Top Menu

Luther’s Small Catechism

Welcome

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!

Introduction

"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)

Confirmation App

Download the Confirmation App from Augsburg Fortress


"Perfect for youth education and confirmation classes, individuals, adults, congregations, church leaders—anyone who wants easy access to Martin Luther’s guide to the basics of Christian faith." download here.

Memory Cards

download and print these flash cards to help you memorize the catechism.

More Online Catechism Resources

The ELCA has put together a list of resources to study the Catechism.

go to ELCA SITe

Ten Commandments Anchor

The Ten Commandments

View Luther's Catechism

The Ten Commandments are actually ten words of promise. The Hebrew word is "dabar" and it can be translated word, command, or promise.

Listen to a sermon about the words of promise.

I like to divide the promises into three sections...

You Will Love God

Exodus 20:1-17

Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

You Will Rest in Equality

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

You Will Love Your Neighbor

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

 

Putting these Words in Context

Apostles’ Creed Banner

Introduction

Read Luther's Catechism

"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)

The Apostles’ Creed

Article One

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

get resources...

Article Two

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.

get resources...

Article Three

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.2

get resources...

What Does Creed Mean

What Does Creed Mean?

believe  belove  belongThe 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

Trinity: The Beautiful Mystery of God

imageOne 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

A Sermon on the Trinity

Here is a series of four short animations that discusses the Trinity. I originally created these for the Deep in the Burbs project.

Read all Posts on the Creed

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).

Read Luther's Catechism

View the illustrated guide to the Lord's Prayer

Petition One

Hallowed be your name

Petition Two and Three

Petition Four and Five

Petition Six and Seven

 

Conclusion

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.
Amen.

Baptism

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.

Read Luther's Catechism

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

Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus places a high value on baptism

Mark 16:16

The washing and rebirth of the Holy Spirit

Titus 3:5-8

Death and Resurrection

Romans 6:4

 

Communion

Read Luther's Catechism

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

passover door

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.

A Lesson on Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness

A Powerful Story of Forgiveness

subscribe to my monthly newsletter
Holler Box