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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Marriage of Priests – part 28

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Matthew 15:10–20

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests – part 28

Again, a proper comparison between purity and lust means that purity means a purity of the heart, a putting lust to death. Therefore, the law does not prohibit marriage, but rather lust, adultery, fornication. So, celibacy is not purity. For there may be greater purity of heart in a married man, as in Abraham or Jacob, than in most of those who are actually celibate.

Pulling It Together: It is the heart that must be changed, not necessarily one’s vocation or position in life. One may think that he must become a pastor in order to be on heaven’s path. Yet the worker on an assembly line is enabled to meditate on God’s Word in the minutes between each screw he must fasten on the next item coming by him. Others imagine they must dress in a certain manner, cut their hair just so, not cut their hair at all, go on pilgrimages, eat or not eat certain foods, be celibate, or maintain any number of other religious practices in order to be pure before God. But it is not the clothing that must change, or the hair, or the place, or the food, or the drink, or the marital state—or anything else than the heart—that must change.

Prayer: Make me pure, Lord, and I shall be pure. Amen.

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