It is Confirmation Sunday, so we will not have a sermon. In a sense, the sermon will be preached by our confirmands as they answer the questions of examination.
This is not a test. These young women have already been deemed ready to become communicant members of Redemption Evangelical Lutheran Church. This is an opportunity for them to publicly demonstrate the fruit of their studies.
This is also an opportunity for all of us to review some of the fundamental truths of Luther’s Catechism. How many times last year did you pick up your old Catechism to read in and meditate on? Now is an opportunity to be refreshed and reminded of some of the fundamental truths of the Christian faith.
As the questions are asked, answer them in your head. And maybe when you get home, dig out that Catechism and set it on your nightstand.
AFTER THE CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION...
LAW AND GOSPEL
1. What are the two most important teachings of the Bible? -Law and Gospel
2. What does God teach us by the Law? -What He wants us to do and not to do
3. When we compare our lives to God’s Law, what else does God teach us? -We are sinners who deserve the punishment of death and damnation.
4. Can a sinner get to heaven by following God’s Laws? –No.
#24. Romans 3:20 Law
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
5. What does the word Gospel mean? -Good News
6. What good news does the Gospel tell us? -The Good News that God sent Jesus to take away the sins of all people.
7. What is the main purpose of the Bible? -To lead all people to know and believe that Jesus is their only hope of salvation.
8. What do we have to do to earn eternal life? –Nothing, it is a gift from God, given through faith in Jesus.
#4. Romans 6:23 The Good News
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Chapter to Remember (CTR): Where might I read about how Jesus suffered an died for my sins? –Matthew 26-27
Closely related to the great teachings of “Law and Gospel” is the power of the “Keys”. Luther’s Catechism explains, “The use of the keys is that special power and right which Christ gave to his church on earth: to forgive the sins of penitent sinners but to refuse forgiveness to the impenitent as long as they do not repent.”
9. What do we call the two keys that Christ gave His church to use? -Binding Key and the Loosing Key
10. On what kind of sinner is the binding key to be used? -Impenitent sinner
11. Who is really speaking to the sinner when the binding key is used? -God Himself
12. When the binding key is used we hope that the sinner does what? -Repent and come to God for forgiveness
CTR: Where might I read about someone repenting in the Bible? –David’s Repentance, Psalm 51
13. On what kind of sinner is the loosing key to be used? -Penitent Sinner
14. When the loosing key is used how do we hope that sinner feels? -Comforted by Christ’s Forgiveness
15. Who is really speaking to the sinner when the loosing key is used? -God Himself
#30. Matthew 18:18-20 The Keys
“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
16. What are the two parts of confession? -Confession and absolution
17. What happens in the confession part? -We admit to God that we have sinned but don’t want to anymore. We ask Him to forgive us.
18. What happens in the absolution part? -We hear the announcement that our sins are forgiven because of Jesus.
19. What are the two main reasons we confess our sins to God? -God tells us to in the Bible, and we know He forgives us when we do.
20. How do we know that God will forgive us when we confess our sins to Him? -He says so in His Word.
#23. 1 John 1:8-9 Sinful Nature
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
PASTORAL BIT ON CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION:
The Christian life is tainted with sin. But those sins are always followed with repentance. And because Jesus died on the cross in our place, our Great God always responds to genuine repentance with complete forgiveness. A Christian’s life is one of sin and grace, confession and absolution, failure and forgiveness - through Jesus Christ.
OLD TESTAMENT Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)
4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
GOSPEL Matthew 6:25-34 (NKJV)
25“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
LETTER 2 Timothy 3:10-17 (NIV)
10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
BIBLE AND INSPIRATION
21. Who wrote the Bible? -Many men over hundreds of years
22. Who authored the Bible? -God the Holy Spirit
23. Some people believe the Bible can be trusted when it comes to spiritual things, but not history. What would you say? –The Bible is God’s Word and contains no mistakes and is trustworthy at every point.
#1. 2 Tim 3:16 (NIV) Inspiration
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”
Fall into sin, first promise -Genesis 3
God’s Call to Abraham -Genesis 12
Moses at the burning bush -Exodus 3
David and Goliath -1 Samuel 17
Jesus on the cross -Psalm 22
Suffering servant of God -Isaiah 53
Daniel in the lion’s den -Daniel 6
Jesus birth -Luke 2
Sermon on the Mount -Matthew 5-7
Lazarus raised from the dead -John 11
Jesus’ Suffering and Death -Matthew 26-27
Jesus’ Resurrection -Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20
Ascension -Acts 1
Giving ourselves to God -Romans 12
Heroes of Faith -Hebrews 11
Judgment Day -Revelation 20
Heaven -Revelation 21-22
GOD’S MORAL LAW
1. You shall have no other gods.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
3. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
4. You shall honor your father and your mother that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.
5. You shall not murder
6. You shall not commit adultery
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his workers, nor his animals, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
24. God’s Law has three different uses. What are they? (Explain each) –Curb people from sinning greatly, Mirror to show us our own sinfulness, Guide to help us know exactly what God’s good will is.
CTR: Where might I find this handy summary of God’s will for humankind? –Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5
#26. Matthew 22:37-39 Summary of the Law
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
PASTORAL BIT ON THE BIBLE:
The apostle Paul speaks of two basic reasons for knowing the Bible. First, so that we can know God’s own Son, and receive His salvation, the forgiveness of sins. The second reason we are compelled to know the Bible is so that we are equipped and empowered for doing whatever God wants us to do.
AFTER THE APOSTLES' CREED IS SAID...
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
25. What is a Creed? -Statement of what a person believes.
26. The Apostles’ Creed speaks about the Triune God. What does Triune mean? -Three in one. God is three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and yet only ONE God.
27. The Apostles’ Creed tells us about three main things that the Triune God has done for us. What are these three things? –Created, Redeemed and Sanctifies us.
CTR: Where can I read about how God created the universe? –Creation of the World, Genesis 1
#15. John 17:3 The Good News
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
#35. Romans 12:2 (NKJV) Sanctification
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
PASTORAL BIT ON THE APOSTLES’ CREED:
Our Sunday worship service is a microcosm of the Christian life. On Sunday we confess our sins to God and receive His forgiveness. We praise Him. We pray to Him. We learn from His Bible, and in the Creed we proclaim what we believe about the one true God. God move us to do these things not only on Sunday but Monday through Saturday too.
AFTER A HYMN...
28. What does the word “Grace” mean? -Undeserved love
29. What does the word “Means” mean? -The Way something gets from point A to point B
30. God’s undeserved love comes to us through His Word heard and believed. It also comes to us through His sacraments. What does the word “sacrament” mean? -Holy Act
31. Sacrament is not a word found in the Bible. But as Lutherans define a sacrament having three things in common. What are these three things?-Instituted by Christ, Involve God’s Word and an earthly element, The offers and seal the forgiveness of sins.
32. How many sacraments are there? -Two: Baptism and Holy Communion.
33. What is Baptism? -“Baptism is not just plain water, but it is water used by God’s command and connected with God’s Word”
#18. Matthew 28:19 Baptism
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
#21. Acts 22:16 Baptism
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’”
34. What makes Baptism so powerful? –Word of God used with the water
35. We Baptize babies for three reasons. What are they? –The are part of “All Nations”, Sinful, Can believe
36. What two things are required for a valid Baptism? –Water and God’s Words Used
37. Which member of the Trinity is at work in Baptism? –Holy Spirit
38. Why should our Baptisms comfort us still today? –Baptism means a connection to Christ by the creation of faith. Sins covered. God’s Name on me makes me part of God’s family and an heir of heaven.
#19. Galatians 3:26-27 Baptism
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
39. What meal were Jesus and His disciples eating when He instituted Holy Communion? –Jesus’ last Passover Supper
40. What earthly elements are used in Holy Communion? -bread and wine
41. Jesus tells us that His real body and blood are present with the bread and wine. What do we call this teaching? -The Real Presence
#27. Luke 22:19-20 The Lord’s Supper
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
CTR: Where else can a person read about the Lord’s Supper? –Matt 26, Mark 14, 1 Cor 11
42. Does Holy Communion ever hurt people? When? -When taken without faith in Jesus
43. Why are we so sure that communion strengthens our faith? -Because it points us to Christ’s Cross and how He gave Himself for our forgiveness
#28. 1 Corinthians 11:27 (NKJV) The Lord’s Supper
“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”
44. What can we do to prepare ourselves to receive Holy Communion? –review the commandments and remember how sinful we are, remember Christ’s cross and How He is our great Savior
PASTORAL BIT ON THE SACRAMENTS
The Good News that our sins have been forgiven through the life and death of Jesus Christ is communicated to us through words spoken. In the Sacraments this message comes to us in a visible tangible way. The gifts of Baptism and Holy Communion are evidence of God’s creativity and His thoughtful love. He washes us. He feeds us. Like a tender parent washes and feeds a dearly loved child.
AFTER HYMN/OFFERING/LORD'S PRAYER...
THE LORD’S PRAYER
45. What is prayer? -Speaking to God from the heart
#10. Psalm 50:15 God Delivers
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
#11. Philippians 4:6 Prayer
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”
46. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray to God calling Him “Our Father”. How then should we pray to God? –With boldness and confidence as dear children ask their dear father.
47. We know that God’s good and gracious will certainly is done even without our prays. So, why do we pray “Your will be done”? –We are asking that God’s will be done among us also.
48. How does God deliver us from evil? (three ways) –keeps the evil far from us, lets it touch us but causes good to come out of it, allows our death so that we are rescued from this sinful world and brought home to Him forever
PASTORAL BIT ON THE LORD’S PRAYER:
Martin Luther is quoted as giving the following advice, “Pray, and let God worry”. In prayer God invites His followers to give over their burdens to Him. To remember that He is our watchful and powerful King. To open our innermost thoughts and desire up to He who can actually do something about them, and who always does.
LUTHER AND WHY YOU WANT TO BE HERE...
All through Catechism we’ve used Luther’s Catechism to help us learn. As you can see from our examination, Luther’s Catechism doesn’t seek to teach Luther’s thoughts and ideas, but Gods thoughts as expressed in the Bible. We call ourselves Lutheran not because we worship a man, but because we agree with Luther. We are saved by God’s Grace, through Faith in Christ Jesus, and this sure message of God comes through the Word alone.
You are already Baptized members of Redemption Church. Why do you wish to remain a member of this Church?