Three Things to Know in Order to be Saved
From Martin Luther’s Foreward to a Personal Prayer Book. These are things to know, not things to DO to be saved. — are we teaching these three to our children?
“Three things a person must know in order to be saved. First, he must know what to do and what to leave undone. Second, when he realizes that he cannot measure up to what he should do or leave undone, he needs to know where to go to find the strength he requires. Third, he must know how to seek and obtain that strength. It is just like a sick person who first has to determine the nature of his sickness, then find out what to do or to leave undone. After that he has to know where to get the medicine which will help him do or leave undone what is right for a healthy person. Then he has to desire to search for this medicine and to obtain it or have it brought to him.
Thus the commandments teach man to recognize his sickness, enabling him to perceive what he must do or refrain from doing, consent to or refuse, and so he will recognize himself to be a sinful and wicked person. The Creed will teach and show him where to find the medicine—grace—which will help him to become devout and keep the commandments. The Creed points him to God and his mercy, given and made plain to him in Christ. Finally, the Lord’s Prayer teaches all this, namely, through the fulfilment of God’s commandments everything will be given him. In these three are the essentials of the entire Bible.”
Luther, M. (1999). Vol. 43: Luther’s works, vol. 43 : Devotional Writings II (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (11–45). Philadelphia: Fortress Press; pp. 13-14.