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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Ecclesiastical Power – part 3

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Hebrews 4:12–13

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Ecclesiastical Power 

The people urgently desire teaching on the most important and difficult controversies so that they may have something certain to follow. Rather than freeing minds tortured with doubt, they call to arms. In obvious matters they present decrees written in blood, threatening people with horrible punishments unless they act with clear defiance to God’s command. Here, on the other hand, you should see the tears of the poor, and hear the pitiable complaints of so many good people. God undoubtedly considers and regards them all, and one day it will be to him you will submit an account of your stewardship.

Pulling It Together: The Reformation slogan, sola Scriptura, should be kept close in our thoughts. Much doubt and anxiety may be avoided, if God’s Word is our rule of faith and practice. Do our faith or practices depend upon tradition alone, while being in opposition to Scripture? Then we ought to answer, “Sola Scriptura!” This, not only clears up matters of practice, it being God’s Word, will bring peace to troubled consciences. If people are anxious because they cannot keep certain traditions that are taught to be essential to salvation, sola Scriptura! The Word alone! Let the Scriptures teach us, and human traditions will be found out.

Prayer: God, keep me steadfast in your Word. Amen.

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