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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Monastic Vows
But look, most clement Emperor Charles; look, princes; look, all people, at the great impudence of our opponents! Though we cited Paul’s supporting statement, they have written: “Those things that are here alleged against monasticism are wicked.” But what is more certain than that people receive the forgiveness of sins by faith for Christ’s sake? Yet, these scoundrels dare to call this a wicked opinion! Had you been advised of this passage, we do not doubt you would have made sure that such blasphemy was removed from the Confutation.
Pulling It Together: Before the advent of radio, television, and internet, news traveled slowly. In some circles, it travels more slowly today. A pharisee named Saul of Tarsus heard good news because a power greater than mass communications met him on the road to Damascus. It took a while for the churches to hear that Saul had become the Apostle Paul, a great preacher of faith in Jesus Christ. They thought he was still a law-focused hunter of Christians. Works-oriented folks seem to get the news about faith in Christ via slow transmission lines. Many of them want to destroy preachers of the faith like Paul. They may get rid of some preachers, but they can never eliminate the faith in Christ that they preach. They may as well seek to rid the world of God himself. For there is indeed, nothing more certain than this: that God wills to forgive the sins of all people through faith in Christ.
Prayer: Turn the hearts of willful people, Lord, to faith in you. 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.