Friday, January 28, 2011

Luther's Large Catechism on the 3rd Commandment

It has been about 10 years since I last read the Book of Concord which contains Luther's Large Catechism so two weeks ago I began the recommended weekly readings that are found in the front of the book. Today I was reading about the 3rd commandment. Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy! Do you do this? Are you resting and renewing your mind on the sabbath? Do you attend church to hear and learn Gods word? Do you attend Church because it is what you have always done? Or is Sunday just like any other day?

Here is what Luther has to say about this commandment. (Don't worry I wont repeat all of it just parts of it.) I have hi lighted some portions of this text in red. There are things that I have often observed or heard Christians say and have been guilty of my self Publish Poston occasion.

Since, therefore, so much depends upon God's Word that without it no holy day can be sanctified, we must know that God insists upon a strict observance of this commandment, and will punish all who despise His Word and are not willing to hear and learn it, especially at the time appointed for the purpose.

96] Therefore not only those sin against this commandment who grossly misuse and desecrate the holy day, as those who on account of their greed or frivolity neglect to hear God's Word or lie in taverns and are dead drunk like swine; but also that other crowd, who listen to God's Word as to any other trifle, and only from custom come to preaching, and go away again, and at the end of the year know as little of it as at the beginning. 97] For hitherto the opinion prevailed that you had properly hallowed Sunday when you had heard a mass or the Gospel read; but no one cared for God's Word, as also no one taught it. Now, while we have God's Word, we nevertheless do not correct the abuse; we suffer ourselves to be preached to and admonished, but we listen without seriousness and care.

98] Know, therefore, that you must be concerned not only about hearing, but also about learning and retaining it in memory, and do not think that it is optional with you or of no great importance, but that it is God's commandment, who will require of you how you have heard, learned, and honored His Word.

99] Likewise those fastidious spirits are to be reproved who, when they have heard a sermon or two, find it tedious and dull, thinking that they know all that well enough, and need no more instruction. For just that is the sin which has been hitherto reckoned among mortal sins, and is called ajkhdia, i.e., torpor or satiety, a malignant, dangerous plague with which the devil bewitches and deceives the hearts of many, that he may surprise us and secretly withdraw God's Word from us.

100] For let me tell you this, even though you know it perfectly and be already master in all things, still you are daily in the dominion of the devil, who ceases neither day nor night to steal unawares upon you, to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against the foregoing and all the commandments. Therefore you must always have God's Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle, and the Word does not sound, he breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware. 101] On the other hand, such is the efficacy of the Word, whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, that it is bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts. For these words are not inoperative or dead, but creative, living words. 102] And even though no other interest or necessity impel us, yet this ought to urge every one thereunto, because thereby the devil is put to Right and driven away, and, besides, this commandment is fulfilled, and [this exercise in the Word] is more pleasing to God than any work of hypocrisy, however brilliant.

Ladies and Gentlemen Gods word is never to be taken lightly we as Christians should desire to hear and learn Gods word and to fellowship with other believers on a regular basis. In doing so we will be encouraged and strengthened by them. If we are at a point that we think we know every thing there is to know and no longer need to read or learn Gods word then we are gravely mistaken. Even the most learned scholars are still learning new things about their savior and His will for our lives. I pray that you will find joy in reading and learning Gods Word each day.

Sing Praises to Your King!

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