From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Church
Just as the Church has the promise that it will always have the Holy Spirit, it also has the warning that there will be ungodly teachers and wolves. However, a proper understanding of the Church is those who have the Holy Spirit. Though wolves and ungodly teachers may be widespread in the Church, they are not, properly speaking, the kingdom of Christ. Nicholas of Lyra testified to this, saying, “The Church does not consist of men with respect to power, or ecclesiastical or secular dignity, because many princes and archbishops and others of lower rank have been found to have apostatized from the faith. Therefore, the Church consists of those persons in whom there is a true knowledge and confession of faith and truth.” What have we said in our Confession that is different from what Lyra says here?
Pulling It Together
The world is not the only habitation of wolves. There are plenty of faithless clerics too. So beware! We should not expect everyone in a collar or alb to represent the kingdom of God. Every preacher in a pulpit does not necessarily proclaim the Word of God. Indeed, not every congregation is of the kingdom of Christ. So be wise in the Scripture, that you may discern who it is that confesses the truth. The Church is a people of truth—who trust in the revelation of Holy Scripture, and who confess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Help me testify the truth, Lord, by bearing witness to you. Amen.
St. John's Churches: A Parable of Faithful Discipleship is a twelve session story invites disciples to explore and discern God's will for mission and ministry. Written in parable form, this funny, engaging story follows the ministry of Pastor Jeff Mutton as he dreams the big dream of a creative, vital ministry to the community in which St. John's serves. Each session can be used as opening devotions for church council meetings, discipleship training sessions, or a visioning team. The humorous story encourages listeners to dream the big dream of God's plan for mission in their context.