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1 Timothy 3:1
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Both Kinds in the Lord’s Supper
If they withhold the cup in order to distinguish orders, this very thing ought to keep us from any agreement with our opponents—though we might otherwise be inclined toward their custom. There are other distinguishing marks between the orders of priests and laity, but why they defend this distinction so earnestly is no mystery. We will not say more concerning their wily purposes, so as not to give the impression that we are detracting from the true worth of the order.
Pulling It Together: Whether one takes 1 Timothy 3:1 as referring to bishops, pastors, or elders, it is clear that the office of overseer is a noble one. Therefore, when someone in this office teaches bad doctrine, especially in order to promote self, it sullies the office—not merely the person in the office. The focus of the Lord’s Supper should not be the office of the minister, but of Christ alone. With him as our focus, we easily see that there are indeed offices or orders in Christ’s Church but that we “are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving your body and shedding your blood—even for me. Amen.
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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.