compassion, does not punish us as we
have deserved, and declares us free from debt, declares us righteous, or
in other words, God justifies us._

4. How can the just and holy God who has threatened to punish all who
transgress His commandments forgive sins and declare sinners righteous?
He does so _for Christ's sake. In Christ_ we have the forgiveness of
sins. _"In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness
of sins, according to the riches of His grace."_ Eph. 1,7 Christ
fulfilled the Law of God in our stead, He suffered the punishment for
our sins, and so made good for us. _He has earned full forgiveness for
us; for His sake all our sins are forgiven._

5. Who _receives_ forgiveness of sins? We confess that God forgives all
sins _to me and all believers._ It is true, Christ has _procured_
forgiveness _for all men_--Christ died for every sinner. God, in His
grace, _offers_ this forgiveness by the Gospel _to all who hear it._ We
read: _"God was in Christ, reconciling the world_ [all men] _unto
Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed
unto us the Word of Reconciliation."_ 2 Cor. 5,19. Yet not all receive
forgiveness, but only those _who believe in Christ and thus accept the
forgiveness_ which Christ has earned for all men. Without faith in
Christ there is no forgiveness of sins. _We are justified by faith
alone._

6. We receive forgiveness of sins, we are justified before God, _without
the deeds of the Law, by grace alone, for Christ's sake, through faith
in our Lord._ This is the _chief article of our Christian faith._ This
doctrine is taught only by the Christian Church. _It gives all the glory
for our salvation to God and affords true comfort to all sinners._

REMEMBER:--

1. _God has promised in His Word to forgive us all our sins daily and
richly. Come to Him every day and with true penitence, with a contrite
heart, ask His forgiveness for Christ's sake. He will graciously grant
it._

2. _We are justified in the sight of God without the deeds of the Law,
by His grace, for Christ's sake, through faith in Him. This is the chief
doctrine of the Christian Church and the only one that gives lasting
comfort to all sinners._

MEMORIZE:--

_Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who
forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases._ Ps.
103,2.3.

_In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of
sins, according to the riches of His grace._ Eph. 1,7.

_God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them, and has committed unto us the Word of
Reconciliation._ 2 Cor. 5,19.

QUESTIONS.

1. Why do we so sorely need daily forgiveness of sins? 2. What do we
deserve with our sins before God? 3. Of what does God assure us in His
Word with regard to our sins? 4. What should we therefore do every day?
5. How did the publican in the Temple ask for forgiveness 6. How did God
answer his prayer? Luke 18, 13.14. 7. Why cannot our works and merits
induce God to grant us forgiveness? 8. By what is God moved to forgive
us our sins? 9. God forgives us our sins--what does that mean? 10.
What do we also call this act of God by which He forgives us our sins?
11. For whose sake does God forgive, or justify, us? 12. Why do we have
forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake? 13. Who only receives forgiveness
of sins? 14. Why is faith in Christ necessary if we wish to receive
forgiveness? 15. How are we justified before God? 16. Why is this
doctrine the chief doctrine of our Church?

LESSON 37.

The Third Article

The Resurrection Of The Body And Life Everlasting.

Which is the Third Article?

_I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church, the communion
of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and
the life everlasting._

What does this mean?

_He_ [the Holy Ghost] _will at the Last Day raise up me and all the dead
and give unto me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most
certainly true._

1. _We believe the resurrection of the body,_ so we confess. We believe
that _God will raise up me and all the dead,_ so that our bodies which
have died shall again be made alive and come forth from their graves.
Our bodies _die_ and are buried, and in the grave they decay. _These
same bodies_ will live again. It is true, we cannot _understand_ how
this is possible. To unbelievers it seems ridiculous, they laugh and
mock at this doctrine. Still we _believe_ it; we are assured by the Word
of God that our dead shall live again. And _"the Word of the Lord is
right."_ Ps. 33,4. Our Lord says: _"The hour is coming in the which all
that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth."_ John
5,28. Our God is _almighty,_ with Him nothing is impossible. Luke 1,37.

2. God will raise _me and all the dead. All_ that are in the graves
shall hear His voice and shall come forth from their graves. Christ will
not only raise His own, His believers, but all men, those, too, who did
not believe in Him, but died in their sins.--_"The hour is coming,"_
our Lord says: it is coming on _the Last Day_ of the world. On that
great day, when our Lord will come again to judge the quick and the
dead, all the dead shall hear the almighty voice of the Son of God and
whether they will or not, shall come forth from their graves to meet
their God and Lord at His judgment-seat.

3. All the dead will be raised from death and the grave; _but there will
be a great difference in their resurrection._ Our Lord says: _"They that
have done good_ [shall come forth] _unto the resurrection of life, and
they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation."_ John
5,29. Those who here on earth believed in Christ, and by the power of
His grace served Him in His kingdom, and died in the Lord trusting in
Him, will come forth to life everlasting and go with their Lord to His
eternal glory. _They that have done evil,_ those who rejected their
Savior and died in their sins, will rise unto _the resurrection of
damnation._ They will be thrown into _hell,_ into everlasting fire,
prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt. 25,41. May our heavenly
Father keep us steadfast in the true faith and preserve us from hell and
damnation!

4. _They that have done good,_ those who believed in Christ and died in
the Lord, shall come forth unto _the resurrection of life. At the Last
Day the risen Lord will raise all that fell asleep in Him, and will give
them life everlasting, life without end._ We confess that the Lord will
"give _me_ and all believers eternal life." The Holy Ghost has called me
by the Gospel, by His grace I believe in my Savior, by grace He has kept
me in the faith, and so _I am assured_ that He will give _me_ eternal
life. _"Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have
everlasting life."_ John 3,16. To me and all believers the Lord will
give eternal life, but _to believers only. "He that believeth on the Son
hath eternal life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life,
but the wrath of God abideth on him."_ John 3,36.

5. God will give us believers _eternal life._ Christ will lead His own,
His believers, soul and body, into His heavenly kingdom, there to live
and reign with Him in everlasting joy and glory. In heaven there will be
_no sin;_ in perfect holiness we shall serve our Lord. There will be no
more _death,_ nor _sorrow,_ nor _crying,_ nor _pain._ Rev. 21,4. All
these things shall have passed away. There will be pure and _true joy
and happiness forever and ever._ We shall be _with God:_ we shall see
Him, our heavenly King and Father, and His wondrous ways. _"We shall see
Him as He is."_ 1 John 3,2. We shall _see our dear Lord and Savior,_
whom we love now even without having seen Him. We shall see Him _in His
glory,_ in the glory which His Father has given Him. What unspeakable
joy to see God, our Lord and Savior, to be and live with Him! _"In Thy
presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures
forevermore."_ Ps. 16,11.--Our _bodies_ will share this joy. They will
come forth _glorified, freed from all sin, sickness, and infirmity,
fashioned_ like unto the glorious body of our risen Lord.

REMEMBER:--

1. _It is most certainly true that the Holy Ghost by the Gospel has
called me to Christ, my Lord, and enlightened me with His gifts, with
true faith in my Savior._

2. _It is most certainly true that in Christ I have forgiveness of all
my sins, that I am justified before God without the deeds of the Law, by
grace alone, for Christ's sake through faith._

3. _It is most certainly true that the Holy Ghost will keep me in the
true faith, and at the day of my Lord raise my glorified body and give
to me and all believers in Christ eternal life. I am assured of all of
this by the Word of God. This is what I firmly believe and hope for in
life and death._

MEMORIZE:--

_The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear
His voice and shall come forth: they that have done good unto the
resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection
of damnation._ John 5,28.29.

_We shall see Him as He is._ 1 John 3,2.

_In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are
pleasures forevermore._ Ps. 16,11.

_He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and He that
believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth
on him._ John 3,36.

QUESTIONS.

1. "We believe the resurrection of the body"--what does this mean? 2.
What happens to our bodies when we die? 3. Why do we believe that God
will raise our bodies? 4. Why do we firmly believe that God can do this
though to us it seems impossible? 5. Who will hear the voice of the Son
of God when His hour has come? 6. When will His hour come? 7. What
difference will there be in the resurrection of the dead? 8. Who are
"they that have done good"? 9. Who are "they that have done evil"? 10.
To what kind of resurrection will these come forth? 11. What will the
Lord at the Last Day give unto me and all believers? 12. Why am I
assured that He will give eternal life also to me? 13. What does our
Lord say John 3,36? 14. What will there no longer be in eternal life?
15. What will give us everlasting joy and happiness in eternal life? 16.
How will the bodies of the believers rise at that day? 17. Like unto
whose body will they be fashioned? 18. Why do we believe that all we
have confessed in the Third Article is most certainly true?

LESSON 38

The Third Article.

Review Lesson.

1. God the Holy Ghost has called me to Christ, sanctified and kept me in
the true faith. Besides me He has called and calls others. What does the
Holy Ghost also do in regard to all that He has brought to Christ? What
does it mean that He gathers them? What does Scripture call the whole
number of all true believers?--What is the Christian Church also
called in the Third Article? Why are the believers called saints? What
does the word _communion_ signify? Who only, therefore, belongs to the
one true Christian Church?--Why is this Church invisible? The true
Church is invisible; still we know and are convinced that it is always
here on earth. Why are we certain about this? What does our Lord say
concerning His Church Matt. 16,18? We call the Church the _holy_ Church;
why do we do this? Why is the Church called the _Christian_ Church?
Christ is the Foundation of the Church, what else?--We cannot see
the Church, still we know where we can find it. Where is it to be found?
Why can we be certain that the Church is where the Word of God, the
Gospel, is preached and used?--There is one true Church of Christ, the
congregation of all believers on earth. But Scripture also speaks of
visible churches, visible congregations. What do we mean when we speak
of visible churches? To these churches not only true believers belong,
but who also? Of these visible churches, or denominations, there is
quite a number. What difference exists among these churches? Which is
the true visible Church? What is it called? To which Church should we
belong?

2. In the Third Article we also confess the forgiveness of sins. Why do
we so sorely need forgiveness of sins? What have we deserved with our
sins? What will be our fate if we do not receive forgiveness of sins?--
Of what does God assure us in His Word concerning our sins? We daily sin
much and deserve nothing but punishment; what should we therefore do
every day? How did the publican in the Temple pray to God for
forgiveness? How do you know that God answered his prayer?--God
forgives the sins of all who come to Him in true penitence. What does
not move God to forgive us our sins? Why cannot anything He sees in us
induce Him to grant us forgiveness? What moves God to forgive us our
sins? What do we mean when we say that God forgives sin? For whose sake
does the just and holy God grant us forgiveness? In whom have we
redemption, the forgiveness of sins? What has Christ done to earn this
forgiveness?--For whom has Christ procured forgiveness? How does God
offer this forgiveness? What, however, is necessary if we wish to
receive this precious gift of God? How, therefore, are we justified in
the sight of God? Why is this doctrine of justification so important? We
should by all means hold fast to this doctrine: We are justified without
the deeds of the Law, by God's grace alone, for Christ's sake, through
faith in Him, our Savior.

3. In the Third Article we furthermore confess the resurrection of the
body. How does our Catechism explain these words? How is the doctrine of
the resurrection of the body regarded by the unbelievers? Why do we
nevertheless believe it?--God will raise the dead. How many of them
will He bring to life again? All shall hear the voice of the Son of God
and come forth. When will Christ raise all the dead? What is this "Last
Day"? All the dead will rise again at the Last Day; but there will be a
difference among them. What will this difference be? Who will come forth
unto the resurrection of damnation? Who are they that have done evil?
What will be their punishment on that day? May our heavenly Father
preserve us from hell and damnation!--Who will come forth unto the
resurrection of life? Who are they that have done good? What will God
give to me and all believers on that day? From what shall we be free in
eternal life? With whom shall we be? Not only shall we be with Him,
united with Him by faith, what, too, has He promised us? 1 John 3,2.
Whom also shall we see in the heavenly kingdom? What do we read Ps.
16,11? How will our bodies be after the resurrection? Like whose body
will they be fashioned? What do we mean by adding: "This is most
certainly true"?

And we confess the Holy Ghost,
Who from both fore'er proceeds,
Who upholds and comforts us
In the midst of fears and needs.
Blest and holy Trinity,
Praise forever be to Thee!

LESSON 39.

The Lord's Prayer.

The Introduction.

Which is the Introduction?

_Our Father who art in heaven._

What does this mean?

_God would by these Words tenderly invite us to believe that He is our
true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may with all
boldness and confidence ask Him as dear children ask their dear father._

1. We have thus far considered the _Ten Commandments,_ the holy _Law_ of
the Lord, in which our heavenly Father tells us what we should do and
not do, how we, as His children, should live according to His will. We
have considered the Law, which teaches us that we have not kept it, that
we have sinned against God and therefore deserved His punishment,
eternal death and damnation.--We have considered the _Three Articles
of the Christian Faith,_ which teach us the _Gospel,_ the glad tidings
of what the Triune God, our Redeemer, has done and will do for us to
save us from sin and death, that we may live in His kingdom in
everlasting innocence, righteousness, and blessedness. In its Third Part
our Catechism explains to us the _Lord's Prayer,_ that is, the prayer
that our Lord once taught His apostles.

2. We read (Luke 11,1) that, at a certain time, the disciples saw and,
probably heard their Master praying, speaking with His Father in heaven.
This made so deep an impression upon them that one of them asked the
Lord: _"Lord, teach us to pray."_ The Lord gladly complied with this
request and said: _"When ye pray, say: Our Father who art in heaven,"_
etc. The Lord Himself gave His disciples this prayer, and therefore we
call it the Lord's Prayer. We say this beautiful prayer _very often,
daily,_ and we should do so. Our Lord gave it to us. When we use this
prayer, we know that we pray according to our Master's will. But
reciting this prayer is not enough, we must also understand what we
are praying. We should ever better learn _what the words of this prayer
mean._ Let us see how our Catechism explains them.

3. _"Our Father who art in heaven,"_ thus our Lord teaches us to address
_the true God, the Triune God._ What love God has bestowed upon us that
we are called His children, and that we are permitted to call Him
_Father!_ 1 John 3,1. Christ might have chosen different names to
address God; but He teaches us to call God our _Father._ Why does He do
so? _"God would by these words tenderly invite us to believe that He is
our true Father and we are His true children."_ When we come to God to
speak to Him in our prayers, we should always believe and remember that
God is our true Father, and that we are His true children. _You know
that God is indeed your Father and you are His child._ It is true, we
are all sinners, and the holy God hates sin, but our dear Lord has
redeemed us from all sins and has earned for us forgiveness of sins and
righteousness in the sight of God. _Through Christ, my Brother,_ I have
become God's true child, and God has become my true Father. _In Christ's
name_ I come to God and call Him Father, believing that for Christ's
sake God really is my Father and I am His child. _"For this cause"_
(because Christ is my Brother) _"I bow my knees unto the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is
named."_ Eph. 3,14.15. Remember that only those who believe in Jesus
Christ may call God their Father. _Only children of God, through faith
in Christ, can really pray to God._

4. We pray to God, our Father. How _tenderly_ does this name _invite_ us
to come to Him in our need! How this name does give us courage, _"so
that we may with all boldness and confidence ask Him as dear children
ask their dear father"!_ A child is not afraid to come to his beloved
father, to tell him with confidence all that he wants and needs. He
knows that hie dear father will gladly listen to him and help him. So it
is with the children of God. They do not fear to come to their Father,
for He loves them. They do not doubt, but confidently believe that their
dear Father _will hear their prayer and help them._ Our Father promised
to do that. By the endearing name Father, God reminds us: I am your
Father, you are my dear child. Come without fear and doubt; pray with
ail confidence. I will hear your prayer.

5. _"Our Father who art in heaven."_ This Father of ours to whom we pray
is not a weak, not an earthly father. God is the _heavenly Father;_ He
is the almighty God, the Lord of heaven and earth. He can do whatsoever
He wills. With all confidence we come to Him and believe that He not
only will hear our prayers, but _is also able to help us in every need
and trouble._

6. Our Lord teaches us to say: _"Our_ Father who art in heaven." He
reminds us of the fact that _all true believers are children of God, and
that all children of God pray for and with each other._ "One God and
Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all." Eph.
4,6. I am not the only one praying to God, but a great host of
fellow-men, all my brethren in Christ, are praying with me and for me.
In Christ's name I pray to my Father in heaven for and with all my
brethren; should I not therefore with all confidence ask my dear Father,
as dear children ask their dear father?

REMEMBER:--

1. _Always pray in the name of Jesus Christ, your Savior. Through Him
alone God is your true Father, and you are His true child. In His name
you may and should ask your Father in heaven as dear children ask their
dear father._

2. _As God's child through Christ pray to your Father without fear and
doubt, with the firm, confidence that He will hear and accept your
prayer._

3. _The Father to whom you pray is the heavenly Father, the almighty
God. To Him we pray with all confidence that He not only will, but also
can answer our prayers and help us in all our troubles._

MEMORIZE:--

_Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we
should be called the sons of God._ 1 John 3,1.

_For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named._ Eph. 3,14.15.

_One God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you
all._ Eph. 4,6.

QUESTIONS.

1. Of what does the Third Part of our Catechism treat? 2. Why do we call
this prayer the Lord's Prayer? 3. On what occasion did the Lord teach
His disciples this prayer? 4. Why do we Christians use this prayer so
often? 5. But it is not enough to recite this prayer if we would use it
correctly; what else is needed? 6. Whom do we address when we say "Our
_"Father"?_ [tr. note: punctuation is correct] 7. Why did Jesus teach us
to use the name Father in this prayer? 8. How does God become our
Father, and how do we become His children? 9. In whose name should we
therefore always pray? 10. Who only can really pray to God? 11. Of what
is a child certain when he asks his father for something? 12. What may
we confidently expect when we pray to our dear Father? 13. Of what do
the words "who art in heaven" remind us in our prayer? 14. Our Father to
whom we pray is the almighty God; what can He therefore do regarding our
prayers? 15. Why does our Lord teach us to say, _"Our_ Father"?

LESSON 40.

The Lord's Prayer.

The First Petition.

Which is the First Petition?

_Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy name._

What does this mean?

_God's name is indeed holy in itself; but we pray in this petition that
it may be holy among us also._

How is this done?

_When the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the
children of God, also lead a holy life according to it. This grant us,
dear Father in heaven. But he that teaches and lives otherwise than
God's Word teaches, profanes the name of God among us. From this
preserve us, Heavenly Father!_

1. _"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,"_ this is our
first petition. It is a matter of utmost importance that God's name be
hallowed among us; for this reason our Lord teaches us to pray for it in
the first place. _"God's name is indeed holy in itself."_ God has a name
above every other name. In heaven and earth there is no name higher or
more sacred than the name of our heavenly Father; no name can be
compared with it. It is holy in itself. We cannot and we need not _make
it holy._ What, then, do we ask for in this petition? Since the name of
our Father in heaven is so holy and so exalted, we pray _that it may be
holy among us also,_ that we, His children, may hold it sacred and use
it rightly both in words and deeds.

2. _How is this done?_ We shall place God's name above every other name
in heaven and on earth and hold it holy, sacred, only when we rightly
_know God as He is, and what He has done and will do for us His
children._ God has revealed Himself and His great name _only in His
Word._ There alone we learn to know our heavenly Father and the great
things He has done for our temporal and eternal welfare. We shall hold
His name holy and sacred "when the Word of God is taught in its truth
and purity." God's Word must be preached among us without the admixture
of any human thoughts and errors, just as God has given it to us, just
as it reads. In God's Word we learn how great God, our Father, is, the
perfectly holy and just God, and yet gracious, ever ready to forgive all
our sins and heal all our transgressions, when we come to Him in the
name of Christ; the almighty Ruler of heaven and earth and yet our dear
Father in Christ, who pities those that fear Him, as a father pities his
children Ps. 103,13. The more we learn from His Word how great our God
is, the more we shall hold His name sacred, the more we shall exalt and
praise it.

3. It is not enough that God's Word is taught and preached among us in
its truth and purity, that we only hear it; we must also, as God's
children, _lead a holy life according to it. By a holy life we honor the
name of our Father._ If a child disobeys his father, if he leads a bad
life, committing sins and crimes, he will not only bring dishonor upon
himself, but he will also disgrace his father's name. Remember how the
sons of Eli, the high priest, brought dishonor upon their father's fair
name. 1 Sam. 2,12. When, on the other hand, a child is obedient to his
father, doing the will of his good father, leading an upright and honest
life, his father will be honored by the good deeds of his son. We are
children of God. We confess that He is our true Father. If we were to
lead an ungodly life, how would His name be dishonored among men! But
when we live according to our Father's Word and will, if we live in
accordance with the Word of God, our friends and neighbors will see our
good works. By our godly life we shall help others, too, to know and
honor the great name of God. Our Savior says: _"Let your light so shine
before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father
which is in heaven."_ Matt. 5,16.--By our own strength we cannot
preach the Word of God in its truth and purity among us, nor can we by
our own strength lead a holy life according to it; therefore we pray:
_Grant us, O Heavenly Father, the pure doctrine of Thy Word and a Holy
life according to it._

4. As the name of our Father is glorified here on earth by the preaching
of His pure Word and by our holy life, so it is dishonored by _false
doctrine and an ungodly life._ In our sinful hearts we are always
inclined _to teach and live otherwise than God's Word teaches,_ and thus
to profane the name of God. _"Thou that makest thy boast of the Law,
through breaking the Law dishonorest thou God. For the name of God is
blasphemed among the Gentiles through you."_ Rom. 2,23.24. Therefore we
pray: _Preserve us, O Heavenly Father, for Christ's sake, from false
doctrine and an ungodly life!_

REMEMBER:--

_We pray in this petition:_--

1. _Dear Heavenly Father, grant that we may always teach Thy Word in its
truth and purity, and that we may always live in accordance with it, so
that Thy name may be hallowed among us!_

2. _Dear Heavenly Father, preserve us from ever teaching and living
otherwise than Thy Word teaches!_

MEMORIZE:--

_Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father which is in heaven._ Matt. 5,16.

_Thou that makest thy boast of the Law, through breaking the Law
dishonorest thou God. For the name of God is blasphemed among the
Gentiles through you._ Rom. 2,23.24.

QUESTIONS.

1. Why does Christ teach us to pray in the first place that God's name
may be hallowed, held sacred, among us? 2. How is God's name in itself?
3. Why do we nevertheless pray that His name be hallowed? 4. What must
we know before we shall hold God's name sacred as we should? 5. Where
has God revealed Himself? 6. How, therefore, is God's name hallowed
among us? 7. How must God's Word be taught among us? 8. What does it
mean to teach God's Word in its truth and purity? 9. What, furthermore,
is necessary if we wish to glorify our Father's name? 10. In what way is
God's name honored by a godly life? 11. What does our Lord say Matt.
5,16? 12. Who profanes God's name among us? 13. From what do we ask God
to preserve us? 14. What are the two things for which we pray in the
First Petition?

LESSON 41.

The Lord's Prayer.

The Second Petition.

Which is the Second Petition?

_Our Father who art in heaven. Thy kingdom come._

What does this mean?

_The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we
pray in this petition that it may come unto us also._

How is this done?

_When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace
we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life, here in time and
hereafter in eternity._

1. _"Thy kingdom come,"_ that is the Second Petition. We pray for the
kingdom of our heavenly Father. In the Second Article of our faith we
already heard of a kingdom, the _kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ._
There we learned that our Lord has redeemed us from all sins, from
death, and from the power of the devil, in order that we may be His
own, and in His _kingdom_ live under Him in everlasting innocence,
righteousness, and blessedness. _Christ's kingdom and our Father's
kingdom is the same thing._ Christ established this kingdom by His
sufferings and death. All that believe in Christ belong to this kingdom.
Christ is their Lord and King; He governs them, bestowing upon them in
His kingdom all His gifts: forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, true
righteousness, peace with God, etc. He protects them against all their
enemies, against sin, Satan, and death. We also call this kingdom of our
Father the _Kingdom of Grace,_ or the _true Christian Church._ It has
its beginning here on earth; but when our Lord and King will come again
at the Last Day, He will lead it to His glory in heaven. Then we shall
call this kingdom the _Kingdom of Glory._

2. Our Lord teaches us to pray for the _coming_ of this kingdom. True,
_"the kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself."_
Christ lives and reigns, and He gathers His congregation through the
Gospel from all nations, and He will lead it to its heavenly glory even
if we do not pray for it. But still the Lord teaches us to pray for the
coming of His kingdom. We pray _"that it may come to us also."_ It is
God's will to give _us_ His kingdom. Our Lord says: _"Fear not, little
flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."_
Luke 12,32. But God wants us to _pray_ for His good gifts. We pray in
this petition that our Father's kingdom may come to us also, that we,
too, may belong to His kingdom and remain in it, _"here in time and
hereafter in eternity."_

3. _"How is this done?"_ How does the kingdom of God come to us? The
kingdom of God comes to us only through faith in Christ. Only those who
believe in Him can enter the kingdom. But _"I cannot by my own reason or
strength believe in Christ, or come to Him."_ (In what part of your
Catechism did you learn this?) To bring us to Christ is _the work of the
Holy Ghost._ He has called me to Christ and His grace by the Gospel.
_"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God."_ John 3,5. The kingdom of God, therefore, comes to
us _"when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His
grace we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life."_ The Holy Ghost
can and will graciously, by the Gospel, work within our hearts, so that
we believe God's holy Word, believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior; and in
this way the kingdom of God will come to us.

4. The Holy Spirit does not only bring us to Christ, so that we, through
faith, enter the kingdom of God, but He also _preserves us in the true
faith;_ by means of the Gospel He gives us strength to prove our faith
_by a godly life_ and thus remain in the kingdom to the end. He will
lead us to the glory of our Lord, to the kingdom of glory in heaven.
_"The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work and will preserve me
unto His heavenly kingdom."_ 2 Tim. 4,18. By the Holy Spirit the kingdom
of God comes to me _"here in time"_ (the Kingdom of Grace) _"and
hereafter in eternity"_ (the Kingdom of Glory). In this petition we
especially pray our heavenly Father to grant us _the most precious gift
--His Holy Ghost._

5. But we do not only pray that the kingdom of God would come to _us_
and remain with us, we also pray that it may come to _all men_ who as
yet are not members of this kingdom. We pray that all men may become
true believers in Christ through the preaching of the Gospel. This work,
preaching the Gospel to all nations, we call _mission-work. The Second
Petition is the great mission-prayer of the Church._ The Lord admonishes
us: _"Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth
laborers into His harvest."_ Matt. 9,38.

REMEMBER:--

1. _In this petition we pray: Dear heavenly Father, grant me Thy Holy
Spirit that by His grace I may believe in Jesus Christ, my King, and by
faith in Him lead a godly life, so that I may be with my Savior in His
kingdom, here in time and hereafter in eternity._

2. _Do not forget to pray for our missions when you say this petition.
Mission is the work our Lord has entrusted to all Christians, saying:
"Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."_
Mark 16,15.

MEMORIZE:--

_Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give
you the kingdom._ Luke 12,32.

_Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth
laborers into His harvest._ Matt. 9,38.

_The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work and will preserve me
unto His heavenly kingdom._ 2 Tim. 4,18.

QUESTIONS.

1. How did Christ establish His kingdom on earth? 2. Who belongs to it?
3. Who is Lord and King of this kingdom? 4. What does Christ bestow upon
His own in His kingdom? 5. From whom does He protect and against whom
does He defend us? 6. What do we also call the kingdom of Christ? 7.
What will Christ do with His kingdom when He shall come in His glory at
the Last Day? 8. What shall we then call this kingdom? 9. What does our
Lord teach us to pray in behalf of His kingdom? 10. What, indeed, is
true concerning the coming of His kingdom? 11. Why do we nevertheless
pray for His kingdom? 12. How does the kingdom of God come to us? 13.
Why do we need the Holy Ghost for this purpose? 14. The Holy Spirit does
not only bring us to Christ and into His kingdom, what does He also
perform in us? 15. What do we call the work for which we are especially
praying in this petition?

LESSON 42.

The Lord's Prayer.

The Third Petition.

What is the Third Petition?

_Our Father who art in heaven, Thy will be done on earth as it is in
heaven._

What does this mean?

_The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer;
but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also._

How is this done?

_When God breaks and hinders every evil counsel and will which would not
let us hallow God's name nor let His kingdom come, such as the will of
the devil, the world, and our flesh; but strengthens and preserves us
steadfast in His Word and faith unto our end. This is His gracious and
good will._

1. We pray in this petition that the will of our Father in heaven may be
done. _His will is a good and gracious one._ Being the will of our
heavenly Father, how could it be otherwise than good and gracious? He
wills, or desires, that His name be hallowed among us, that His kingdom
may come to us and all men, or, in other words, _that all men be saved.
"God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth."_ 1 Tim. 2,4. He earnestly desires that His saving Gospel be
preached to all men, that all men, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, may
believe in Christ and through Him have eternal life. This is most
assuredly the good and gracious will of our heavenly Father.

2. We pray that this will of our Father _may be done on earth, that it
may prevail. "The goo and gracious will of God is done indeed without
our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us
also,"_ that His gracious will may prevail against all such as try to
hinder our salvation.

3. _How is the will of our heavenly Father done?_ Our Catechism answers:
_"When God breaks and hinders every evil counsel and will which would
not lat us hallow God's name nor let His kingdom come, such as the will
of the devil, the world, and our flesh."_ There is an evil counsel and
will here on earth. It is the will of the _devil,_ the _world,_ that is,
all godless men, who are in the service of Satan, and of the _flesh,_
our own sinful heart, which is always in accord with Satan and the
world. These our enemies do not want us to hallow God's name, to come
into Christ's kingdom or to remain therein, to remain steadfast in
faith, to remain true to Christ, our Savior. Theirs is an evil will,
which desires to _lead us astray from God, our Father, into sin, into
the power and the kingdom of the devil._ If their evil will and counsel
prevails, we are lost. Against these mighty enemies we are powerless; we
ourselves have no strength whatever to resist them and their
temptations. Therefore we daily pray our Father in heaven to break and
hinder their evil will and counsel, in order that they may not be able
to fulfil their evil desires.

4. God sincerely desires us to be saved, to obtain eternal life. But our
Lord says: _"He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be
saved."_ Matt. 24,13. We cannot endure by our own strength. _"Ye are
kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation."_ 1 Pet. 1,5.
Therefore we pray our dear Father to _"strengthen and preserve us
steadfast in His Word and faith unto our end."_ We ask Him for Christ's
sake to grant us strength to remain steadfast in His _Word,_ to continue
to hear, read, and use it. By means of the Gospel the Holy Spirit will
_preserve our faith_ in our Lord and Savior; through faith He will give
us strength gladly to do His will and to live according to His
commandments. In this way God will preserve us _unto our end,_ to our
dying hour, and thus His gracious and good will is done.

5. God, our dear Father, _directs and guides our whole life_ according
to this will of His to lead us to salvation. For this purpose our Father
sometimes will permit _sufferings and troubles_ to come over us. In such
times especially we should pray: _"Thy will be done,"_ my Father! Give
me strength to remain steadfast and faithful in all sufferings and
cheerfully to submit to your gracious will. Even our Lord Jesus Christ
prayed in the hour of His deep agony: _"Not as I will, but as Thou
wilt."_ Matt. 26,39.

6. The _first three petitions_ belong together. They are connected by
the words _"on earth as it is in heaven."_ We pray that our Father's
name may be hallowed on earth as it is hallowed in heaven, that His
kingdom may come to us on earth as it is in heaven, and that His
gracious will may be done among us on earth as it is done in heaven. _We
ask our heavenly Father for His heavenly gifts._ These gifts we most
urgently need, and therefore our Lord teaches us to pray for them first
of all.

REMEMBER:--

1. _We pray in this petition: My dear heavenly Father, break and hinder
every evil will of my enemies, the devil, the world, and my own flesh,
that I may hallow Thy name and Thy kingdom may come to me._

2. _My dear heavenly Father, strengthen and preserve me in Thy Word and
in true faith unto my end, to my dying hour, that Thy gracious and good
will may be done._

MEMORIZE:--

_God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth._ 1 Tim. 2,4.

_Ye are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation._ 1 Pet.
1,5.

_He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of
Jesus Christ._ Phil. 1,6.

QUESTIONS.

1. We pray that God's will may be done among us. What is God's will
toward us? 2. What is this will, therefore, called in our Catechism? 3.
This good and gracious will of God is indeed done without our prayer;
why do we nevertheless pray that it may be done? 4. There is an evil
will and counsel against us, the children of God. Whose will is this? 5.
What is their evil will and desire against us? 6. Why must we ask God to
break and hinder their evil will? 7. God earnestly desires us to be
saved, to obtain eternal life. Who only will be saved and obtain eternal
life? Matt. 24,13. 8. By whose power are we kept unto salvation? 1 Pet.
1,5. 9. How do we, therefore, pray? 10. Why is it necessary for us to
remain steadfast in the Word of God? 11. Unto what time will God
preserve our faith through the Gospel? 12. Why does God sometimes permit
suffering and trouble to come over His children? 13. How should we pray
especially in such times? 14. What gifts do we pray for in the first
three petitions? 15. Why does Christ teach us to pray first of all for
His heavenly gifts?

LESSON 43.

The Lord's Prayer.

The Fourth Petition.

Which is the Fourth Petition?

_Our Father who art in heaven, Give us this day our daily bread._

What does this mean?

_God gives daily bread indeed without our prayer, also to all the
wicked; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it
and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving._

What, then, is meant by "daily bread"?

_Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as
food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, field, cattle, money, goods,
a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful
rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor,
good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like._

1. For _our daily bread_ our Lord bids us pray in this petition. By
daily bread everything is meant that _belongs to the support and wants
of our body,_ everything we need to support our life. Our Catechism
enumerates quite a number of such things. For all these things we pray
as far as we need them for our daily bread. We do not pray for _riches,_
for many comforts or luxuries, but for that which we need. We pray:
_"Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for
me, lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I
be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."_ Prov. 30,8.9.
The apostle says: _"Having food and raiment, let us be therewith
content."_ 1 Tim. 6,8.

2. We pray for our daily bread. _"God gives daily bread indeed without
our prayer";_ He gives it _"also to all the wicked,"_ who cannot and
will not pray for it. _"He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the
good and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."_ Matt. 5,45. If
God gives daily bread without our prayer, why, then, do we pray for it?
_"We pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it,"_ that is,
we pray that God may lead us to know that our daily bread, all we have
and receive in this life, is _His gracious gift._ Wicked, unbelieving
men do not acknowledge this. They believe that they are earning their
daily bread by means of their labor or receiving it by other natural
means. Christians also often forget that all their earthly goods are
the gift of their Father in heaven. Therefore we pray that God would
grant us to know that every good gift comes from above, from Him, our
Father. _"The eyes of all wait upon Thee, and Thou givest them their
meat in due season. Thou openest Thine hand and satisfiest the desire of
every living thing."_ Ps. 145,15.16. When we acknowledge this, _we shall
receive our daily bread with thanksgiving._ Then our daily bread, all
our earthly goods, _will be a blessing to us,_ a blessing for both our
body and our soul. Knowing that our daily bread is God's gift, we
receive it with thanksgiving; therefore we pray before each meal and,
having finished it, say grace.

3. Our Lord tells us to pray for _our_ daily bread. It is true, our
daily bread is the gift of our Father in heaven, but He will generally
bestow this gift upon us _by means of our labor._ God wants us to work,
and He will provide what we need for this life. The bread that we eat
should be the bread _that is honestly coming to us. "If any would not
work, neither should he eat."_ 2 Thess. 3,10.--We do not say _my,_
but _our_ bread, because we _include our neighbor_ in our prayer, asking
God to give also him his daily bread. This reminds us of our duty
willingly to help our neighbor whenever he is in need and want. Our
Father in heaven very often gives us more than we need for our own
support and the support of our family; He does this for the purpose that
_we may have to give to those that are in need._ God, then, desires to
give our neighbor his daily bread through us. _"Deal thy bread to the
hungry."_ Is. 58,7.

4. We pray God to give us our daily bread _this day._ Our Lord reminds
us _that we should not be anxiously concerned for the morrow._ We have a
rich and kind Father in heaven, who cares for us, for our life and
welfare. We pray to Him for our bread to-day and every day, and we know
that He will not forsake us. Our Lord admonishes us: _"Take therefore no
thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things
of itself."_ Matt. 6,34.

5. In the Fourth Petition we pray for our _daily bread,_ for all that is
necessary for our life and bodily welfare here on earth. In the first
three petitions we pray for _heavenly gifts,_ for the gifts which we
need for our soul, for our eternal welfare. Our Lord in this way teaches
us that the heavenly gifts are much more important, that we should pray
for them first of all. _"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."_ Matt.
6,33.

REMEMBER:--

1. _We pray in this petition: My dear heavenly Father, give me this day
my daily bread. Grant me grace to know and acknowledge that my daily
bread is Thy gracious gift in order that I may receive it from Thy hand
with thanksgiving._

2. _Do not forget to say your prayers at meals. Thereby you confess that
your daily bread is the gift of your Father in heaven, and you show your
thankfulness to Him._

3. _Pray also for your neighbor and give from your abundance whenever he
is in need._

MEMORIZE:--

_He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sendeth rain
on the just and on the unjust._ Matt. 5,45.

_Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for
me._ Prov. 30,8.

_Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content._ 1 Tim. 6,8.

_Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these
things shall be added unto you._ Matt. 6,33.

QUESTIONS.

1. What is meant in this petition by "daily bread"? 2. Why does the Lord
teach us to pray for our daily bread? 3. Wherewith should we be content?
4. Does not God give us our daily bread without our Prayer? 5. On whom
even does He bestow this gift? 6. Why, then, do we pray for our daily
bread? 7. Why do we pray God to lead us to know that our daily bread
comes from Him? 8. How will we receive our daily bread when we know that
it is He who gives it to us? 9. Why does our Lord teach us to pray for
our daily bread? 10. Why do we not say _my,_ but _our_ bread? 11. Of
what should this remind us? 12. Why do we add the words _this day?_ 13.
Why do we not need to be anxious for the morrow? 14. What does our Lord
teach us by putting the petition for our daily bread after the petitions
for His heavenly gifts?

LESSON 44.

The Lord's Prayer.

The Fifth Petition.

Which is the Fifth Petition?

_Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive
those who trespass against us._

What does this mean?

_We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon
our sins, nor on their account deny our prayer; for we are worthy of
none of the things for which we pray, neither have we deserved them; but
that He would grant them all to us by grace; for use daily sin much and
indeed deserve nothing but punishment. So will we also heartily forgive
and readily do good to those who sin against us._

1. _"And forgive us our trespasses,"_ thus the Lord teaches us to pray
in the Fifth Petition. That means, as our Catechism explains these
words: _"We pray in this petition that our Father would not look upon
our sins."_ A child that has disobeyed his father approaches him
sorrowfully, asks his forgiveness, and promises to be more obedient in
future. We, the children of God, do the very same thing. Every day we
come to our heavenly Father with a contrite heart and ask His
_forgiveness._ Daily we confess that we have sinned again. We are deeply
sorry that again we have been disobedient to His good will, that we have
deserved His punishment. But we also know that God is _our gracious,
loving Father,_ always willing to forgive us our many sins. We know that
Christ has paid the _ransom for our transgressions_ and earned God's
forgiveness for us. In our Savior's name, trusting in Him, we come to
God every day and pray with deep shame, but also with firm confidence:
My dear Father in heaven, I, a poor sinner, come to Thee and humbly
confess that again I have trespassed and sinned against Thee. Do not
look upon my sins, do not punish me as I have deserved, but regard Thy
Son's righteousness and for His sake forgive me all my sins. We pray as
did the prodigal son: _"Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy
sight, and I am no more worthy to be called Thy son."_ Luke 15,21.
However, accept me again for Christ's sake.

2. We have a _special reason_ for asking God's forgiveness in our
prayers. We pray to God for many blessings, for many precious gifts,
both heavenly and earthly. But we are sinners; _"we are worthy of none
of the things for which we pray, neither have we deserved them."_ If God
would look upon our unworthiness and sin, how could He grant us our
petitions? _"For we daily sin much and deserve nothing but punishment."_
As long as our sins separate us from God, we are certain that God will
not hear us. Our prayers would indeed be in vain. Therefore we pray to
our Father that He would not look upon our sins, _"nor on their account
deny our prayer,"_ as we have so well deserved. We pray that He would
grant us His forgiveness and give us all His rich blessings _by grace,
for Christ's sake._ In Christ's name we come to our Father and
confidently pray with the _publican_ in the Temple: _"God be merciful to
me, a sinner."_ Luke 18,13.

3. Our Lord adds something to this petition. He says: _"As we forgive
those who trespass against us."_ These words contain a _promise_ on our
part. Because God so graciously and willingly forgives us our many and
great sins, we promise that _we also will forgive those who sin against
us._ There are such as sin against us, wrong and grieve us with word or
deed. But how small are their faults over against the great and grievous
sins we have committed against our Father in heaven! Having received the
gracious forgiveness of our Father, how could we do otherwise than
forgive also those who trespass against us? Willingly we promise to
forgive them, and to do so _heartily, from our hearts,_ as our Father
has forgiven us, and not only to forgive them, but _readily_ to _do good
to them._ Does not our Father do the same thing to us? We sin against
Him and grieve Him daily, and nevertheless He not only forgives us, but
He also blesses us every day with all His gifts for body and soul. If,
on the other hand, we refuse to forgive our brother, we shall not obtain
forgiveness from our Father. _"When we stand praying, forgive if ye have
aught against any, that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive
you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father
which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."_ Mark 11,25.26. (Read
carefully the beautiful parable of our Lord about the _wicked servant,_
Matt. 18,23-35.)

REMEMBER:--

1. _We pray in this petition: My dear Father in heaven, do not look upon
my sins and do not on their account deny my prayer. I am not worthy of
any of the things for which I pray, but on account of Thy grace hear my
prayer and forgive me all my sins for Christ's sake._

2. _We promise in this petition: My dear Father in heaven, as Thou hast
forgiven me the multitude of my sins and hast granted me daily all Thy
precious blessings, so will I show Thee my gratitude by heartily
forgiving those who sin against me and readily doing good to them. Grant
me grace to do this, dear heavenly Father._

MEMORIZE:--

_Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy sight and am no more
worthy to be called Thy son._ Luke 15,21.

_God be merciful to me, a sinner._ Luke 18,13.

_When ye stand praying, forgive if ye have aught against any, that your
Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if
ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive
your trespasses._ Mark 11,25.26.

QUESTIONS.

1. What is meant by the word "trespasses" in this petition? 2. What do
we ask our heavenly Father to do in this prayer? 3. How do we know that
God will forgive us our sins? 4. How has Christ earned forgiveness of
sins for us? 5. For whose sake, therefore, do we ask forgiveness? 6.
What special reason have we to include this petition in our prayers? 7.
Why are we unworthy of the things for which we pray? 8. What, on the
contrary, have we deserved? 9. What moves God to hear our prayers? 10.
What words does our Lord add to this petition? 11. What promise do we
give God when we add these words? 12. How are the sins our neighbor
commits against us to be regarded as compared with our sins against God?
13. What should we therefore willingly do? 14. What will happen to us if
we do not heartily forgive our neighbor? 15. What must we be willing to
do in addition to forgiving our neighbor? 16. What should induce us to
forgive our neighbor when he trespasses against us?

LESSON 45.

The Lord's Prayer.

The Sixth Petition.

Which is the Sixth Petition?

_Our Father who art in heaven, lead us not into temptation._

What does this mean?

_God indeed tempts no one; but we pray in this petition that God would
guard and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not
deceive us, nor seduce us into misbelief, despair, and other great shame
and vice; and though we be assailed by them, that still we may finally
overcome and obtain the victory._

1. _"And lead us not into temptation,"_ this is the Sixth Petition. Our
Catechism explains it in the first place by saying: _"God indeed tempts
no one,"_ that is, He tempts no one _for evil._ That is most certainly
true. Our heavenly Father is the holy God. He hates sin and all those
who willingly commit it. How could He tempt us to sin, try to lead us
into evil ways which He hates? Scripture tells us: _"Let no man say when
he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil,
neither tempteth He any man; but every man is tempted when he is drawn
away of his own lusts and enticed."_ Jas. 1,13.14.

2. As God does not tempt us for evil, why, then do we pray our Father
not to lead us into temptation? We pray _"that God would guard and keep
us" that our enemies may not lead us into sin and shame._ There are such
as always try to lead us, the children of God, into sin, those _enemies_
of whom we heard in the Third Petition--the _devil,_ the _world,_ and
our _own flesh._ Our most dangerous foe is the _devil. "Be sober, be
vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh
about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith."_
1 Pet 5,8.9. Remember how he tempted _Adam and Eve_ in Paradise and
seduced them to fall into sin. Our next enemy is the _world,_ that is,
all the wicked men around us. How often do our friends or schoolmates
entice us to do wrong! _"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou
not."_ Prov. 1,10. The third enemy is _our own flesh,_ our old sinful
heart, which is full of evil lust. Our own lust draws us away from God
and entices us to sin.

3. These our enemies have an _evil will_ against us. They want to lead
us away from God and our salvation, to lead us again into the kingdom of
Satan and sin. They try with all their power and cunning to _deceive_
us; they try to give us the impression that it would be good for us to
follow their temptations. By such enticements they try to seduce us to
lead us astray from God and His Word, into _misbelief,_ into a wrong
faith, or into _despair,_ so that we abandon all hope for our salvation.
(Remember _Cain,_ Gen. 4,15, and _Judas,_ Matt. 27,4.5.) Or they try to
lead us into _other great shame and vice,_ into sins that will bring
shame upon us, to yield to evil passions, which will destroy our faith.

4. Against these mighty enemies we are _powerless._ We could not
seriously think of taking up the fight against them by our own power. If
we did, we would soon learn to our sorrow that we cannot successfully
resist their temptations. Our enemies would gain the victory over us. In
this our pitiful condition we come to _our Father in heaven,_ who has
promised us His help, and who is always with us. We pray to Him in the
name of our Savior not to lead us into temptation, that is, we pray that
God would _guard_ or watch over us that such temptations may not come
near us, that He would graciously defend us against them.--_If is
true, temptations will come._ We live in this sinful world, which is
full of temptations. The devil "walketh about" to devour the children of
God, and our flesh tempts us with evil lust. These enemies will again
and again _assail_ us to gain their evil ends and desires. _And it is
for our good that God permits them to do so._ But we pray God to keep us
steadfast in all these temptations, to _strengthen_ us in order that we
may fight the good fight of faith against them. We pray to our Father
that He may _preserve_ us in the true faith, so that we shall _finally,_
in the end, _overcome all temptations and obtain the victory._ Our
heavenly Father will hear our prayer. _"God is faithful, who will not
suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able."_ 1 Cor. 10,13.
According to His good and gracious will He wants us to be faithful to
the end and to be saved.

REMEMBER:--

1. _We pray in this petition: My dear heavenly Father, guard and keep me
against my powerful enemies, the devil, the world, and my flesh; hinder
their evil will that their temptations may not approach me._

2. _We pray in this petition: My dear heavenly Father, be with me in all
temptations, whenever my enemies assail me, and grant me grace to fight
the good fight of faith. Keep me in the true faith in Christ, my Lord,
that I may finally overcome all temptations and obtain the victory._

MEMORIZE:--

_Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring
lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast
in the faith._ 1 Pet. 5,8.9.

_My son, if sinners entice thee consent thou not._ Prov. 1,10.

_God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye
are able._ 1 Cor. 10,13.

QUESTIONS.

1. Which is the Sixth Petition? 2. What does God indeed not do? 3. Why
are we certain that God will not lead any one into temptation? 4. Why,
then, do we pray God not to lead us into temptation? 5. Who are our
enemies that lead us into temptation? 6. Why is the devil compared to a
roaring lion? 7. Who is our second enemy? 8. What do we understand by
our own flesh? 9. What is the evil will of these our enemies against us?
10. Into what do they try to lead us? 11. Who alone can help us against
our powerful enemies? 12. What does it mean when we pray that God would
guard us against our enemies? 13. When their temptations do assail us,
what do we pray our Father in heaven to do? 14. What makes us certain
that God will hear our prayer?

LESSON 46.

The Lord's Prayer.

The Seventh Petition And The Conclusion.

Which is the Seventh Petition?

_Our Father who art in heaven, deliver us from evil._

What does this mean?

_We pray in this petition, as the sum, of all that our Father in heaven
would deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor,
and finally, when our last hour has come, grant us a blessed end, and
graciously take us from this vale of tears to Himself in heaven._

Which is the Conclusion of the Lord's Prayer?

_For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.
Amen._

What is meant by the word "Amen"?

_That I should be certain that these petitions are acceptable to our
Father in heaven, and heard; for He Himself has commanded us so to pray,
and has promised to hear us. Amen, Amen, that is, yea, yea, it shall be
so._

1. _"But deliver us from evil." "We pray in this petition, as the sum
of all";_ in this petition we sum up all the others. We include in the
word _"evil"_ our misfortunes and troubles of every kind, all our wants
and needs: all the ailments of our _body,_ such as sickness and the
like; everything that is hurtful to our _soul,_ sin with all its fearful
consequences; anything that injures or destroys our _property,_ such as
is done by fire, water, or bad, evil-minded men; whatever harms our
_honor,_ loss of our good name through lies and calumnies, etc. All
these things we sum up in the word _evil._

2. We pray that our Father would _deliver_ us from all these evils. We
beseech Him to _spare_ us from as many evils as He sees fit. We know
that days of sorrow and afflictions will indeed come to us. It is our
Father's good will that _"we must through much tribulation enter into
the kingdom of God."_ Acts 14,22. God sends us afflictions because He
_loves_ us, His children, because in His wisdom He knows that it is good
and salutary for us. _"Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son whom He receiveth."_ Heb. 12,6. We willingly submit to His
will. But whenever the Lord has afflicted us, in every need and
distress, we lift our hearts to Him, the Father of mercies, and _pray
Him to be with us in our affliction,_ to help _bear the cross_ He has
laid upon us. We ask Him that He would turn every affliction _to our
benefit_ and in His own good time take it from us. It is our earnest
prayer that through everything that seems evil to us He would keep us
steadfast in faith to everlasting life.

3. True, as long as we live here on earth, we shall not be entirely free
from evil. On earth we are living in a _"vale of tears."_ But the time
will come when _"the Lord shall deliver me from every evil and will
preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom."_ 2 Tim. 4,18. And when this time
has come, _our last hour,_ the hour of our departure from this world, we
pray _that our Father would grant us a blessed end, and graciously take
us from this vale of tears to Himself in heaven,_ and thus wholly
deliver us from all evil. In that hour we shall say: _"Lord, now lettest
Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word; for mine eyes
have seen Thy salvation."_ Luke 2,29.30. When our dear Father takes us
to Himself in heaven, all our prayers will have been granted, all
earthly sorrow and affliction will be at an end; we shall have and enjoy
with our Father and our Lord all His heavenly gifts.

4. In the Conclusion of the Lord's Prayer we say: _"Thine is the
kingdom."_ We mean to say: Thou alone art my Lord and King, from whom I
am to seek help, and who certainly will hear my prayer. _"Thine is the
power":_ that is, Thou alone art the almighty God, Thou alone hast the
power to grant my petitions. And so _"Thine is the glory";_ that is, all
glory, all honor, all praise, shall be given to Thee alone _forever and
ever._

5. The word _"Amen"_ with which we conclude our prayer means, as our
Catechism explains it: _"Yea, yea, it shall be so."_ We express in this
word our assurance that our prayers are _acceptable to our Father in
heaven,_ and that _He will hear them._ May we really be certain that our
petitions are acceptable to God? Most assuredly. _Our Lord Himself has
given us this prayer,_ He has taught us these petitions, and _"has
commanded us so to pray."_ When in true devotion, in the name of our
Redeemer, we come to our Father and pray these petitions, how could it
be otherwise than that our Father is well pleased! And He Himself, our
Father, has so often _promised that He will hear us,_ that He will grant
our prayer. Our Lord has promised us: _"Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you."_
John 16,23. How could we doubt that God will hear us when we pray in
Christ's name, according to His will?--Indeed, it sometimes seems to
us as if God _did not hear_ our prayers. But it only seems so; God hears
every true prayer. But we must not forget that God grants us our
petitions _in His own manner,_ which we often do not understand. He does
not always grant our petitions at once, but _at His appointed time,_ at
the time He has appointed for His help, which, indeed, is the best time
for us. Confidently we always want to conclude our prayers with, _"Amen;
yea, yea, it shall be so."_

REMEMBER:--

1. _We pray in this petition: My dear Father in heaven, lead me through
all my afflictions according to Thy gracious will and pleasure, and when
my last hour has come, grant me a blessed end and take me up to Thee in
heaven, and so deliver me from all evil._

2. _We are certain that this, our Lord's Prayer, as well as all the
prayers we are bringing before God in accordance with it, are acceptable
to God, and heard; for He Himself has commanded us so to pray and
promised to hear us._

MEMORIZE:--

_We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God._ Acts
14,22.

_The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me
unto His heavenly kingdom._ 2 Tim. 4,18.

_Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy
word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation._ Luke 2,29.30.

QUESTIONS.

1. What do we mean when we say: "We pray in this petition,_as the sum of
all"?_ 2. What is meant in this petition by the word "evil"? 3. Why does
God sometimes send us afflictions? 4. What do we ask our Father in
heaven to do when He has afflicted us? 5. To what should He turn all our
afflictions, all that seems evil to us? 6. What should God preserve in
us at such times? 7. Why do we call this life a "vale of tears"? 8.
When, finally, will God deliver us from all evil? 9. What kind of end do
we ask our heavenly Father to grant us? 10. Why will all our sorrows
then be at an end. 11. What do the words of the Conclusion mean? 12.
What the word "Amen"? 13. What do we mean to express by adding this
word? 14. Why may we be certain that all our petitions are acceptable to
God? 15. Why are we certain that God will always hear our prayers? 16.
How will God hear our prayers and grant us His help?

LESSON 47.

How We Should Pray.

Review Lesson.

1. When we pray we frequently use the prayer which the Lord has given
us. It really does contain everything we need, everything we may pray
for. But we also use other prayers; we bring our petitions before God in
our own words, or offer praise and thanks to Him. This is well-pleasing
to our Father in heaven. But we must not forget _that all our prayers
should be in accordance with the Lord's Prayer._ He has given us His
prayer also for this purpose, that we should learn from it _how to
pray._ The Lord's Prayer should be _the model for all our prayers._ If
that is our model, we are certain that we are praying according to God's
will. Let us see what the Lord's Prayer teaches us in this respect. _Let
us learn how we should pray._

2. Whom do we address in the Lord's Prayer? Who is "our Father in
heaven"? Our Father in heaven is _the only true, the Triune God, God the
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost._ To Him we pray, and to Him alone. Such is
His will. _"Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God, and Him only shalt
thou serve."_ Matt. 4,10. Against which commandment do we sin when we
pray to any one but the true God? We pray only to the true God because
He alone is _able_ and _willing_ to hear and answer our prayer.

3. The Lord teaches us to call the Triune God _"our Father."_ Why does
Christ teach us to use this dear name? Through whom is God our true
Father and we His true children? In whose name should we pray? Our
Savior says: _"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask
the Father in My name, He will give it you."_ John 16,23. In the Fifth
Petition we learn why it is so necessary to pray in Jesus' name,
trusting in His merits. We daily sin much. We deserve nothing but
punishment. We pray that God would not look upon our sins, but
graciously answer our prayers for Christ's sake, who has earned
forgiveness of sins for us. Only _in Christ_ is God well pleased with
us; _only for His sake will our prayers be heard and answered._

4. Christ teaches us to address God as our Father, to believe that in
Christ He is indeed our true Father. By this endearing name our Lord
would _encourage_ and _tenderly invite us_ to come to Him as His
children and ask Him with all confidence. We should always pray with
confidence, never doubting that God for Chris's sake _will hear us and
grant our prayers. "All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,
believing, ye shall receive."_ Matt. 21,22. We are praying to the
_almighty God,_ who is able to give all good things; we pray to Him who
is our _Father,_ who has promised to hear our prayers.

5. For what do we pray in the first three petitions? For what in the
Fourth Petition? We learn from this that we may pray for _everything
that is needful for our welfare, both spiritual and temporal things.
"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive
them, and ye shall have them."_ Mark 11,24. In how many petitions do we
ask for the heavenly or spiritual things, which we need for our souls?
In one petition the Lord teaches us to pray for our daily bread, for our
wants here on earth. Whenever we pray, we should first of all pray for
those gifts which we need for our salvation. _"Seek ye first the kingdom
of God and His righteousness,"_ our Lord tells us. Matt. 6,33. Above all
we should pray for the gift of God's pure Word, for the Holy Ghost, in
order that by His grace we may believe His holy Word and lead a godly
life, that His will may be done among us, and that we may remain
faithful to our Lord and obtain eternal life.

6. The Fourth Petition follows the one in which our Lord teaches us to
pray that God's good and gracious will may be done. When we are praying
for our daily bread, asking God for the things we need for our body and
our temporal welfare, _we should submit everything to God's will,_ that
is, we should pray that God would grant us these gifts, _if it is His
will, if they tend to His glory and to our welfare. "This is the
confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to
His will, He heareth us."_ 1 John 5,14.

7. Our Lord teaches us to say not _my,_ but _our_ Father; indeed,
throughout the whole prayer we always include our neighbor in our
petitions. He wants us to _pray for our neighbors,_ not only for our
friends and relatives, but for _all men,_ even for our _enemies. "Pray
for them that despitefully use you and persecute you."_ Matt. 5,44.

8. In the last three petitions the Lord tells us to bring our cares and
troubles, our afflictions and sorrows of every kind, before the Lord.
Indeed, we ought to pray _at all times. "Pray without ceasing."_
1 Thess. 5,17. Especially, however, we should pray in times of _trouble
and need. "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and
thou shalt glorify Me."_ Ps. 50,15.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Always pray to the true God, the Father of your Lord Jesus Christ,
who through Him is also your Father. Come to Him in Christ's name. That
is His will, and He alone can and will hear such prayers._

2. _Pray in Christ's name, with full confidence that your prayer is
acceptable to God and heard. Pray in the same manner as a dear child
asks his dear father._

3. _Ask Him for all you need for the welfare of your body and soul; in
the first place, however, for the welfare of your soul, for your
salvation. In asking for temporal blessings submit your will to God's
will. Not my, but Thy will be done, my heavenly Father._

4. _Do not forget to include in your prayer your neighbor, all men, even
your enemies. Finish your prayer with a confident "Amen; yea, yea, it
shall be so."_

MEMORIZE:--

_Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve._
Matt. 4,10.

_This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything
according to His will, He heareth us._ 1 John 5,14.

_All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall
receive._ Matt. 21,22.

_Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt
glorify Me._ Ps. 50,15.

LESSON 48.

Holy Baptism.

What Baptism Is.

What is Baptism?

_Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in
God's command and connected with God's word._

Which is that word of God?

_Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye and teach
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost._

1. After having explained the Lord's Prayer, our Catechism tells us
about _Holy Baptism._ You all, most probably, have seen children
baptized, and some of you, perhaps, also adults. You yourselves were
baptized in your infancy in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Ghost. You, therefore, should learn what Baptism is, and what
it gives and profits. Let us hear what our Catechism has to say about
this sacred act. In the first place, it explains _what Baptism is._

2. _"Baptism is not simple water only."_ In baptism there is indeed
_water._ The person to be baptized is sprinkled with water, with simple,
common, natural water. We must use water in baptism and nothing else.
_Water is the external means_ which God Himself has instituted for
baptism. But Baptism is not only water, it is more; _"it is the water
comprehended in God's command and connected with God's word."_ In
baptism there is both God's command and God's word.

3. Baptism is the water comprehended in God's command, that is, _we use
the water in baptism because God has commanded it._ Without this command
of God Baptism would be water only. Before our Lord ascended into
heaven, He gave His disciples this command: _"Go ye and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Ghost."_ Holy Baptism, therefore, is an act instituted and
ordained by God. For that reason we call it a _sacred act._ Christ gave
this command to His _disciples, to His Church, to all Christians._ The
called ministers of Christ, our pastors, ordinarily administer baptism;
but in cases of necessity every Christian can and should perform it.
Christ commands us to _baptize;_ that means He commands us to _apply_
the water _by washing or sprinkling the person to be baptized with
water, or by immersing him into the water._

4. _Baptism is the water connected with God's word._ The word which
Christ has commanded us to use in baptism is this: _"In the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."_ This word must always be
connected with the water to make it a Baptism. _"Without the word of God
the water is simple water, and no baptism. But with the word it is a
baptism, that is, a gracious water of life."--We are baptized in the
name of the Triune God._ What does this mean? God's name is God Himself,
as we have learned in the Second Commandment. We are baptized in God the
Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. By baptism we are _received into
communion with the Triune God._ He gives Himself to us _as our Father_
and accepts us _as His children,_ He bestows upon us all His blessings,
all that He has done for us to save us. _With_ the word of God baptism
is indeed a gracious water of life.

5. Our Lord commands us to baptize _all nations,_ that is, _all human
beings,_ old and young, men and women. _"Preach the Gospel to every
creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."_ Mark
16,15.16. Baptism is necessary to salvation; consequently God wants all
who believe in Him to be baptized. But a _certain distinction_ should be
made. Those who are old enough to be instructed we baptize after they
have been _previously_ taught the main doctrine of the Word of God,
_confess their faith_ in Jesus Christ, and _desire to be baptized_ and
thus become Christians.

6. _Little children_ are baptized by us soon after their birth, before
they are able to learn the Word of God. We teach them after their
baptism in our homes and schools and churches. We baptize our little
children because in the word _nations_ the children, too, are included.
We baptize them because our Lord says: _"Suffer the little children to
come unto Me and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God."_
Mark 10,14. Christ bids us bring our little children to Him that He may
bless them. We can do this only by means of Holy Baptism. Without
baptism they are under God's wrath, and their sins are not forgiven. By
baptism the Holy Ghost Himself brings them to Christ and kindles in them
the true faith in Him. God becomes their Father, and they are made His
children.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Holy Baptism is a sacred act instituted by God. God Himself has
commanded us to baptize, that is, to apply water in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. It is the water
comprehended in God's command._

2. _Baptism is the water connected with God's word. In baptism the water
must be applied with these words: "In the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Ghost." By baptism we are received into communion
with the Triune God. He becomes our Father, and we are made His
children._

MEMORIZE:--

_Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost._ Matt. 28,19.

_Preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved._ Mark 16,15.16.

_Suffer the little children to come unto Me and forbid them not; for of
such is the kingdom of God._ Mark 10,14.

QUESTIONS.

1. What is the external means which God has instituted for Holy Baptism?
2. What kind of water is to be used when we baptize a person? 3. In what
is the water of Baptism comprehended? 4. What is meant when we say: "The
water is comprehended in God's command"? 5. Recite the words of God's
command. Matt. 28,19. 6. To whom did Christ give this command? 7. Who
does now ordinarily administer Holy Baptism? 8. Who may and should do it
in cases of necessity? 9. What does the word _baptize_ mean? 10. What is
the word of God with which the water in baptism is connected? 11. What
does it mean to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost? 12. What does God become to us in baptism? 13. Whom
did Christ command us to baptize? 14. Whom do we generally baptize? 15.
How can you prove that it is right to baptize little children? 16. What
does Christ say about the little children Mark 10,14?

LESSON 49.

Holy Baptism

What Baptism Gives, Or Profits.

What does Baptism give, or profit?

_It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and
gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and
promises of God declare._

Which are such words and promises of God?

_Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth,
and is baptized shall be saved, but He that believeth not shall be
damned._

1. In our last lesson we learned what Baptism is. _"Baptism is not
simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and
connected with God's word."_ Now the question arises, What good does it
do one to be baptized? _What does Baptism give, or profit?_ Baptism must
indeed be a great and wonderful thing. God Himself instituted it. He put
His name, His word, into it. Where His name and His word are, there,
indeed, must be great, eternal blessings.

2. Our Catechism answers the question: _"What does Baptism give, or
profit?"_ by saying: _"It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death
and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as
the words and promises of God declare."_ Three great blessings of
Baptism are mentioned: 1. It works forgiveness of sins; 2. it delivers
from death and the devil; 3. it gives eternal salvation. It does this
because of the words and promises of God: _"He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved."_ Mark 16,16. How can we prove by these words
that Holy Baptism also works forgiveness of sins and delivers from death
and the devil? Christ merely says that he who believes and is baptized
shall be _saved._ Remember, however, that there is no salvation where
there is not forgiveness of sins and deliverance from death and the
devil. _Salvation consists in forgiveness of sins and deliverance from
death and the devil._ If Baptism gives us salvation, it must also work
forgiveness of sins and deliver us from death and the devil.

3. _Baptism works forgiveness of sins. "Repent and be baptized, every
one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."_
Acts 2,38. How are we to understand this statement: Baptism works
forgiveness of sins? Has not Christ Himself merited this heavenly gift?
Christ, our Savior, has indeed, by His sufferings and death, atoned for
our sins; _He has redeemed us from all our sins and so indeed earned for
us, for all men, forgiveness of sins._ But Holy Baptism is the _means_
by which the Holy Ghost _makes the forgiveness_ which Christ has earned
for us _our own._ In baptism He presents to us and gives us this great
blessing. The apostle says: _"Ye are all the children of God, by faith
in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ
have put on Christ."_ Gal. 3,26.27. We are baptized _into Christ._ In
baptism _we put on Christ_ with all His merits. As in a beautiful,
white, spotless garment we are clothed in baptism in the perfect
righteousness Christ has merited for us. _Baptism works forgiveness by
making Christ's righteousness our own._

4. _Baptism delivers us from death and the devil._ By sin death came
into the world; death is the wages of sin. In baptism our sins are
washed away for Christ's sake, and in this way we are delivered from
death. In our dying hour we do not really see death, but have eternal
life. In death we rejoice: _"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where
is thy victory? ... But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ."_ 1 Cor. 15,55-57.--Baptism works
forgiveness of sin and therefore _delivers us from the devil._ When our
sins have been washed away, the devil no longer has any power over us;
we are free from hell and damnation. If Satan still tempts us to sin, we
may, in the power of our baptism, resist him and gain the victory.--By
working forgiveness of sin, by delivering us from death and the devil,
_Baptism gives us eternal salvation. "He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved."_ Mark 16,16.

5. To whom does Baptism give all this? It gives these things _"to all
who believe this."_ Our Savior says: _"He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved."_ Mark 16,16. All those who believe, trusting in the
promises God has given in His Word concerning Baptism, receive these
heavenly gifts. It is true, Baptism _contains_ all these precious gifts
and blessings, _whether we believe or not._ They are _offered to all who
_are baptized._ But we must take them and _make them our own._ This is
done _by faith in Christ._ Baptism is _God's hand,_ by means of which He
hands down His gifts, forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and salvation.
Faith is our _hand, with which we take God's gifts and make them our
own.--_During our whole life_ we should remember our baptism and the
grace God therein has bestowed upon us. Whenever we have sinned, we
should in true repentance take refuge to our baptism, to the grace of
God which He has promised us there. _"The covenant of my peace shall not
be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."_ Is. 54,10.

REMEMBER:--

1. _Do not forget to thank your Father in heaven for your baptism. It
makes you certain that His heavenly gifts, forgiveness of sins, life,
and salvation, are indeed yours. It makes you certain that God is your
Father and will remain your Father and you His child._

2. _If you have sinned and grieved your heavenly Father, take refuge to
your baptism. Trust to His unfaltering grace which He has promised you
there. Believe in Christ, who is yours through Baptism, and you will be
saved._

MEMORIZE:--

_Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins._ Acts 2,38.

_Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of
you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ._ Gal. 3,26.27.

_O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be
to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ._
1 Cor. 15,55-57.

QUESTIONS.

1. What three great benefits does Baptism give us? 2. Where did Christ
Himself promise this? Mark 16,16. 3. Prove that in these words of Christ
forgiveness of sins and deliverance from death and the devil are
included. 4. Which is the first benefit Holy Baptism gives us? 5. Who,
indeed, has redeemed us from all sins? 6. How, then, can we say that
Baptism works forgiveness of sins? 7. Whom do we put on in baptism? 8.
What does that mean? 9. How, therefore, does Baptism work forgiveness of
sins? 10. Which is the second benefit of Baptism? 11. How does Baptism
deliver us from death and the devil? 12. How does it give us eternal
salvation? 13. To whom does Baptism give all these blessings? 14.
Baptism is God's hand, by means of which He gives us all His gifts.
Which is our hand with which we receive them? 15. How long should we
remember our baptism? 16. When, especially, should it be our refuge?

LESSON 50.

The Lord's Supper.

What Is The Sacrament Of The Altar?

_It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread
and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ
Himself._

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

_That is shown us by these words, "Given and shed for you for the
remission of sins"; namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins,
life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is
forgiveness of sins there is also life and salvation._

1. You have often seen how on certain Sundays confirmed members of our
church went up to the altar to receive bread and wine to eat and drink,
while the minister said to them: "Take and eat; this is the true body of
your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Take and drink; this is the true
blood of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." We call this sacred act the
_Lord's Supper,_ or the _Sacrament of the Altar. What does this sacred
act mean?_

2. The holy evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and St. Paul the
Apostle write about the Lord's Supper thus: _"Our Lord Jesus Christ,"
etc. The Lords Supper was not instituted by men, by the Church, _but by
Christ Himself._ Therefore it is _a sacred act._ The Lord instituted His
Supper _"the same night in which He was betrayed,"_ in the night before
His sufferings and death. After He had given His disciples the bread and
the cup, He added: _"This do in remembrance of Me." The Lord _commanded_
His disciples that after His ascension _they should do as He had done,_
that they should take bread and wine, give thanks over them, and eat
and drink in remembrance of Him. _He commanded His Church to celebrate
His Supper to the end of days._ "As often as ye eat this bread and drink
this cup, ye do show the Lord's death _till He come."_ 1 Cor. 11,26.

3. In the night in which Jesus was betrayed by His disciple Judas, our
Lord _took bread, and when He had given thanks, He brake it into small
pieces, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take and eat. After the
same manner also He took the cup, filled it with wine, gave thanks, and
gave it to His disciples, saying, Take, drink ye all of it._ The Lord
took _bread and wine_ and gave them to His disciples to eat and drink.
We should do likewise in celebrating the Lord's Supper. We should take
bread and wine, eat and drink both in remembrance of the Lord. As in
Baptism the water, so in the Lord's Supper bread and wine are the
external, visible means. The Lord's Supper is the bread and wine
_comprehended in God's command._

4. In the Lord's Supper bread and wine are also _connected with God's
word._ While the disciples ate the bread and drank the wine, the Lord
said to them, _"This is my body, which is given for you. This cup is the
New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of
sins."_ These words of Christ we must also have in His Supper, together
with the bread and wine.--In His Supper, under the bread and wine, our
Lord gives us, according to His promise, _His body, which was given for
us,_ which was crucified, _and His true blood, which was shed for us on
the cross for the remission of our sins._ Under and with the bread and
wine we eat and drink the body and the blood of our Lord. We cannot
understand how this is possible, but we _believe_ it because our Lord
has promised it. _"The Word of the Lord is right, and all His works are
done in truth."_ Ps. 33,4. Our Lord is the _almighty God,_ who is able
to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think and can
understand. Eph. 3,20. The Lord's Supper, or the Sacrament of the Altar,
_"is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread
and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ
Himself."_

5. _What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?_ Our Catechism
answers: _"That is shown us by these words, 'Given and shed for you for
the remission of sins.'"_ In the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life,
and salvation are given us through these words. Our Lord, it is true,
speaks only of remission, or forgiveness, of sins; but _"where there is
forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation."_--In His
Supper my Lord gives me, and I eat, His body, given for me, and He gives
me, and I drink, His blood, shed for the remission of my sins. He gives
me His body and blood, by the giving and shedding of which upon the
cross He purchased and earned and procured for me the forgiveness of my
sins. So the Lord's Supper _strengthens our faith in Christ,_ our
Redeemer. When we believe these words in the Sacrament, we have in it
_forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation._ How we ought to thank our
Lord for making us so certain of our salvation in His Supper!

REMEMBER:--

1. _We have two Sacraments, two sacred acts, wherein our Lord, through
visible, external means, connected with the word of God, offers and
gives us His grace which Christ has merited._

2. _Very many of those who call themselves Christians, and who are
Christians, deny that in the Sacrament there is really Christ's true
body and blood, because they cannot understand how this is possible. We
firmly believe the plain and clear words of our true and almighty
Savior._

3. _Let us give thanks to the Lord, who has prepared for us such a
wonderful means of grace to strengthen our faith in the forgiveness of
sins, life, and salvation._

MEMORIZE: --

_The Word of the Lord is right, and all His works are done in truth._
Ps. 33,4.

_As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's
death till He come._ 1 Cor. 11,26.

QUESTIONS.

1. What do we call the second Sacrament of the Christian Church? 2. Who
instituted this Sacrament? 3. When did Christ institute it? 4. Which
words of Christ show that we also should do as He has done, and
celebrate His Supper? 5. What are the external visible means in this
Sacrament? 6. What word of God is it with which bread and wine are
connected? 7. What does Christ give us to eat and to drink under and
with the bread and wine? 8. Why do we believe this to be true though we
can not understand it? 9. Why do we believe that Christ is able to do
what He has promised in His Supper? 10. Which words of Christ show us
the benefit of such eating and drinking? 11. What is given us, according
to these words, in the Sacrament? 12. How do we prove that also life and
salvation are given us in the Sacrament, although Christ speaks only of
forgiveness of sins? 13. How does the Sacrament make us certain of
forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation? 14. What is a Sacrament?

LESSON 51.

Baptism And the Lord's Supper.

Review Lesson.

1. We have two Sacraments in our Church. What do we mean by a sacrament?
By whom have the Sacraments been instituted? What has God ordained in
the Sacraments to offer His grace? With what are these visible, external
means connected? What does God offer and give through the external means
connected with His word? What are the two Sacraments called?

2. Our first Sacrament is Baptism. How does our Catechism answer the
question, "What is Baptism"? What is the external means in Baptism? What
kind of water must we use when we baptize a person? If we have no water,
we cannot baptize. But the water in Baptism is not simple, common water;
what, then, is it?--Baptism is the water comprehended in God's
command. What command did Christ give His disciples before He ascended
into heaven? Matt. 28,19. Who, therefore, has instituted Baptism? Who,
at the present time, ordinarily performs this sacred act? In which case
can and should every Christian do it? Christ has commanded us to
baptize? What does the word baptize mean?--Which is the word of God
connected with the water in Baptism? We are baptized in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, in the name of the Triune
God. God's name is God Himself. We are baptized in God Himself, in the
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. What does God bestow upon us in Baptism?
God there gives us Himself as our true Father and accepts us as His dear
children. Since the water of Baptism is connected with God's word and
name, it is indeed not common water, but a gracious water of life.--
Whom are we to baptize according to God's command? What is meant by the
word _nations_? We make a distinction in baptizing adults and children.
When do we baptize adults? We baptize our children in their infancy,
when they are still babies, not able to be instructed in the Word of
God. We instruct them in the doctrines of God's Word after they have
been baptized, when they are able to understand and to learn the Word of
God. What kind of schools do we Christians therefore establish? Which
word of Christ induces us to baptize our little children? Mark 10,14.
To whom are our children brought in Baptism? What does the Holy Ghost
kindle in them by Baptism? In Holy Baptism our children become God's
children. Christ takes them up in His arms and blesses them.

3. Baptism is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with
God's word. Baptism is indeed a great and wonderful institution. Why?
What three great blessings of Baptism are mentioned in our Catechism?
Where has Christ promised these three blessings? Mark 16,16. Christ here
only says that he that believeth and is baptized _shall be saved._ He
mentions only salvation; how, then, can we prove that Baptism also works
forgiveness of sins and delivers from death and the devil?--Baptism
works forgiveness of sins. Christ by His innocent sufferings and death
has earned us this great gift, and yet we say that baptism works
forgiveness of sins. What do we mean to say by this? By what means does
the Holy Ghost make forgiveness of sins our own? What does the Apostle
write Gal. 3,26.27? Whom do we put on in Baptism? What does this mean?
By Baptism all the merits of Christ are imputed to us, His spotless
righteousness is made our own. The second great blessing of Baptism is
this, that it delivers us from death and from the devil. How did death
come into this world? If Baptism works forgiveness of sins, from what
must it deliver us? Baptism delivers us from the devil. How does Baptism
deliver us from the devil? How does it give us salvation? To whom does
Baptism give all these great things? What does our Lord say Mark 16,16?
It is true, Baptism offers all these heavenly gifts to us, whether we
believe or not. But we must take and receive them by faith. As God
offers all these things in Baptism, with what may we compare Holy
Baptism as far as God is concerned? What is the hand with which we take
all God's blessings which are offered in Baptism? We should remember our
baptism during our whole life. When especially should we think of it?
How long will God keep His promises?

4. Our second Sacrament is the Lord's Supper. What is it also called? By
whom was it instituted? What does our Lord mean to say when He adds:
"This do in remembrance of Me"? Christ wants His Sacrament to be
celebrated in His Church till He again comes visibly on the Last Day.--
What are the visible means in this Sacrament? What are we to do with the
bread and wine? In the Lord's Supper as in baptism the visible means,
bread and wine, are comprehended in God's command.--What is the word
of God connected with the bread and wine? What does Christ give us in
the Sacrament under bread and wine? We, indeed, cannot understand this,
cannot see how it is possible. Why do we nevertheless believe it to be
true? Can Christ fulfil what He has promised us? Why? In which of His
words of institution is the benefit of such eating and drinking shown?
What is given us in the Sacrament through these words? We are given
forgiveness of sins; what must be there also, where there is forgiveness
of sins? What is especially strengthened in us when we partake of the
Lord's Supper?

Lord, grant that we e'er pure retain
The catechismal doctrine plain
As Luther taught the heavenly truth
In simple words to tender youth.

That we Thy holy Law may know
And mourn our sin and all its woe,
And yet believe in Father, Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One.

That we on Thee, our Father, call,
Who canst and wilt give help to all;
That as Thy children we may live,
Whom Thou in Baptism didst receive.

That, if we fall, we rise again,
Repentingly confess our sin,
And take the Sacrament in faith;--
Amen. God grant a happy death!





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