A Study of
Luther's Large Catechism
as found in Concordia: the Lutheran Confessions, A Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord edited by Paul Timothy McCain, Second Edition, Concordia Publishing House, © 2006.
We All Believe in One True God, Father
By: Tobias Clausnitzer
1st Published in: 1699
We all believe in one true God,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Ever present help in need,
Praised by all the heavenly host;
All he made his love enfolds,
All creation he upholds.
We all believe in Jesus Christ,
Son of God and Mary’s son,
Who descended from his throne
And for us salvation won;
By whose cross and death are we
Rescued from all misery.
We all confess the Holy Ghost,
Who from both in truth proceeds,
Who sustains and comforts us
In all trials, fears and needs.
Blest and holy Trinity,
Praise forever yours shall be.
Read in the Large Catechism the Creed and the First Article pages 398-401 and answer the following questions:
1. How does the Creed help us with respect to the Commandments? (#2-3)
2. Why does Luther believe a three part division of the Creed is helpful? (#6)
3. What is the most basic answer to the questions, “Who is God?” and “What does He do?” (#11)
4. What does it mean for God to be “my Creator”? (#13)
5. What is God’s reason for doing all this? (#17)
6. What do we owe God as creator? (#19)
7. What sorts of sinful attitudes show that we are not believing and confessing this article? (#21)
The Second Article - Read pages 401 to 402 in the Large Catechism and answer the following questions:
1. Luther says, “the Second Person of the Godhead. . . has completely poured forth Himself and withheld nothing from us.” (#26) Read Philippians 2:1-11 and list a couple specific examples of how Christ poured Himself out for us. See also Matthew 26:28.
2. What does it mean for Jesus Christ to become “my Lord”? (#27)
3. From what did Jesus Christ redeem us? (#27)
4. How did he redeem us? (#31)
5. Now that Christ has become my Lord, how does God think of me? What attitude does He have toward me? (#30)
6. What does it mean to say that Jesus is our “Redeemer”? (#31)
7. This article lies at the very center of Christian faith. Surprisingly the Large Catechism’s explanation of it is rather short. Where and when will Christian people receive the detailed explanation of all these individual points? (#32)
The Third Article - Read pages 402 to 408 in the Large Catechism and answer the following questions:
1. Briefly speaking, what does the Holy Spirit do? (#35)
2. If Jesus has already saved you, why do you still need the work of the Holy Spirit as described in the third article? (#38-39)
3. How does the Holy Spirit make sinners holy? (#41-42)
4. The Holy Spirit works in the church. When Christ is not preached but works are urged as a means of salvation, it is not the Holy Spirit who is working, but who? (#44)
5. How does the phrase "communion of saints" clarify what we mean when we say "the holy Christian Church"? (#47-48)
6. What is the point of all sacraments and Gospel preaching? (See #55 and look for the common phrase in Matthew 26:28 and Mark 1:4).
7. Is there forgiveness outside of the church? Why not? (#56 and John 8:31-32)
8. In paragraph #58, Luther says, "For now we are only half pure and holy." What does that mean? And how does it make this article seem more pertinent to us?
9. What will the Holy Spirit do on the Last Day?
10. How does the Creed help us to see how "God has revealed Himself and opened the deepest abyss of His fatherly heart and His pure inexpressible love"? (#64-65)
11. How does confessing the Creed divide us from the rest of the world? (#66)