The Small Catechism
by Dr. Martin Luther
As the head of the family should teach them in a simple way to his household.
The Table of Duties consists of certain passages of Scripture for various holy orders and stations, whereby these are to be admonished especially regarding their office and service.
For Bishops, Pastors and Preachers
A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence… not a novice… holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convict those who contradict. 1 Timothy 3:2-4 and 6; Titus 1:9.
What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors
Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do it with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17.
Eat and drink such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Luke 10:7.
The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:14.
Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:6-7.
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:17-18.
Concerning Civil Government
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore
whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you then want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who does evil. Romans 13:1-4.
What Citzens Owe to Their Magistrates
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. Matthew 22:21.
Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’s sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. Romans 13:5-7.
I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. 1 Timothy 2:1-3.
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work. Titus 3:1.
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 1 Peter 2:13-14.
Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Colossians 3:19.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord . . . as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are as long as you do good and are not afraid with any terror. Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:6.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3.
For Male and Female Servants, Hired Men, and Laborers
Servants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8.
For Masters and Mistresses
Masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9.
For Young Persons in General
You younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:5-6.
She who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 1 Timothy 5:5-6.
For All Christians in Common
You shall love your neighbor as yourself…. I exhort …. that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. Romans 13:9; 1 Timothy 2:1.