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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 61

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2 Thessalonians 3:14–15

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

It is certain that the common authority to excommunicate those guilty of clear offenses belongs to all pastors. The bishops have oppressively transferred this jurisdiction to themselves alone, and have used it for gain. For it is clear that the officials, as they are called, employed intolerable license and, either because of greed or because of other immoral desires, tormented men and excommunicated them without any due process of law. What tyranny it is for civil officials to have the power to arbitrarily condemn and excommunicate men without due process of law!

Pulling It Together

If anyone does not obey the apostolic word, it is the responsibility of pastors to offer a biblical corrective to that sister or brother —even if that correction goes so far as terminating church ties with those who are not faithful. This is often called an unloving thing to do, I think because it is so hard to do. So, pastors must live up to the apostolic bar, even denying Christian fellowship to those who are willfully disobedient. The hope is, that in doing so, that person will repent and be restored to Christian fellowship. If this is the apostolic injunction about laziness, we should be confident it applies to all other clear sins.

Prayer: Help me be faithful, Lord, to you and to your church. Amen.

This edition of the Luther's Small Catechism is specifically designed to go with the Sola Confirmation Series. The 2010 Sola/ReClaim Edition* is a faithful word-for-word translation from Luther's German Catechism. It also includes the section on the Office of the Keys, added later to Luther's Catechism.

This pocket edition features quotations from the English Standard Version (ESV) of Scripture, and the traditional ICET liturgical texts (as used in the Lutheran Book of Worship). The primary verses of Scripture, Creed, and Prayers are printed in italics; Luther’s explanations are printed in plain text. Luther’s explanations are formatted with a mid-sentence break, to highlight contrasting phrases and to aid in memorization.

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