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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 90

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From the Word: For even when we were with you, we declared this command to you: if anyone is not willing to work, he does not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Seventh Commandment

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbors of their money or property or take from them by unfair dealing or fraud, but help them to improve and protect their property and means of making a living.

Pulling It Together

Everyone plays a part. If that part is neglected it diminishes the whole. The rest must pick up the slack, and carry the burden of feeling as though they must take care of those who refuse labor. God’s justice is different than society’s. In the early church, he commanded that those who would not work, would not eat. Maybe it was meant to be motivation—perhaps justice. We might call it reasonableness or common sense. Whatever we call it, it is God’s command. Do not allow society to make you feel otherwise. Those who beg from the church, when they are able to work, are thieves. All have their jobs to do, vocations that are to be worked at peacefully, so that they may earn their living and share it with those who legitimately need help.

Prayer: Give me the strength, Lord, to say yes to work and no to those who will not work. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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The kind of church we see in the New Testament is different from what most modern people imagine when they think of “going to church.” Experience Life Together: Experiencing House-Church Ministry, by Rev. Tom Hilpert, is a 15-week house-church curriculum designed for pastors, lay leaders, and churches interested in getting a taste for what church in the home is really like. Whether referred to as a house-church, organic church, alternative church, or cell church, this material applies well to any group that wants to experience Christian worship in the context of a small group meeting within the homes of the participants.


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