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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 34

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Matthew 5:33–37

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.

Pulling It Together

Too much talk can lead to grand statements, to bragging backed up with oaths. Be content with silence, for the whisper of God may be heard there (1 Kings 19:11–13). It is better and safer to let God speak for you than to fill up the silence with empty words. When one swears an oath, it should never be done in casual conversation. Oaths are matters for courtrooms. A pledge should be either a simple but emphatic “yes” or “no.” Any more words than those are unnecessary and originate in evil—as long-windedness leads to the sin of swearing.

Prayer: Help me listen, Lord, more than I speak. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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