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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 62

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Ephesians 1:11–12

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles – part 62

We will not stand at this council before an emperor or a secular magistrate, as at Augsburg, where the emperor published a courteous summons, and caused matters to be considerately heard. Now we will stand before the pope and the devil himself, who intends to hear nothing, but merely condemn, murder, and force us into idolatry. Therefore, here we should not kiss his feet, or say, “You are my gracious lord,” but speak as the angel in Zechariah spoke to Satan: “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan!” (Zech 3:2).

Pulling It Together: Luther knew well where these charges came from, praying the Lord’s censure of Satan. This simply means Luther recognized that, though the devil was behind it, the Lord was in control. This is a sound reason for us to have hope and trust in the midst of our fears and anxieties. There are many things in life that would reduce us to trembling and ineffective faithlessness. But God is in control, using even things we wished had never occurred to his own purposes. We usually do not understand how—and we surely wish we did not have to experience it—but we may, nevertheless, go through any ordeal, trusting God with our futures.

Prayer: See me through this day, O Lord, with trust in you and therefore, peace. Amen.

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