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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 4

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Galatians 2:4–5

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

What can I say? Why should I complain? I am still living, writing, preaching, and lecturing daily. Yet there are such spiteful people—not only among our opponents, but also false fellows who profess to be on our side—who dare to cite my writings and doctrine directly against me. Although they know very well that I teach otherwise, they let me look on and listen. They adorn their venom with my labor, misleading the poor people in my name. Imagine what will happen when I am dead!

Pulling It Together

Luther taught that we are only able to know God as God makes himself known to us: through his Word and through the Sacraments. There was no room for special revelation, or for earning our way to God through good deeds or forms of worship that were outside of God’s revelation. Yet, there were some among the Protestants who professed such things. Luther called them schwärmerei, relating them to swarms of annoying and harmful insects. These fanatics claimed God had given them personal knowledge or experience. But for Luther, the Word alone was the way to objectively know God’s truth.

Prayer: Keep me, O Lord, always in the truth of the gospel. Amen.

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