A Congregation at Prayer ~ The Second and Third Petitions of the Lord's Prayer
CATECHESIS NOTES FOR THE WEEK -- The Fruit of Repentance --The fruit of repentance is sometimes called “the fruit of the Spirit.” Paul identifies the fruit of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22). Such fruit is produced by the Spirit of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is received and believed. Such fruit is manifest in concrete ways in the vocations to which we are called. When we experience the absence of such fruit in our lives, this becomes the occasion to humbly confess our sin and receive our Lord’s absolution. We always need the absolution. There is never a time in which we won’t need the absolution, because the absolution is the word of forgiveness by which the Holy Spirit works in our lives. The strength to confess, the strength to live, the repentant life, and the fruits of the Spirit are all produced in us by the ministry of Christ’s forgiveness. “Faith …is a divine work in us that changes us and makes us to be born anew of God … It kills the old Adam and makes us altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers; it brings with it the Holy Spirit. O, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. It does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done them, and is constantly doing them” (Martin Luther). Faith produces such powerful gifts in us by the Spirit and absolution of Christ.
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Luther's Small Catechism
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