Luther’s Small Catechism

by Dr. Martin Luther

Explanation of Table of Duties

Explanation of Table of Duties

Table of Duties

The catechism concludes with the Table of Duties---a listing of Bible passages addressing the very down-to-earth and yet high and holy callings of Christians in their daily lives. It is modeled after the listing of household responsibilities in Colossians 3:8--4:1 and Ephesians 5:22--6:9. It is Luther's way of applying the catechism to daily life. The list of Bible passages can be arranged under three general headings: (1) life in the congregation; (2) life in the civic community; and (3) life in the household. Luther says these passages of Scripture are "for various holy orders and positions, admonishing them about their duties and responsibilities." 

In the Medieval Church, "holy orders" referred exclusively to religious orders (priests, monks, and nuns). Because God has established church, government, and household and declared them good, they are the true "holy orders" blessed by God's Word. They...

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