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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law – part 49

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Ephesians 4:1–3

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

The books of all the wise are full of these principles of fairness, namely, that in everyday life we should all make many allowances for the sake of mutual order. Paul frequently teaches this here and elsewhere. Therefore, the adversaries’ argument that the term "perfection" means that love justifies does not make sense, since Paul is speaking of unity and peace. Ambrose interprets this passage: “Just as a building is said to be perfect or entire when all its parts are fitly joined together with one another.”

Pulling It Together: God is able to do far more with the Church than we could possibly imagine (Eph 3:20). Knowing therefore, not only what God is capable of doing but is actually accomplishing in spite of us, we are to act in a manner that corresponds to the Church that God both intends to be and is creating. We are called to be humble, gentle, patient, and charitable toward one another despite our failings. Christians should be eager to act like Christ so that there is unity and peace in the Church, without imagining that we have done some great work that justifies us to God.

Prayer: Help me to truly love, Lord, as you love your Church. Amen.

Disciples of the Cross is a two-part Bible study addressing the topic of Christian discipleship from a uniquely Lutheran perspective. Part 1: Who We Are is an introduction to the theology of discipleship, laying the biblical groundwork for what it means to be called to live the life of faith as a follower of Jesus. 

The study may be used in conjunction with various discipleship programs and studies to highlight themes from the Lutheran tradition that are not often addressed in many discipleship materials. These include: a Theology of the Cross, the centrality of the Word and Sacrament, an understanding of the Means of Grace, and a recognition of the Christian as both "Saint and Sinner."

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