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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Marriage of Priests – part 45

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John 8:44

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

Popes dispense laws every day while changing other laws that are most excellent. Yet they are as resolute and relentless about this one law of celibacy, though it is obviously a simple human right. They are now making this law more severe in many ways. The canon commands that they suspend priests. These unfriendly interpreters of canon law suspend them not only from office, but from trees. They cruelly kill many men simply because they are married. These murders show this law to be a doctrine of demons. For since the devil is a murderer, he utilizes these murders to defend his law.

Pulling It Together: The devil’s lies brought sin and death into the world. Knowledge of this should provide godly people with ample courage to stand for the truth. Part of that truth is that God uses both self-discipline and marriage as means of faithfulness. Neither should be law, but each being offered to those most suited to them, either self-control or marriage. Enforced celibacy will only continue to lead undisciplined people astray. So what are the churches to do about this problem? They ought to stand for the truth. A law of celibacy is not God’s answer but marriage is his solution. And what are individual Christians to do? They too should stand for the truth in God’s Word, as they joyfully serve him in whatever vocation God has given.

Prayer: I delight in your perfect law, O Lord; help me to serve you through it in my inmost being. Amen.

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God's Reluctant Leaders is a nine-session Bible Study focuses on the stories of three biblical characters: Jonah, Gideon, and Moses. Sessions explore how God works to create faith within those whom He calls to serve His mission. The study is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. It would serve as an excellent resource for monthly women's group meetings, or in an informal small-group setting.

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