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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 16

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1 Corinthians 11:2–3

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

XI. Finally, how can the pope be over the entire Church by divine right if the Church elects him, and the custom gradually prevailed that bishops of Rome were confirmed by the emperors? Also, for a long time there had been disagreements concerning the primacy between the bishops of Rome and Constantinople. Emperor Phocas finally decided that the primacy should be assigned to the bishop of Rome. If the ancient Church had acknowledged the primacy of the Roman pontiff, this conflict would not have occurred, nor would there have been the need of an emperor’s decree.

Pulling It Together: The traditions about authority that have been handed down to us by the apostles are clear and simple. They teach us that as the Son obeyed the Father’s will, every man is to obey Christ’s will, and every wife be inclined to her husband. Nowhere in the biblical and apostolic traditions is there to be a bishop who rules over other bishops. This is a human construct.

Prayer: Help me, Holy Spirit, submit to the will of Christ my Lord. Amen.

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