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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 40

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1 Corinthians 1:2–3

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

Let us be clear. God will not hold guiltless the one who takes his name in vain. Yet, the one who calls upon his name in sorrow over that sin will be forgiven. For example, I am scheduled to be somewhere Wednesday afternoon but someone who does not believe I will actually show up, asked me, “Are you really going to be there?” What if I had replied, “I swear to God!” Would my response be a sin? Absolutely; I would have broken the Second Commandment. Will God consider me guilty? Yes. Will he forgive me, if I confess my sin? Yes; God forgives repentant sinners. Will he forgive me if I say, “I didn’t sin.” He will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain.

Even more, God will not hold guilty those who call upon his name. For those who respond to the gospel with confidence in God’s mercy through Christ will indeed be forgiven. As it is said, there is more mercy in God than there is sin in us.

Prayer: Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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Sola has added a Bible Overview year to its Confirmation Series, with two ten-session booklets — one on the Old Testament and one on the New Testament. These books provide a step-by-step overview of the history and geography of the Scriptures, exploring the various time periods and sections of the Bible and how they connect to one another. The goal is to give students a sense for the over-arching story of Scripture, fulfilled in the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


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