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1 Peter 3:13–16
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Monastic Vows
We have said many things in our Confession about such vows—that even the papal canons condemn. Nevertheless, our opponents demand the rejection of all things that we have produced. They used those very words. It is worthwhile to hear how they pervert our explanations, and what they assert to strengthen their own cause. Therefore, we will briefly run through a few of our arguments, and in passing, explain away our adversaries’ sophistries concerning them. Since, Luther carefully and fully dealt with this whole issue in his book titled Monastic Vows, we wish to be understood here as reiterating that book.
Pulling It Together: What a trial the Lutheran Reformers faced; we can hardly imagine such an issue in our modern culture. Back and forth the arguments went, first being written out, edited by peers, then written again and again until all could be in agreement with the document before sending it to Rome. Melancthon’s stomach must have been a continual abode of butterflies, having to constantly defend his and the Lutheran’s theological positions.
Yet, this is one way we honor Christ as Lord: we defend the gospel. Putting Christ first by not fearing the rebuke and rejection of others, we must be ready to defend the hope that God has put within us. We do so, not in a pushy way, but in response to their requests; and we do so with civility. Conscience is at risk otherwise. It would be self-defeating to defend the hope within you but not be able to defend your behavior.
Prayer: Prepare me, Lord, to share the hope of Jesus Christ with others. Amen.
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Not My Will, But Yours is a six-week study that explores the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.