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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 52

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John 10:27

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Imagine that the pope would yield this claim: that he is not sovereign by divine right or by God’s command. Suppose instead, that we must have a head to whom all the rest adhere in order that the unity of Christendom may be preserved against sects and heretics, and that if such a head were elected, that it was within the power of those people to change or remove that head. This is what happened at the Council of Constance in reference to the popes, deposing three and electing a fourth. Suppose, I say, that the pope and see at Rome would yield and accept this hypothesis (which, nevertheless, is impossible; for he would have to suffer his entire realm and estate to be overthrown and destroyed, along with all his rights and claims — a thing which, to speak in few words, he cannot do).

Pulling It Together: Oh, that Christ were head of the Church. We have no need of another. Christ has given his churches pastors, who are bishops or overseers of those congregations. Let them plainly and truly teach the Word of God. And let us have Christ as overseer of all bishops and their congregations. This is the best and simplest attempt at unity and purity of doctrine, for it is all that Scripture instructs. Anything else is human invention.

Prayer: Permit me to follow you, Lord, and no other. Amen.

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