This short and widely used catechism is evidence that Missouri Synod Lutherans not long ago clearly taught and believed in justification by faith.
- Who receives this forgiveness? Although it has been procured for all men, and is offered by the Gospel to all that hear it, yet only those who believe the Gospel and thus accept the forgiveness of sins actually become partakers of such forgiveness.
- What, then, do we, together with our Church, confess regarding the forgiveness of sins, or justification? That we receive forgiveness of sins and are justified before God, not by our works, but by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith.
- Why must we ever firmly maintain this Article especially? Because it is the chief article of Christian doctrine, by which the Christian Church distinguishes itself from all false religions, and which gives all the glory to God alone, and affords enduring comfort to poor sinners.
“Heinrich Christian Schwan was the Missouri Synod president for 20 years (1878-1899), but that lengthy service and his pastoral and missionary activities have been effaced from the LCMS histories. Schwan’s presidency was sandwiched between the presidencies of CFW Walther and Walther’s hand-picked successor in teaching, Franz Pieper. Walther and Pieper were advocates of Objective Justification.”
“Schwan was educated in Germany and served as a missionary in Brazil from 1843 to 1850. His first parish call was to Black Jack, Missouri (North St. Louis), when he joined the Missouri Synod. He spent the next 50 years serving as pastor and assistant pastor - in that order - of Zion, Cleveland, Ohio. That is where he introduced the Christmas tree to America. He was also the district president and the LCMS president during his pastoral work in Cleveland. He was commissioned to write a catechism for the synod, which was published in 1896 and became known as the Schwan Catechism.” — Pastor Greg Jackson
Level of Difficulty: Primer: No subject matter knowledge needed.