2 Peter 2:1–3
From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles
Lastly, it is nothing less than diabolical for the pope to insist on his falsehoods concerning masses, purgatory, the monastic life, human works and services (the essence of the papacy), which are over and against God, while condemning, murdering, and torturing all Christians who do not applaud and honor these abominations above all things. Therefore, just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord and God, are we able to endure his apostle, the pope or Antichrist, in his rule as head or lord. For deceit, murder, and the eternal destruction of body and soul are what his papal government really consists of, as I have very clearly shown in many books.
Pulling It Together: There is no teaching more false, no heresy more despicable, than for a representative of the Church to teach that salvation comes in any other manner than by God’s grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ. Distorting scriptural truth for one’s own pleasure and glory, or for the building of an institution or empire, is the fundamental nature of false gospels and religion. We have been warned to be on the watch for this sort of exploitation in the Church. But how does one spot this treachery? Look for blasphemy.
False teachers promote themselves instead of Jesus. They may use his words but they twist them to their own ends. If they promote any other way of salvation than faith in God’s grace alone, they deny the very one who redeemed them. Beware.
Prayer: Help me to pray, Lord, with my eyes wide open. Amen.
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God's Reluctant Leaders is a nine-session Bible Study that focuses on the stories of three biblical characters: Jonah, Gideon, and Moses. Sessions explore how God works to create faith within those whom He calls to serve His mission. The study is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. It would serve as an excellent resource for monthly women's group meetings, or in an informal small-group setting.