1. Do you believe that you are a sinner? Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner. 2. How do you know this? From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept. (Catechism: Christian Questions 1-2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Catechism has a section called "Christian Questions with Their Answers." This section is a review of what we learn in the other parts of the catechism and is laid out in a way that prepares us to receive the Lord's Supper. These questions don't pull any punches. They dive right in: Are you a sinner? Yep. How do you know? The Ten Commandments.
Great answer! Why? Because we don't necessarily FEEL like sinners. Sure, maybe we made some mistakes or aren't perfect, but sinner? Damnable sinner? No way. Maybe I've done some bad things, but not as bad as some people. And I don't feel as bad as they should. So thankfully the Christian Questions don't even mess with our feelings. They go straight to God's Word: the Ten Commandments.
Do you love God above all things? Do you love His Name or use it like a curse word? Do you joyfully hear His Word or would you rather sleep in on Sunday? Do you honor your parents or disrespect them? Do you hate, or harbor grudges? Lust? Commit adultery? Look at porn? Do you take what doesn't belong to you? Do you say the things that cover others' sins or expose them? Do you lie and gossip? Are your thoughts filled with coveting and wanting what God hasn't given you? You know the answers. The Ten Commandments are right. You are a sinner.
And that is why you have a Savior. A Savior who gave His life for you. A Savior who rose for you. A Savior who washed you and clothed you with His righteousness. A Jesus who gives you His own Body and Blood and promises to raise you on the Last Day. That's the final word. The Ten Commandments do indeed teach that you are a sinner. Everyone is. And so the Word also delivers the Gospel, the Good News: You are saved from your sins. Thanks be to God for those Commandments which show us our sin, so that we may rejoice in our true Savior! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
To Jesus we for refuge flee, Who from the curse has set us free, And humbly worship at His throne, Saved by His grace through faith alone. (The Law of God is Good and Wise, LSB 579:6)