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Index of Doctrinal Points
Who, then, receives such Sacrament worthily?
Fasting and bodily preparation is, indeed, a
fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: Given,
and shed for you, for the remission of sins. But he that does not believe these words, or doubts,
is unworthy and unfit; for the words For you require altogether believing hearts.
(Details from the Large Catechism)
Thus we have the entire Sacrament, both as to what it is in itself and as to what it brings and
profits. Now we must also see who is the person that receives this power and benefit. That is answered
briefly, as we said above of Baptism and often elsewhere: Whoever believes it has what the words declare
and bring. For they are not spoken or proclaimed to stone and wood, but to those who hear them, to
whom He says: Take and eat, etc. And because He offers and promises forgiveness of sin, it cannot be
received otherwise than by faith. This faith He Himself demands in the Word when He says: Given and
shed for you. As if He said: For this reason I give it, and bid you eat and drink, that you may claim
it as yours and enjoy it. Whoever now accepts these words, and believes that what they declare is
true, has it. But whoever does not believe it has nothing, as he allows it to be offered to him in
vain, and refuses to enjoy such a saving good. The treasure, indeed, is opened and placed at every
one's door, yea upon his table, but it is necessary that you also claim it, and confidently view it
as the words suggest to you.
This, now, is the entire Christian preparation for receiving this Sacrament worthily. For since
this treasure is entirely presented in the words, it cannot be apprehended and appropriated in any
other way than with the heart. For such a gift and eternal treasure cannot be seized with the fist.
Fasting and prayer, etc., may indeed be an external preparation and discipline for children, that the
body may keep and bear itself modestly and reverently towards the body and blood of Christ; yet what
is given in and with it the body cannot seize and appropriate. But this is done by the faith of the
heart, which discerns this treasure and desires it. This may suffice for what is necessary as a general
instruction respecting this Sacrament; for what is further to be said of it belongs to another time.
In conclusion, since we have now the true understanding and doctrine of the Sacrament, there is
indeed need of some admonition and exhortation, that men may not let so great a treasure which is
daily administered and distributed among Christians pass by unheeded, that is, that those who would
be Christians make ready to receive this venerable Sacrament often. For we see that men seem weary
and lazy with respect to it; and there is a great multitude of such as hear the Gospel, and, because
the nonsense of the Pope has been abolished, and we are freed from his laws and coercion, go one,
two, three years, or even longer without the Sacrament, as though they were such strong Christians
that they have no need of it; and some allow themselves to be prevented and deterred by the pretense
that we have taught that no one should approach it except those who feel hunger and thirst, which urge
them to it. Some pretend that it is a matter of liberty and not necessary, and that it is sufficient
to believe without it; and thus for the most part they go so far that they become quite brutish, and
finally despise both the Sacrament and the Word of God.
Now, it is true, as we have said, that no one should by any means be coerced or compelled, lest
we institute a new murdering of souls. Nevertheless, it must be known that such people as deprive
themselves of, and withdraw from, the Sacrament so long a time are not to be considered Christians.
For Christ has not instituted it to be treated as a show, but has commanded His Christians to eat
and drink it, and thereby remember Him.
And, indeed, those who are true Christians and esteem the Sacrament precious and holy will urge
and impel themselves unto it. Yet that the simple-minded and the weak who also would like to be Christians
be the more incited to consider the cause and need which ought to impel them, we will treat somewhat
of this point. For as in other matters pertaining to faith, love, and patience, it is not enough to
teach and instruct only, but there is need also of daily exhortation, so here also there is need of
continuing to preach that men may not become weary and disgusted, since we know and feel how the devil
always opposes this and every Christian exercise, and drives and deters therefrom as much as he can.
And we have, in the first place, the clear text in the very words of Christ: Do this in remembrance
of Me. These are bidding and commanding words by which all who would be Christians are enjoined to
partake of this Sacrament. Therefore, whoever would be a disciple of Christ, with whom He here speaks,
must also consider and observe this, not from compulsion, as being forced by men, but in obedience
to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to please Him. However, if you say: But the words are added, As oft
as ye do it; there He compels no one, but leaves it to our free choice, answer: That is true, yet
it is not written that we should never do so. Yea, just because He speaks the words, As oft as ye
do it, it is nevertheless implied that we should do it often; and it is added for the reason that
He wishes to have the Sacrament free, not limited to special times, like the Passover of the Jews,
which they were obliged to eat only once a year, and that just upon the fourteenth day of the first
full moon in the evening, and which they must not vary a day. As if He would say by these words: I
institute a Passover or Supper for you which you shall enjoy not only once a year, just upon this
evening, but often, when and where you will, according to every one's opportunity and necessity, bound
to no place or appointed time; although the Pope afterwards perverted it, and again made a Jewish feast
Thus, you perceive, it is not left free in the sense that we may despise it. For that I call
despising it if one allow so long a time to elapse and with nothing to hinder him yet never feels a
desire for it. If you wish such liberty, you may just as well have the liberty to be no Christian,
and neither have to believe nor pray; for the one is just as much the command of Christ as the other.
But if you wish to be a Christian, you must from time to time render satisfaction and obedience to
this commandment. For this commandment ought ever to move you to examine yourself and to think: See,
what sort of a Christian I am! If I were one, I would certainly have some little longing for that
which my Lord has commanded [me] to do.
And, indeed, since we act such strangers to it, it is easily seen what sort of Christians we were
under the Papacy, namely, that we went from mere compulsion and fear of human commandments, without
inclination and love, and never regarded the commandment of Christ. But we neither force nor compel
any one; nor need any one do it to serve or please us. But this should induce and constrain you by
itself, that He desires it and that it is pleasing to Him. You must not suffer men to coerce you unto
faith or any good work. We are doing no more than to say and exhort you as to what you ought to do,
not for our sake, but for your own sake. He invites and allures you; if you despise it, you must answer
for it yourself.
Now, this is to be the first point, especially for those who are cold and indifferent, that they
may reflect upon and rouse themselves. For this is certainly true, as I have found in my own experience,
and as every one will find in his own case, that if a person thus withdraw from this Sacrament, he
will daily become more and more callous and cold, and will at last disregard it altogether. To avoid
this, we must, indeed, examine heart and conscience, and act like a person who desires to be right
with God. Now, the more this is done, the more will the heart be warmed and enkindled, that it may
not become entirely cold.
But if you say: How if I feel that I am not prepared? Answer: That is also my scruple, especially
from the old way under the Pope, in which a person tortured himself to be so perfectly pure that God
could not find the least blemish in us. On this account we became so timid that every one was instantly
thrown into consternation and said to himself: Alas! you are unworthy! For then nature and reason begin
to reckon our unworthiness in comparison with the great and precious good; and then it appears like
a dark lantern in contrast with the bright sun, or as filth in comparison with precious stones. Because
nature and reason see this, they refuse to approach and tarry until they are prepared so long that
one week trails another, and one half year the other. But if you are to regard how good and pure you
are, and labor to have no compunctions, you must never approach.
We must, therefore, make a distinction here among men. For those who are wanton and dissolute must
be told to stay away; for they are not prepared to receive forgiveness of sin since they do not desire
it and do not wish to be godly. But the others, who are not such callous and wicked people, and desire
to be godly, must not absent themselves, even though otherwise they be feeble and full of infirmities,
as St. Hilary also has said: If any one have not committed sin for which he can rightly be put out of
the congregation and esteemed as no Christian, he ought not stay away from the Sacrament, lest he may
deprive himself of life. For no one will make such progress that he will not retain many daily infirmities
in flesh and blood.
Therefore such people must learn that it is the highest art to know that our Sacrament does not
depend upon our worthiness. For we are not baptized because we are worthy and holy, nor do we go to
confession because we are pure and without sin, but the contrary because we are poor miserable men
and just because we are unworthy; unless it be some one who desires no grace and absolution nor intends
But whoever would gladly obtain grace and consolation should impel himself, and allow no one to
frighten him away, but say: I, indeed, would like to be worthy, but I come, not upon any worthiness,
but upon Thy Word, because Thou hast commanded it, as one who would gladly be Thy disciple, no matter
what becomes of my worthiness. But this is difficult; for we always have this obstacle and hindrance
to encounter, that we look more upon ourselves than upon the Word and lips of Christ. For nature desires
so to act that it can stand and rest firmly on itself, otherwise it refuses to make the approach. Let
this suffice concerning the first point.
In the second place, there is besides this command also a promise, as we heard above, which ought
most strongly to incite and encourage us. For here stand the kind and precious words: This is My body,
given for you. This is My blood, shed for you, for the remission of sins. These words, I have said,
are not preached to wood and stone, but to me and you; else He might just as well be silent and not
institute a Sacrament. Therefore consider, and put yourself into this YOU, that He may not speak to
you in vain.
For here He offers to us the entire treasure which He has brought for us from heaven, and to which
He invites us also in other places with the greatest kindness, as when He says in St. Matthew 11:28:
Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Now it is surely a
sin and a shame that He so cordially and faithfully summons and exhorts us to our highest and greatest
good, and we act so distantly with regard to it, and permit so long a time to pass [without partaking
of the Sacrament] that we grow quite cold and hardened, so that we have no inclination or love for
it. We must never regard the Sacrament as something injurious from which we had better flee but as
a pure wholesome, comforting remedy imparting salvation and comfort, which will cure you and give
you life both in soul and body. For where the soul has recovered, the body also is relieved. Why,
then, is it that we act as if it were a poison, the eating of which would bring death?
To be sure, it is true that those who despise it and live in an unchristian manner receive it to
their hurt and damnation; for nothing shall be good or wholesome to them, just as with a sick person
who from caprice eats and drinks what is forbidden him by the physician. But those who are sensible
of their weakness, desire to be rid of it and long for help, should regard and use it only as a precious
antidote against the poison which they have in them. For here in the Sacrament you are to receive
from the lips of Christ forgiveness of sin which contains and brings with it the grace of God and the
Spirit with all His gifts, protection, shelter, and power against death and the devil and all misfortune.
Thus you have, on the part of God, both the command and the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ. Besides
this, on your part, your own distress which is about your neck, and because of which this command,
invitation and promise are given, ought to impel you. For He Himself says: They that be whole need
not a physician, but they that be sick; that is, those who are weary and heavy-laden with their sins,
with the fear of death temptations of the flesh and of the devil. If therefore, you are heavy-laden
and feel your weakness, then go joyfully to this Sacrament and obtain refreshment, consolation, and
strength. For if you would wait until you are rid of such burdens, that you might come to the Sacrament
pure and worthy, you must forever stay away. For in that case He pronounces sentence and says: If you
are pure and godly, you have no need of Me, and I, in turn, none of thee. Therefore those alone are
called unworthy who neither feel their infirmities nor wish to be considered sinners.
But if you say: What, then, shall I do if I cannot feel such distress or experience hunger and
thirst for the Sacrament? Answer: For those who are so minded that they do not realize their conditio
I know no better counsel than that they put their hand into their bosom to ascertain whether they also
have flesh and blood. And if you find that to be the case, then go, for your good, to St. Paul's Epistle
to the Galatians, and hear what sort of a fruit your flesh is: Now the works of the flesh (he says
[chap. 5:19ff.]) are manifest, which are these: Adultery fornication uncleanness, lasciviousness,
idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revelings, and such like.
Therefore, if you cannot feel it, at least believe the Scriptures, they will not lie to you and
they know your flesh better than you yourself. Yea, St. Paul further concludes in Rom. 7:18: l know
that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. If St. Paul may speak thus of his flesh, we
do not propose to be better nor more holy. But that we do not feel it is so much the worse; for it
is a sign that there is a leprous flesh which feels nothing, and yet [the leprosy] rages and keeps
spreading. Yet as we have said, if you are quite dead to all sensibility, still believe the Scriptures,
which pronounce sentence upon you. And, in short, the less you feel your sins and infirmities, the more
reason have you to go to the Sacrament to seek help and a remedy.
In the second place, look about you and see whether you are also in the world, or if you do not
know it, ask your neighbors about it. If you are in the world, do not think that there will be lack
of sins and misery. For only begin to act as though you would be godly and adhere to the Gospel, and
see whether no one will become your enemy, and, moreover, do you harm, wrong, and violence, and likewise
give you cause for sin and vice. If you have not experienced it, then let the Scriptures tell you,
which everywhere give this praise and testimony to the world.
Besides this, you will also have the devil about you, whom you will not entirely tread under foot,
because our Lord Christ Himself could not entirely avoid him. Now, what is the devil? Nothing else than
what the Scriptures call him, a liar and murderer. A liar, to lead the heart astray from the Word of
God, and to blind it, that you cannot feel your distress or come to Christ. A murderer, who cannot bear
to see you live one single hour. If you could see how many knives, darts, and arrows are every moment
aimed at you, you would be glad to come to the Sacrament as often as possible. But there is no reason
why we walk so securely and heedlessly, except that we neither think nor believe that we are in the
flesh, and in this wicked world or in the kingdom of the devil.
Therefore, try this and practise it well, and do but examine yourself, or look about you a little,
and only keep to the Scriptures. If even then you still feel nothing, you have so much the more misery
to lament both to God and to your brother. Then take advice and have others pray for you, and do not
desist until the stone be removed from your heart. Then, indeed, the distress will not fail to become
manifest, and you will find that you have sunk twice as deep as any other poor sinner, and are much
more in need of the Sacrament against the misery which unfortunately you do not see, so that, with
the grace of God, you may feel it more and become the more hungry for the Sacrament, especially since
the devil plies his force against you, and lies in wait for you without ceasing, to seize and destroy
you, soul and body, so that you are not safe from him one hour. How soon can he have brought you
suddenly into misery and distress when you least expect it!
Let this, then, be said for exhortation, not only for those of us who are old and grown, but also
for the young people, who ought to be brought up in the Christian doctrine and understanding. For
thereby the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer might be the more easily inculcated
to our youth, so that they would receive them with pleasure and earnestness, and thus would practise
them from their youth and accustom themselves to them. For the old are now well-nigh done for, so
that these and other things cannot be attained, unless we train the people who are to come after us
and succeed us in our office and work, in order that they also may bring up their children successfully
that the Word of God and the Christian Church may be preserved. Therefore let every father of a family
know that it is his duty by the injunction and command of God, to teach these things to his children,
or have them learn what they ought to know. For since they are baptized and received into the Christian
Church, they should also enjoy this communion of the Sacrament, in order that they may serve us and
be useful to us; for they must all indeed help us to believe, love, pray, and fight against the devil.
How the head of the family should teach his household
to pray morning and evening
1) In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:
In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
2) Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. If you choose,
you may, in addition, say this little prayer:
I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou
hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin
and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my
body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power
over me. Amen.
3) Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your
devotion may suggest.
4) In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and
In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
5) Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. If you choose,
you may, in addition, say this little prayer:
I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou
hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong,
and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all
things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.
Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.
6) How the head of the family should teach his household to ask a blessing and return
Asking a Blessing
The children and servants shall go to the table with folded hands and reverently,
The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord; and Thou givest them their meat in due
season; Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
Note: To satisfy the desire means that all animals receive so much to eat that
they are on this account joyful and of good cheer; for care and avarice hinder such satisfaction.
Then the Lord's Prayer, and the prayer here following:
Lord God, Heavenly Father, bless us and these Thy gifts, which we take from Thy
bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Likewise also after the meal they shall reverently and with folded hands say:
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. He
giveth food to all flesh; He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He
delighteth not in the strength of the horse; He taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord
taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.
Then the Lord's Prayer and the prayer here following:
We thank Thee, Lord God, Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, for all Thy
benefits, who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
Table of Duties:
Certain passages of scripture for various holy orders
admonishing them about their duties and responsibilities.
For Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers.
A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to
hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient,
not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection
with all gravity; not a novice; holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may
be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 1 Tim. 3, 2ff ; Titus 1, 6.
What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors.
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. 1
Cor. 9, 14. Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Gal. 6, 6. Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor
in the Word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out
the corn; and the laborer is worthy of his reward. 1 Tim. 5, 17. 18. Obey them that have the rule
over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that
they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you. Heb. 13, 17.]
Concerning Civil Government.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For the power which exists anywhere is ordained
of God. Whosoever resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall
receive to themselves damnation. For he heareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of
God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Rom. 13, 1-4.
What Subjects Owe to the Magistrates.
Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. Matt. 22, 21. Let every soul be subject unto
the higher powers, etc. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience'
sake. For, for this cause pay ye tribute also; for they are God's ministers, attending continually
upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom,
to whom custom; fear, to whom fear; honor, to whom honor. Rom. 13, 1. 5ff. I exhort, therefore,
that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all
men; for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in
all godliness and honesty. 1 Tim. 2, 1f Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers,
etc. Titus 3, 1. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to
the king as supreme, or unto governors as unto them that are sent by him, etc. 1 Pet. 2, 13f ]
Ye husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto
the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Pet. 3, 7. And be not bitter against them. Col. 3, 9.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord, even as Sarah obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
1 Pet. 3, 6; Eph. 5, 22.
Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition
of the Lord. Eph. 6, 4.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which
is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on
the earth. Eph. 6, 1-3.
For Male and Female Servants, Hired Men, and Laborers.
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling,
in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants
of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service as to the Lord, and
not to men; knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord,
whether he be bond or free. Eph. 6, 5ff ; Col. 3, 22.
For Masters and Mistresses.
Ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening, knowing that your Master also
is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with Him. Eph. 6, 9; Col. 4, 1.
For Young Persons in General.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another,
and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble
yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Pet. 5, 5.
She that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and
prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1 Tim. 5, 5. 6.
For All in Common.
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Herein are comprehended all the commandments. Rom. 13,
8ff And persevere in prayer for all men. 1 Tim. 2, 1. 2.
Let each his lesson learn with care,
And all the household well shall fare.
Christian Questions with Their Answers
Prepared by Dr. Martin Luther for those who intend to go to the Sacrament
[The "Christian Questions with Their Answers," designating Luther as the author, first appeared
in an edition of the Small Catechism in 1551, five years after Luther's death].
After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the
Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the pastor may ask, or Christians may ask themselves
1. Do you believe that you are a sinner?
Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner.
2. How do you know this?
From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.
3. Are you sorry for your sins?
Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.
4. What have you deserved from God because of your sins?
His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. See Romans 6:21,
5. Do you hope to be saved?
Yes, that is my hope.
6. In whom then do you trust?
In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.
7. Who is Christ?
The Son of God, true God and man.
8. How many Gods are there?
Only one, but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
9. What has Christ done for you that you trust in Him?
He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.
10. Did the Father also die for you?
He did not. The Father is God only, as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both
true God and true man. He died for me and shed his blood for me.
11. How do you know this?
From the holy Gospel, from the words instituting the Sacrament, and by His body
and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.
12. What are the Words of Institution?
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread and when
He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: "Take eat; this is My body,
which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me." In the same way also He took the cup after
supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: "Drink of it, all of you; this
cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do,
as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
13. Do you believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament?
Yes, I believe it.
14. What convinces you to believe this?
The word of Christ: Take, eat, this is My body; drink of it, all of you, this is
15. What should we do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and in this way receive His pledge?
We should remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He
taught us: This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.
16. Why should we remember and proclaim His death?
First, so that we may learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction
for our sins. Only Christ, true God and man, could do that. Second, so we may learn to be horrified
by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. Third, so we may find joy and comfort in Christ
alone, and through faith in Him be saved.
17. What motivated Christ to die and make full payment for your sins?
His great love for His Father and for me and other sinners, as it is written in
John 14; Romans 5; Galatians 2 and Ephesians 5.
18. Finally, why do you wish to go to the Sacrament?
That I may learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for my sin, and
also learn from Him to love God and my neighbor.
19. What should admonish and encourage a Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently?
First, both the command and the promise of Christ the Lord. Second, his own pressing
need, because of which the command, encouragement, and promise are given.
20. But what should you do if you are not aware of this need and have no hunger and thirst for
To such a person no better advice can be given than this: first, he should touch
his body to see if he still has flesh and blood. Then he should believe what the Scriptures say of
it in Galatians 5 and Romans 7. Second, he should look around to see whether he is still in the world,
and remember that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John 15-16 and
in 1 John 2 and 5. Third, he will certainly have the devil also around him, who with his lying and
murdering day and night will let him have no peace, within or without, as the Scriptures picture him
in John 8 and 16; 1 Peter 5; Ephesians 6; and 2 Timothy 2.
Note: These questions and answers are no child's play, but are drawn up with great earnestness
of purpose by the venerable and devout Dr. Luther for both young and old. Let each one pay attention
and consider it a serious matter; for St. Paul writes to the Galatians in chapter six: "Do not be
deceived: God cannot be mocked."