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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Marriage of Priests
These readings teach that marriage is a lawful thing. If purity indicates the permission and approval of God, marriages are pure because they have been approved by the Word of God. Paul says of lawful things, “To the pure all things are pure” (Titus 1:15), that is, to those who believe in Christ and are righteous by faith. So, as virginity is impure in the godless, so marriage is pure in the godly on account of the Word of God and faith.
Pulling It Together
Nothing is pure, if it is done outside of faith and God’s Word. An unbeliever may practice the most ascetic spiritual disciplines. He may fast, study, meditate, remain celibate, and feed the poor, but none of this is pure if it is exercised without faith. But for the believer, the one who has faith in Christ, “all things are pure.” For it is God who makes things pure; the works themselves do not purify. Celibacy without faith in God is actually a defilement of the person. If even a believer imagines his efforts at purity, his supposed good works, purify him, then he is both deluded and impure. However, if a priest or anyone else marries, having faith in God’s Word, that he makes this estate pure, then it is not only pure but must also be permitted.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for purifying even the most basic things of life. Amen.
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The ReClaim Hymnal for Church and Home contains three Communion Settings along with liturgies for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Funerals, and other occasional services. It also includes the Small Catechism, as well as 275 beloved hymns from various hymn traditions. It is a resource that would be suitable for confirmation and graduation gifts as well as congregational use.