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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 20

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1 Corinthians 1:21b–24

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

As to the declaration, “Upon this rock I will build my church,” the church has certainly not been built upon the authority of man, but upon the ministry of the confession that Peter made, in which he proclaims that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of God.” Accordingly, Christ addresses Peter as a minister: “Upon this rock,” that is, on this ministry.

Pulling It Together: Peter is addressed as a minister of the office in which this confession functions. The rock that the church is built upon is the preaching of Christ and other ministries that confess Jesus as the Son of God. This is not to elevate the office of the ministry in and of itself. The point of the office is that it lifts up Christ. The Holy Spirit uses the good confession of all Christians to build Christ’s church. We see this in evidence in worship when the whole assembly confesses that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of God” (Matt 16:16). This is the principal ministry of the priesthood of all believers (1 Pet 2:5).

Prayer: Help me to confess your name, Christ Jesus, in church and neighborhood. Amen.

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