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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 26

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Romans 1:16–17

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

So the pope not only usurped dominion, against Christ’s command, but also tyrannically exalted himself above all kings. In this matter, the deed itself is not to be criticized as much as it is to be detested, that he assigns the authority of Christ as his excuse. He transfers the keys to a worldly government, and binds salvation to these godless and appalling opinions, when he says it is necessary for salvation that people believe that this dominion belongs to him by divine right.

Pulling It Together

The saving power of the gospel begins with faith and ends with faith. There are no hoops in between. Complicated or even impossible (Acts 15:10) efforts, exercises, and rule following have no power to save. Indeed, they are generally distractions from the object of faith. These religious matters too often cause us to look at ourselves. Look at what a fine person I am! Or, I’m not good enough for God. But faith has us look to Christ. In Christ alone is the power of God at work for salvation. How does this happen in a human life? Faith alone. Salvation is available to everyone who believes the gospel—not to everyone who jumps through the correct religious hoops. That is why Paul says, “from faith to faith,” as salvation is a matter of faith in Christ, from start to finish.

Prayer: Help me believe in your righteousness credited to me through faith in Christ. Amen.

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Some of the best-known instances of Jesus' teaching come in what we know as his parables. Through these teaching-stories, Jesus describes the experience of faith in the kingdom of God. The Wise & The Foolish is a Bible study that focuses entirely on Jesus' "people parables"—or what might better be described as Discipleship Parables. These are the character stories that focus on the nature of discipleship and what it means to be a wise and faithful follower of Jesus.

This nine-session Bible study is intended for use by women's and men's groups, or for other small group fellowships gathering around the Word of God.

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