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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 54

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Luke 9:1–2

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

Since divine authority does not differentiate ranks of bishop and pastor, it is clear that ordination administered by a pastor in his own church is valid by divine law. Therefore, when the regular bishops become enemies of the Church, or are unwilling to administer ordination, the churches retain their own right of ordination.

Pulling It Together

It is Christ Jesus who sends out his ministers. While this is certainly ratified in the church and through the laying on of hands, let us be careful that we do not presume too much for ourselves. Ministers of the gospel are not authorized by human agency. Rather, they are empowered by God so that his mission of preaching Christ’s kingdom may continually advance. When elected bishops persecute the gospel and hamper the church’s primary function of preaching and teaching that gospel, churches have the authority to ordain their own ministers. God’s work through the vocation of preachers must not and will not be impeded.

Prayer: Give us pastors, Lord, who preach under your authority. Amen.

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