From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Church
Some in the East who were called Audians, after the author of the doctrine, contended that because of this apostolic decree, the Passover should be observed with the Jews. In refuting them, Epiphanius praises the decree, saying that it contains nothing which deviates from the faith or rule of the Church. He faults the Audians because they misinterpret the expression. He interprets it in the sense in which we do, because the apostles did not consider what time the Passover should be observed to be of any importance. Yet for the sake of harmony they wished the rest to follow the example of some prominent brethren had been converted from the Jews and observed their custom. The apostles wisely admonished the reader neither to remove the liberty of the gospel nor to impose necessity upon consciences, by adding that they should not be troubled even though there should be an error in calculation.
Pulling It Together
The truth of the gospel is that righteousness and salvation come through faith in Christ. This is the word that sets us free (John 8:32). When we begin to be enamored with customs, rituals, dates, and other external and human practices, we are in danger. We will have begun our travels back across the wilderness to Egypt. When we add to faith, such as many modern-day Audians insist, that certain practices must also be kept, then our bondage is complete. Furthermore, we would be enslaving others with our insistence. Let us not yield to such teachings for even a moment, so that the truth and freedom of the gospel may be preserved for ourselves and for others.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to hear you among the competing voices. Amen.
Combining the message of salvation in Christ with personal witness, The Gospel in Miniature is a Lutheran guide for evangelism.