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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 2

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Luke 22:24–27

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Now, in order that our case may be understood, we will first define what they mean by saying the pope is above all bishops by divine right. They mean that he is universal, or as they say, an ecumenical bishop. In other words, all bishops and pastors throughout the world should seek ordination and confirmation from him, who they say has the right of electing, ordaining, confirming, and deposing all bishops. Besides this, he claims the authority to make laws concerning acts of worship, changing the Sacraments, and doctrine. He wants his articles, decrees, and laws considered equal to divine laws, so binding consciences that those who neglect his laws, even without public offense, sin mortally. Still more horrible, he asserts that it is necessary to believe all these things in order to be saved.

Pulling It Together: It is bad enough that one Christian would claim to rule over others, since there are teachings of Jesus that say otherwise (Matt 20:16; 23:11; Luke 9:46–48; 22:24–27), let alone the example of his own servant leadership. What is worse is that such a person would claim such divine privilege that anyone who would dare to disagree with his declarations and demands, though they go against Scripture, is damned. May we be bound to no person. Let us instead, be bound to the Word of God.

Prayer: Make me of service to your Church, Lord. Amen.

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