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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Political Order – part 1

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2 Chronicles 19:6–7

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Political Order 

Our opponents received the Sixteenth Article without challenge. We confessed therein that it is lawful for a Christian to hold public office, be a judge, resolve matters by the imperial laws, and other laws in present force, impose just punishments, engage in just wars, be a soldier, make legal contracts, hold property, take an oath when magistrates require it, and contract marriage. Legitimate public ordinances are good creations of God and divine ordinances in which a Christian may safely participate.

Pulling It Together: God is the final authority; all authority comes from him. Every governing power exists because of God (Rom 13:1). This is why Christians may serve in public office or be otherwise employed by governments. These necessary vocations are callings in which people are to act for the Lord. Faithful people may serve well in these various public positions, knowing that they serve the Lord by doing so.

This does not mean that every government is just, nor is any one government perfect. If Christians serve the public, let those servants know that they function within a human organization. All political orders will be wanting in one degree or another. So, let that man and woman understand that they do not merely serve the public; ultimately, they serve the Lord in their offices and duties. May they do so with reverence and fear of the Lord.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, move our leaders to serve in the fear of God. Amen.

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