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“I hope this isn’t meant to be a criticism of our current life style” (from The New Yorker magazine, probably back in the ’60s)

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The 6 Biblical Building Blocks of Faith and Life:   Session 1, The Ten Commandments

Intro:  On Wednesday March 12, we began at the Mission a 6 week Bible Class, The 6 Building Blocks, a review of each of the 6 Chief Parts of The Small Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther.  Below is the outline  of the first session.-Pr. Schroeder

Opening Prayer:  Grant to us, Lord, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we, who cannot do anything that is good without You, may be enabled by You to live according to Your will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Review the 6 Chief Parts, 6 Building Blocks of Faith and life

  1. 10 Commandments
  2. The Apostles’ Creed
  3. The Lord’s Prayer
  4. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
  5. Confession
  6. The Sacrament of the Altar

The Small Catechism:

  1. The Layman’s Bible
  2. Summary of the Bible
  3. Prayer Book

Lutherans have three important books:

  1. The Bible
  2. The Book of Concord, which includes The Small and Large Catechisms
  3. The Lutheran Service Book, the hymnbook

1st Building Block:  the Decalogue, the  10 CommandmentsTwo Tables of the Law:  Written and Given by God on Mt. Sinai to Moses  10 Commandments recorded in two places:                                                                              A.  Exodus 20 and B. Deuteronomy 5

“God gave the Law in written form to Moses at Mount Sinai. The giving of the Law was accompanied by signs of God’s wrath. Thunder, lightning flashes, the blast of the trumpet, and the smoking mountain reveal a God who exposes Himself in the “thick darkness” of His holy judgment against sin. No wonder the people of Israel pleaded with Moses, saying, “[D]o not let God speak to us, lest we die” (Exod. 20:19). But God does speak through His servant Moses, and the words which He gives us through Moses cut to the very heart, laying bare our sinfulness.

Our Lord uses Moses’ words, the words of God’s Law, to unmask the heart of a rich man who thought that he could “do” the Law (Mark 10:17-22). This man comes to our Lord with a pious question: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” When our Lord answers the man by referring to the commandments, the man responds, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” Yet the rich man lacks one thing. He lacks what the First Commandment requires. He lacks the “fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” (The Didache by Prof. John T. Pless)

A. First Table:  Vertical, 1-3

B. Second Table:  Horizontal, 4-10

Together: form a Cross. Summation of the Law and the Prophets

35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” St. Matthew 22

 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. St. Matthew 5

2 Tables and the Three Uses of the Law: Not the Way the Church uses the Law, but the way the Lord uses the Law for His purposes and use:

  1. Curb:  political use, polis, city
  2. Mirror:  spiritual use
  3. Guide:  spiritual and political use, spiritual, to show us if our good works are God pleasing, political, back to use                                                   

Luther’s teaching on each commandment: negative and positive, concentrate on the 4th Commandment for tonight

  1. Hinge Commandment
  2. First neighbors
  3. In between 3rd and 5th commandments: the Lord’s Day and prohibition against murder and violence
  4. Three Fathers
    1. fathers and mothers
    2. Fathers of a nation
    3. spiritual fathers

Closing Prayer:  Psalm 23

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