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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Monastic Vows – part 29

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John 12:25–26

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Monastic Vows 

There are two kinds of “forsaking.” One occurs without a call, without God’s command. Christ does not approve, as the works chosen by us are useless services (Matt 15:9). The fact that Christ speaks of forsaking wife and children makes it even clearer that he disapproves of such flight. We know, moreover, that God’s commandment forbids forsaking wife and children.

The second kind of “forsaking” occurs by God’s command, when power or tyranny compels us either to leave or deny the Gospel. Here we have the command that we should bear injury instead, that we should rather suffer, not only wealth, wife, and children, but even life, to be taken from us. Christ approves of this kind of “forsaking.” Accordingly, he adds, “for the Gospel’s sake” (Mark 10:29 ASV, NASB), showing that he is not speaking about those who do injury to wife and children, but of those who endure injury because of the confession of the Gospel.

Pulling It Together: We must not forsake the gospel, even if it means loss of property, family, or even life. What is it that keeps you from following Jesus? That is what you leave behind if you do follow him. And follow you must, even if it means loss of income, or that family thinks you have left them, or that you suffer injury. Forsaking in order to follow Jesus can be simple things like choosing worship on the Lord’s Day instead of going to a child’s sporting event. Choosing worship over that game may seem to your child as though you do not love them. What does it mean to the Lord of your life?

Prayer: Help me to seek your kingdom first, Lord, and follow you for the sake of the gospel. Amen.


The Sola "Word of Life" Series is a resource for those looking to develop small groups built around the Word of God. This model of small-group ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism since it is rooted in prayer and Scripture. Its primary focus is to empower those who believe in Jesus Christ to be comfortable sharing their faith and inviting others to experience a transformed life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Meant for use in Small Group gathering, each of the six sessions in each book is based on a primary Scripture text, with intentional time for reflection. There are questions, prayer, faith sharing, and mini-evangelism case-studies. The series would be helpful for those involved in starting a Bible study fellowship, house church, or mission congregation. They may also be used by established congregations to aid in establishing a small group ministry.

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