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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Marriage of Priests part 26

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1 Timothy 1:14

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

Likewise, “Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty” (1 Tim 2:15). If our opponents could produce such a passage about celibacy, then they could celebrate a great triumph. Paul says that woman is saved through childbearing. What could be a more fitting statement against the hypocrisy of celibacy than the honor that woman is saved by the conjugal works themselves—by marital intercourse, by bearing children, and other duties of the home? But what does Paul mean? Let the reader observe that faith is added—that domestic duties without faith are not praised. “If she continues,” he says, “in faith.” He speaks of the whole class of mothers, so he particularly requires faith by which woman receives the forgiveness of sins and justification. Then he adds a particular work of the calling, just as a good work of a particular calling ought to follow faith in every person. This work pleases God because of faith. So, we see that the duties of the woman please God on account of faith, and a believing woman is saved who devoutly serves her calling in such duties.

Pulling It Together

If ever there were a single word that summed up the Lutheran Confessions, it is the word faith. Everything depends upon faith in God, and that depends upon God’s grace. So, even in being a mother or any other vocation, faith must be both the catalyst and the fuel. If women expect to be saved through motherhood alone, they will be disappointed. If someone expects justification with God because of being a pastor, they will be shocked when judgment comes. If someone expects to be saved because of any great work, well, this is not the word of the Scripture. Faith must be added. We are saved because we have faith in Christ; this faith then compels us to fulfill our vocations, our callings—whether parent or pastor or doctor or any other calling that is made holy through faith in God. That is why Paul says, “continues.” The faith was present first, then came the work, but faith must endure since we trust in Christ, not our callings or our works. 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your overflowing grace toward me that gives me faith in Christ alone. Amen.

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