This page is my attempt to create a resource to study Luther’s Small Catechism. I will continually update it with new resources that I create and links to web resources that I think might be helpful for your study. Enjoy!
“The catechism is an essential part of any Christian’s library. Brief, clear summaries of God’s Word allow individuals and families alike to use the Small Catechism as a powerful tool and prayer book. Though the catechism was written by Martin Luther in 1529, its question and answer format provides Christians with a timeless guide book that is easy to use and applicable to all the various callings we have in life.
The Small Catechism explores the Six Chief Parts of Christian Doctrine: the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar.” (from the CPH Site)
Digital Resources to Study Luther’s Catechism
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are actually ten words of promise. The Hebrew word is “dabar” and it can be translated word, command, or promise.
I like to divide the promises into three sections…
You Will Love God
You Will Rest in Equality
You Will Love Your Neighbor
It is important to remember that the Ten Commandments, or God’s words of Law and Promise, were given to a particular people at a particular moment in history. This video places the words in context.
The Apostles’ Creed
“The first mention of the expression “Apostles’ Creed” occurs in a letter of 390 AD from a synod in Milan and may have been associated with the belief, widely accepted in the 4th century, that, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, each of the Twelve Apostles contributed an article of a creed.” (from Wikipedia article)
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.1 On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
What Does Creed Mean?
The word creed, or credo, is Latin. We translate it I believe in English, but it means so much more. To believe, in our culture, means to agree with our intellect that something is true. Credo, however, encompasses more than the mind. It means that we love with the heart and we belong with our whole being. Credo is to believe, belove, and belong.
See this review for more…
Trinity: The Beautiful Mystery of God
One of the most basic and obvious questions we can have about the Creed has to do with the three persons it names. Isn’t there only one God? What’s up with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Learn more about the Trinity here…
Here is a series of four short animations that discusses the Trinity. I originally created these for the Deep in the Burbs project.
The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4. Each version is slightly different, but they can both be divided into sections, which are traditionally called petitions (which means requests).
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
The term baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo. It means to dip, to immerse, or to be transformed by the process of dipping or immersing. Many religious systems practice some form of baptism as a symbol of transformation and inclusion into the religious group. Followers of Jesus have used water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit to welcome individuals into the faith community.
Where is Baptism in the Bible?
Jesus was baptized
Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34
Jesus commissioned his disciples to make disciples of all nations and baptize them
Jesus places a high value on baptism
The washing and rebirth of the Holy Spirit
Death and Resurrection
A Story of Watery Salvation
During a baptism ceremony we recount the various stories in the Bible where God delivered people from oppression through water. Read this post to see an illustrated guide through these stories.
A Lesson on Forgiveness
A Powerful Story of Forgiveness
Luther called this the Sacrament of the Altar. It is the time when the church gathers around the bread and the wine to share in God’s grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It comes from the story found in Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, and Luke 22:14-23 when Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples. The Apostle Paul demonstrates that the very first church observed this as a special meal in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
The BIG QUESTION is: What did Jesus mean when he said this IS by body and my blood?
It’s Connected to Passover
Watch this video to remember the Passover story
By saying this bread and wine is his body, Jesus was connecting his life and death to the salvation story of God in the story of Exodus.
What is the Real Presence?
A Command to Love
Read this sermon titled On the Night in Which He Was Betrayed for an interpretation of communion.