Through discussion with a pastor, instruction deals with the major questions about Christian faith and it contains basic Lutheran catechism. Here you can observe the major questions:

1. What is Christianity?
Christianity is the life and salvation God has given in and through Jesus.
2. Where is God’s truth about our Savior Jesus Christ made known?
The truth is made known in the Bible: the Old Testament promises the coming Savior and the New Testament tells of the Savior who has come.
3. What is the key to the correct understanding of the Bible?
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is the heart and center of the Scripture and therefore the key to its true meaning.
4. What does Luther’s Small Catechism contain?
The six chief parts of Christian teaching.
5. From which book did Luther take these chief parts of Christian doctrine?
The Bible.
6. What is the Bible?
The inspired word of God.
7. Who wrote the Bible?
The holy prophets and apostles.
8. Why is the Bible the Word of God although it was written by men?
The prophets and apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
9. For what purpose did God give us the Bible?
To know His salvation for us in Jesus.
10. What use should we make of the Bible?
To learn more of God and our salvation so that our faith is strengthened.
11. What are the two great doctrines of the Bible?
The Law and the Gospel.
12. What is the Law?
It shows us our sin. In it God commands good works of thought, word, and deed and condemns and punishes sin.
13. What is Gospel?
It is the good news of our salvation in Jesus. In it God gives forgiveness of sin, faith, life and the power to please Him with good works.

The Ten Commandments

14. What are the Ten Commandments?
The Law of God.
15. What is the summary of the First Table of the Law? (Commandments 1-3)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
16. What is the summary of the Second Table of the Law? (Commandments 4-10)
Love your neighbor as yourself.
17. What is the summary of all the commandments?
18. How do you know that there is a God?
From the creation, from my own conscience and from the Bible.
19. Who is God?
The almighty Creator of heaven and earth.
20. Who is the only true God?
The Triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
21. What does God forbid in the First Commandment?
The worship of other gods.
22. What does God require of us in the First Commandment?
To love and worship Him alone.
23. What does God forbid in the Second Commandment?
Misusing His name.
24. What does God require of us in the Second Commandment?
To use His name to pray, praise and give thanks.
25. Does God require that we Christians of the New Testament observe the Sabbath [Saturday] and other holy days of the Old Testament?
No. Although God requires Christians to worship together He has not specified any particular day. The Church worships together especially on Sunday because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday.
26. What does God require of us in the Third Commandment?
That we hold preaching and the word of God sacred; that we gladly hear and learn it; that we honor and support the preaching and teaching of God’s word; and that we diligently spread God’s word.
27. How should we love our neighbor?
As our selves.
28. What does God forbid in the Fourth Commandment?
To show disrespect to parents and others in authority.
29. What does God require of us in the Fourth Commandment?
To honor our parents and other authorities by regarding them as God’s representatives; to serve them by gladly providing what they need or require; to obey them in everything in which God has placed them over us; to love and cherish them as gifts of God; to show respect to the aged.
30. What does God forbid in the Fifth Commandment?
The taking the life of another person’s or our own life; doing anything that would destroy, shorten or make someone’s life bitter and keeping anger and hatred in our hearts.
31. What does God require of us in the Fifth Commandment?
To help and preserve our neighbor’s life.
32. What does God forbid in the Sixth Commandment?
Sexually impure thoughts, desires and actions.
33. What does God require of all of us in the Sixth Commandment?
To avoid temptations to sexual sin, to be clean in what we think and say, to use our sexuality in ways pleasing to Him.
34. What particular sins does God forbid in the Seventh Commandment?
Every kind of robbery, theft and dishonest way of getting things.
35. What does God require of us in the Seventh Commandment?
We should help our neighbor to improve and protect their possessions and income and help them in every need.
36. What does God forbid in the Eighth Commandment?
To tell lies about our neighbor, to reveal his secrets, to slander our neighbor.
37. What does God require of us in the Eighth Commandment?
To speak well of our fellow man.
38. What does God forbid in the Ninth Commandment?
To have a sinful desire for anyone or anything that belongs to our neighbor.
39. What does God require of us in the Ninth Commandment?
To be content with what we have and help our neighbor keep what God has given him.
40. What does God forbid also in the Tenth Commandment?
Coveting people in our neighbor’s life.
41. What does God require of us in the Tenth Commandment?
To encourage them to remain loyal.
42. Can a person keep God’s commandments as He wants us to keep them?
43. Can anyone, then, be saved by the Law?
44. What is sin?
Every thought, desire, word and deed contrary to God’s Law.
45. Who brought sin into the world?
The devil by tempting Adam and Eve who yielded.
46. What is original sin?
The total corruption of our whole human nature.
47. In what condition are people by nature because of original sin?
Lost and condemned by the wrath of God.
48. How does original sin show itself in our lives?
By actual sin.
49. What is actual sin?
The sins we do each day.
50. Where alone can we find salvation from sin?
In Jesus Christ

The Apostles’ Creed

51. What is a creed?
A statement of what we believe.
52. What do you mean by “I believe in God”?
I trust God and his promises and accept as true all He teaches in the Holy Scriptures.
53. Why do you call the First Person of the Trinity “the Father”?
He is the Father of my Lord Jesus, my Father through faith in Jesus and the Creator of all people.
54. Why do you call God “Almighty” and “Maker”?
With His almighty power He made all things.
55. What does God still do for you and all creatures?
He preserves us.
56. What moves God to do all this for you?
His loves for us.
57. What, then, do you owe your Father in heaven for all this?
It is my duty to thank, praise, serve and obey Him.
58. Of Whom does the Second Article treat?
Jesus Christ.
59. What do you mean when you confess, I believe in Jesus Christ?
I know and trust in Jesus as my only Savior from sin, death, and the devil and believe that He gives me eternal lif.
60. Who is Jesus Christ?
True God, the Second Person of the holy Trinity, also true man born of the virgin Mary.
61. What two nature, then, are united in Christ?
Divine and human natures.
62. Why was it necessary for our Savior to be true man?
So He could take our place under God’s law.
63. Why was it necessary for our Savior to be true God?
So His fulfilling the Law, His life, suffering and death would be a sufficient ransom for all people.
64. What two states do we distinguish in Christ’s work of redemption?
His state of humiliation and His state of exaltation.
65. What was Christ’s humiliation?
As man He did not always or fully use His divine powers.
66. In what words does the Second Article describe the State of Humiliation?
Conceived by the Holt Spirit… dead and buried.
67. For what purpose did Christ so humble Himself?
So He could suffer and die as a sacrifice for our sin.
68. With what has Christ redeemed you?
His holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death.
69. Has Christ redeemed, purchased, and won only you?
No, all humankind.
70. What is Christ’s exaltation?
As man He now fully and always uses His divine powers.
71. In what words does the Second Article speak of Christ’s exaltation?
He descended into hell…at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
72. What do the Scriptures teach of Christ’s resurrection?
On the third day He rose from the dead.
73. Why is the resurrection of Christ of such importance and comfort to us?
It is God’s seal and approval on the sacrifice Christ made by his death.
74. What is the purpose of Christ’s entire work of redemption?
To save us from the consequences of our sin.
75. Are you sure of your redemption by Christ?
76. Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Third Person of the Holy Trinity.
77. What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
He makes me holy by bringing me to faith in Christ so that I might have the blessings of redemption and lead a godly life.
78. What is the work of the Holy Spirit called?
79. Why do you say that the Holy Spirit has done this by the Gospel?
The Gospel is the instrument by which the Holy Spirit offers us all the blessings of Christ and creates faith in us.
80. What are good works in God’s sight?
Everything a Christian does, speaks or thinks in faith according to the Ten Commandments, for the glory of God and the benefit of the neighbor.
81. What is the holy Christian Church?
The total number of those who believe in Christ.
82. Why is the Church called “holy”?
It is made up of those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ and serve God with holy living.
83. Why is the Church called “Christian”?
It belongs to Christ and is built upon Him.
84. Where is this holy Christian Church to be found?
Where the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered as Christ instituted them.
85. What is a local church, or congregation?
Local visible gatherings around the word and sacrament.
86. Why do you say, I believe in the forgiveness of sins?
Through Christ God has declared pardon and forgiveness to all sinful humanity.
87. What moves God to forgive sins?
Because He is merciful and because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for sinners.
88. How can a just and holy God declare sinners righteous?
Our sins have been charged to Christ and Christ’s righteousness has been credited to us.
89. Where does God offer you the forgiveness of sins?
In the Gospel.
90. How do you receive this forgiveness of sins?
Through faith, that is, by believing the Gospel.
91. What do the Scriptures teach of eternal life?
That those who die in faith will live with God forever.
92. Are you sure that you have eternal life?
As I believe in Christ, my Savior, I also know that I have been chosen to eternal life out of pure grace in Christ without any merit of my own and that no one can pluck me out of his hand.

The Sacraments

93. What is a sacrament?
It is a sacred act, instituted by Christ, containing visible elements, which offer, give and seal God’s grace to us.
94. Who instituted Holy Baptism?
Jesus, as He commanded His Church to baptize all nations.
95. Who is to be baptized?
All people, both young and old.
96. What great things, then, does Baptism give or work?
Forgiveness of sins, rescue from death and the devil and gives eternal life.
97. To whom does Baptism give all these blessings?
To all who believe God’s saving promises.
98. What is the Old Adam?
Our sinful self, that corrupt and evil nature we inherit because of Adam’s fall into sin.
99. How does Baptism indicate the daily drowning of the Old Adam and the emergence of the new man?
By daily sorrow and repenting of sins and seeking to walk by God’s grace as His children.
100. What is the power, or authority, of the Office of the Keys?
The power Christ gives his Church to forgive sins or to withhold forgiveness.
101. What are the two parts of confession?
First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution/ forgiveness.
102. Who are repentant believers?
Those who are sorry for their sins (contrition) and believe in Jesus as their Savior from sin (faith).
103. What is the necessary result of repentance?
Good works.
104. Whose sins are to be retained (not forgiven)?
Those who are not sorry for their sins and do not believe in Jesus.
105. What sins should we confess before God?
All our sins.
106. What sins should we confess before the pastor?
The ones that especially trouble us.
107. How should we regard the absolution, or forgiveness of sins, pronounced by the pastor?
As coming from God.
108. Who instituted the Lord’s Supper?
Jesus Christ.
109. What are the visible means (elements) in this Sacrament?
Bread and wine.
110. What does Jesus give us in, with and under these visible means in the Lord’s Supper?
His own true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.
111. What does Christ, our Lord require when He says, “This do in remembrance of Me”?
He commands that His Sacrament be celebrated in the Church till the end of time as a living proclamation and distribution of His saving death and all its blessings.
112. Why should we receive the Lord’s Supper frequently?
For the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of faith.
113. For what purpose, then, do we approach the Lord’s Table?
To receive the blessings He offers us there.
114. When do we receive the Sacrament worthily?
When we have faith in Christ and His words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
115. Who is unworthy and unprepared?
The person who does not believe Christ’s words, since the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.
116. How should we examine ourselves before partaking of Holy Communion?
Do I recognize that I am a sinner? Do I believe in our Savior Jesus Christ and in His words in the Sacrament? Do I plan, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to change my sinful life?
117. May believers whose faith is weak approach the Lord’s Table?
Yes, because Jesus instituted it for the very purpose of strengthening our faith.
118. To whom must the Sacrament not be given?
Those who are openly ungodly and unrepentant; those who are unforgiving, refusing to be reconciled; those of a different confession of faith, since the Lord’s Supper is a testimony of the unity of faith; those who are unable to examine themselves. We do not judge hearts but go by what people tell us.
119. What custom do we, then, observe?
120. What is confirmation?
Teaching the faith and giving those who have been taught an opportunity to confess their faith.

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