The Rich Man and Lazarus, Illumination from the Codex Aureus of Echternach (1035-1040)

Lutheran Essentials meets in the undercroft of the church on Wednesdays at 7pm. You can reach the undercroft by going around to the back parking lot of the church and descending the staircase to the kitchen. Knock on the door if it is closed and some one will let you in. You can also join us remotely via our livestream.  Our current study is on Martin Luther’s “On the Freedom of a Christian”.   As part of the class we are handing out copies of “On the Freedom of a Christian” for free as well as copies of the Book of Concord and the Lutheran Service Book.

We will open our study with Psalm 5, our catechetical lesson will be on Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed from the Small Catechism.  We will read Thesis Statement of “On the Freedom of the Christian” (pg. 9-11).  Luther will lay out his theme for the entire work, that a Christian is both free and bound.  Free with respect to faith, bound with respect to works.  This dichotomy will be what Luther will unpack in the rest of the tract.  We will close with the hymn “Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us” (LSB 851).

We will then start with the first section of Part 1 regarding The Inward Man by looking at the First Gift of Faith: Justification (pg. 11-19).  First and primary is the Word of God, for without it nothing happens or can happen.  That Word of God brings us the light of the Gospel, that Christ has died for us and given us forgiveness.  This justifying Word must come to bring faith.  This faith is free and given to us by God to free us from sin, death, and the power of the devil.  We will close this section with the singing of “Thy Strong Word” (LSB 578).

Next we will read about the Second Gift of Faith: The True Worship of God (pg. 19-22).  This faith that we are given by the Word gives us the one true God and right doctrine.  This is all by gift, for it would not be true faith if it did not believe and trust in the only true God.  We will close with singing “Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good” (LSB 819).

As always new people are always welcome to this study at any point during the class.  Please talk to the Pastor, Elders or Paul Edmon if you have any questions.

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