The Small Catechism is divided in the the six chief parts of the Christian faith. They are: The Ten Commandments, The Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, Confession and Absolution, and the Sacrament of the Altar.
The words found in the Small Catechism answer practical questions for every Christian: What is God’s Law? The Ten Commandments. God’s Law smashes the self-righteousness of man and exposes his mistrust of God. At the same time, God’s Law exalts the righteousness of Christ who fulfilled the whole will and Law of God for us. The Law must condemn the sinner and convict him of his need for Christ. This is the preaching of repentance.
The Law is always taught with Christ in view. We are the sinners. He is the Savior. Apart from his grace we can have no salvation, and can do no good thing. The Christian is taught to use each of the Ten Commandments as a guide for self-examination in preparation for private and corporate confession and absolution.
Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. –Romans 13:10
Love is the summary of all the commandments. It is found in the Love God has for the world in that he gave his only Son who perfectly kept the Law of his Father to be our Savior.