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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 23

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Exodus 20:4

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

If you knew what God looked like (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12) and made an image of that likeness, would you be able to fear the image? I suppose you could, but it would be irrational to do so. For example, imagine you had been bullied by some kid in elementary school, and forty years later, you saw a photograph of that kid on Facebook. Would you be afraid of the digital photo? While it may bring old feelings to memory, you would not actually fear the photo.

Could you love a statue of God, even if you did know what he looked like? Would you be able to place your total trust in a carving or painting of God? Is worship of representation of God acceptable practice? Of course not; no one goes in to a church and worships a stained glass window of the Good Shepherd or of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane.

We are to fear, love and trust the Lord alone. This is faithful worship.

Prayer: Though I have not seen you, Lord, I believe with fear, love, and trust in you alone. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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Learning About Confession teaches the meaning of Confession and Forgiveness according Luther's guidance in the Small Catechism. It is recommended for the Sixth Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story that illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism - Children's Version. With a healthy balance of Law and Gospel, lessons emphasize the connection between repentance and forgiveness, and how the promise of God’s forgiveness changes our lives.


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