Those fussy spirits are to be rebuked who, after they have heard a sermon or two, find hearing more sermons to be tedious and dull. They think that they know all well enough and need no more instruction. For that is exactly the sin that was previously counted among mortal sins and is called apathy. This is a malignant, dangerous plague with which the devil deceives the hearts of many so that he may surprise us and secretly take God's Word from us.
Even though you know God's Word perfectly: you are daily in the devil's kingdom. He ceases neither day nor night to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against the commandments. You must always have God's Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle and the Word does not make a sound, the devil breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware. On the other hand, the Word is so effective that whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, it is bound never to be without fruit. It always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts. For these words are not dead, but are creative, living words [Hebrews 4:12]. This truth ought to urge everyone to the Word, because thereby the devil is driven away. Besides, this commandment is fulfilled and this exercise in the Word is more pleasing to God than any work of, however brilliant. (paragraphs 99-102)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.