Luther’s Small Catechism

by Dr. Martin Luther

Means of Grace

Means of Grace

Means of Grace

292. Why does the catechism include Baptism, Confession and the Office of the Keys, and the Sacrament of the Altar?

As we confessed in the Third Article, the Holy Spirit "calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church" through the Gospel---that is, the forgiveness of sins in Christ---which is offered through these means.

A. The Gospel is given to us in God's written or spoken Word, especially in the Absolution.

B. The Gospel Word is also joined to earthly elements in sacred acts that Christ has given---namely, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

The Office of the Keys is the authority Christ gives to His Church to deliver forgiveness in these ways (see the further explanation below). 

Note: Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Holy Absolution, along with God's Word as it is written, preached, and shared, are sometimes called "the Means of Grace," because...

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