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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Ecclesiastical Power – part 5

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1 Corinthians 8:8

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Ecclesiastical Power 

We must retain this doctrine in the Church: that we receive the forgiveness of sins freely through faith for Christ’s sake. We must also retain this teaching: that human traditions are useless acts of worship, and therefore neither sin nor righteousness depends upon food, drink, clothing, and similar things. Christ leaves us free to use such things when he says that it is “not what goes into the mouth [that] defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man” (Matt 15:11). Paul says, “For the kingdom of God is not food and drink” (Rom 14:17).

Pulling It Together: What should shine forth from the Church above all other things? Buildings? Traditions? Fund raisers? The pastor? Denominational programs? The youth group? Style of worship? Number of people? Or even peculiar doctrines that set one church apart from another? No, and forever no! The clearest thing, that teaching and clarion cry of every Christian congregation, should be the Gospel. The Gospel, that we are forgiven and saved for eternal life with God through faith in Jesus Christ, is what truly sets us apart as Christian people.

Prayer: Help your Church focus, Lord, upon the good news of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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