The Ten Commandments
I am the LORD thy God.
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold them guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.
What does God declare concerning these Commandments? He says: I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto the thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.
What does this mean? God threatens to punish all who transgress these commandments. We should, therefore, fear His wrath, and in no wise disobey them. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep them. We should, therefore, love Him, trust in Him, and gladly keep His commandments.
The Apostles’ Creed:
[the First Article of Creation] I believe in God the Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
[the Second Article of Redemption] And in Jesus Christ His only Son, or Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell, the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
[the Third Article of Sanctification] I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the body, and the Life Everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man, who for us, too, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried; the third day He rose according to the Scriptures; ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; and His Kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy, Christian and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come. Amen.
The Athanasian Creed:
Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all else, hold the true Christian faith. Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish for eternity.
This is the true Christian faith, that we worship one God in three persons and three persons in one God without confusing the persons or dividing the divine substance. For the Father is one Person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is still another. But there is one Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, equal in glory and coequal in majesty.
What the Father is, that is the Son, and that is the Holy Spirit: The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated. The Father unlimited, the Son is unlimited, the Holy Spirit is unlimited. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal; just as there are not three who are uncreated and who are unlimited, but there is one who is uncreated and unlimited.
Likewise the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Spirit is almighty. And yet there are not three who are almighty, but there is one who is almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord. For just as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge each person by himself to be God and Lord, So are we forbidden by the Christian religion to say that there are three Gods or three Lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten by anybody. The Son was not made or created but was begotten by the Father. The Holy Spirit was not made or created or begotten but proceeds from the Father and the Son. Accordingly there is one Father and not three Fathers; one Son and not three Sons; one Holy Spirit and not three Holy Spirits. And among these three persons none is before or after another, non is greater or less than another; But all three persons are coequal and coeternal, and accordingly, as has been stated before, three persons are to be worshipped in one Godhead and one God is to be worshipped in three persons. Whoever wishes to be saved must think thus about the Trinity.
It is also necessary for eternal salvation that one faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became man, for this is the right faith, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at once God and man. He is God, begotten before the ages of the substance of the Father, and He is man, born in the world of the substance of His mother, perfect God and perfect man, with reasonable soul and human flesh. Equal to the Father with respect to His Godhead and inferior to the Father with respect to His manhood.
Although He is God and man, He is not two Christs but one Christ: one, that is to say, not by changing the Godhead into flesh but by taking on the humanity into God. One, indeed, not by confusion of substance but by unity in one person. For just as the reasonable soul and the flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ, who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, is seated on the right hand of the Father, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At His coming all men shall rise with their bodies and give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good will enter eternal life, and those who have done evil will go into everlasting fire.
This is the true Christian faith. Unless a man believes this firmly and faithfully, he cannot be saved.
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
The Sacrament of Baptism:
What is Baptism? Baptism is not simply water, but is the water used according to God's command and connected with God's Word.
What is this Word of God? It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."
What Gifts or Benefits Does Baptism Bestow? It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare.
What is this Word and Promise of God? It is the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in the last chapter of Mark: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
How Can Water Do Such Great Things? It is not the water, indeed, that does such great things, but the Word of God, connected with the water, and our faith which relies on that Word of God. For without the Word of God, it is simply water and no baptism. But when connected with the Word of God, it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit, as St Paul says to Titus, in the third chapter: "According to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." This is a faithful saying.
What Does Such Baptizing with Water Signify? It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil lusts, should be drowned by daily sorrow and repentance, and be put to death; and that the new man should daily come forth and rise, to live before God in righteousness and holiness for ever.
Where is it so written? St Paul, in the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, says, "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
The Sacrament of the Altar:
What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, given unto us Christians to eat and to drink, as it was instituted by Christ Himself.
Where is it so written? The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark and Luke, together with St Paul writes thus: "Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He brake it and gave it to His disciples, saying, Take, eat; this is My Body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner, also, He took the cup, when He had supped, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; this cup is the New Testament in My Blood, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; this do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me."
What is the Benefit of Such Eating and Drinking? It is pointed out in these words: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." Through these words the remission of sins, life and salvation are given unto us in the Sacrament; for where there is remission of sins, there is also life and salvation.
How Can Such Bodily Eating and Drinking Produce Such Great Benefits? The eating and drinking, indeed, do not produce them, but the words: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." For besides the bodily eating and drinking, these words are the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he who believes them has what they say and declare, namely, the remission of sins.
Who, Then, Receives the Sacrament Worthily? Fasting and bodily preparation are indeed a good outward discipline, but he is truly worthy and well prepared who believes these words: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." But he who does not believe these words or who doubts them is unworthy and unprepared ; for the words: "For you," require truly believing hearts.
Celebrating the Lord's Last Supper--Holy Communion
Matthew 26 ...Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the passover? And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with My disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto Him, Lord, is it I? And He answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.
The Lord bless us and keep us; the Lord make His face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us; the Lord lift up His countenance upon us, and give us peace. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
What is confession? Confession consists of two parts: the one is that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution or forgiveness from the pastor as from God Himself, in no wise doubting, but firmly believing, that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in Heaven.
What sins should we confess? Before God we should acknowledge ourselves quilty of all manner of sins, even of those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord's Prayer. To the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts.
What are such sins? Here examine yourself in the light of the Ten commandments, whether as father or mother, son or daughter, master or servant, you have been disobedient, unfaithful, slothful, ill-tempered, unchaste, or quarrelsom, or whether you have injured any one by word or deed, stolen, neglected or wasted aught, or done any other evil.