Divine Service ~ September 18, 2016 ~ The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Conclusion to the Ten Commandments)
The Ten Commandments always accuse. That is their chief use. They also serve as a rough curb against gross outbreaks of sin. But they also function as the "true fountain" from which all good works must spring. We never have to try to invent or create works to do that are pleasing to God or go beyond what he has given us. In these Ten Commandments we have the guide we need to understand what truly pleases God. Some of Luther's most powerful remarks about the difference between God's Ten Commandments and man-made Church rules are found here. Luther thunders against the pomposity and false teaching that certain "Church works" are better in God's eyes than the simple, humble, lowly works of common life, such as a young girl taking care of a little child. In his Large Catechism, Luther provides a brief summary of the commandments and again shows how the First Commandment is the fountain for all the rest. God has given us a great treasure by giving us the Ten Commandments..