Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's Sola Devotion. 

2 Peter 2:1–3

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

Their defense of celibacy is not a serious one. For they are not ignorant of how few there are who actually practice chastity, but they use religion to implement their authority, which they think that celibacy assists. Now we understand just how right Peter’s admonition was, that there will be false teachers who will deceive people with heresies (2 Pet 2:1). Our opponents do not say, write, or do anything honestly, frankly, or candidly in this whole concern. They merely dispute about their authority, falsely thinking it is in jeopardy. So, they try to fortify it with a wicked pretense of piety.

Pulling It Together

Some people just have to be right—even at the expense of being very wrong. Cultures—whether religious or political—never seem to change in this regard. And it seems that they always end up defending their positions with personal attacks. This, of course, sidetracks the actual discussion. When it gets personal—as it was in the days of the Reformers, and as it is today—discussions never get to the heart of the issue. Nothing gets resolved. That way, the mudslingers can go on insisting that they are right. This also, usually keeps them in power. That is the point, is it not? 

Prayer: Give me wisdom and patience, Lord. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Holy Families! is an initiative of the North American Lutheran Church provided through a generous grant from the Thrivent Foundation, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation (1517 AD to 2017 AD). Produced by Sola Publishing, this special initiative includes a number of Lutheran discipleship resources for families and congregations, including Daily Family Prayer Resources, Parent Pages, Faith Formation downloadable pages for children/families, Educational Videos, Parents' Video/Discussion Series on Faith Formation, Reformation Bible Study: In the Luther Household

Holy Families! is also on the free Sola App for Android and Apple

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's Sola Devotion. 

Ephesians 5:31–32

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

They ask you to defend their lusts with your chaste right hand, Emperor Charles—whom even some ancient predictions call the king of modest face, as the saying appears concerning you: “One modest in face shall reign everywhere.” Contrary to divine law, the law of nations, and the canons of councils, they ask that you sunder marriages. They ask this in order to inflict terrible punishments upon innocent men, execute priests—whom even barbarians reverently spare—and drive into exile banished women and fatherless children, just because they are married.

Pulling It Together

It is an irony. One would think that priests would be the ones to marry. After all, Paul tells us that marriage is a symbol of the relationship that Christ has with his Church. The Revelator also tells us of the marriage of Christ and his Church (Rev 19:7, 8; 21:2, 9; 22:17). In fact, this metaphor is found in many places in both the Old and New Testaments. If marriage is such a powerful image of the relationship between God and his people, one would think that his priests would be the very ones to marry, so that they could demonstrate what this holy state looks like. It is ironic, therefore, that priests would live the opposite of what God knows to be such a compelling lifestyle. Furthermore, why would they chastise and even condemn those who follow the Lord’s own example?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your perfect devotion to me. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Dwell In My Love! – Word of Life Series (Unit 3) 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 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. It can also be used by established congregations to aid in establishing a small group ministry.

• Unit 1   • Unit 2   • Unit 3

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's Sola Devotion. 

1 Corinthians 7:7–9

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

What greater shamelessness has ever been read about in all of history than that of our opponents? We will review their arguments soon. First, let the wise reader consider the brazenness of these good-for-nothings who say that marriages bring dishonor and disgrace to the government—as though the public infamy of the criminal and unnatural lusts which glow among these “holy fathers,” who feign that they are Curii and live like Bacchanals, were a great ornament to the Church. Most of the things that these men do with the greatest license cannot even be mentioned without a breach of modesty.

Pulling It Together

One cannot put on an alb and cincture, yet live like an unbound infidel, and think that putting on an extra robe will cover the hypocrisy. More laws and traditions are not needed. It is the Word of God that is necessary; it addresses the problem. The question here is not the virtue of government, or the control of priests and pastors. The real issue is the piety of God’s people. Restricting marriage is hardly the solution for holiness, as the Apostle Paul attests. If one is like the apostle, able to remain unmarried, he or she may devote life to the Lord’s service (1 Cor 7:33–34). But Paul never meant this to be a control over people (1 Cor 7:35), as though this made them holy. Indeed, he teaches to the contrary (1 Cor 7:14).

Prayer: Lord, strengthen Christian marriages and use them to bring unbelievers to faith. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Come and See – Word of Life Series (Unit 1) 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.

• Unit 1   • Unit 2   • Unit 3

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's Sola Devotion. 

Isaiah 47:10

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

Despite the terrible infamy of their defiled celibacy, our opponents not only have the wicked and false presumption of using the divine name in defending pontifical law, but even to exhort the Emperor and princes to not permit the disgrace and infamy of the Roman Empire by tolerating the marriage of priests. These are their words.

Pulling It Together

The authors of the Roman Confutation acted as if the shameful lives of so many priests were of little concern compared to the issue of priests being permitted to marry. The writers of the Confutation insisted that the shame and indignity of a whole empire lay in the law of celibacy among their priests. Yet the letter of their law was all that concerned them. For priests took wives in secret and shamelessly took their young charges as well, as was well-known among the people. Their shameful lives, not the marriage of priests, is what brought great dishonor to the Church of Christ—never mind the empire.

Prayer: Help me live my life, knowing that all hearts are open before you and that none of my secrets are hidden. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

In Harmony with the Word is an eight-session Bible Study focusing on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5-7. It is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. The study would serve as an excellent resource for monthly women's group meetings, or in an informal small-group setting.

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's Sola Devotion. 

Ezekiel 7:25–26

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Both Kinds in the Lord’s Supper 

Further, we do not assume that the Church immediately agrees with or approves of whatever the pontiffs determine, especially since Scripture prophesies concerning bishops and pastors to this effect, as in Ezekiel, who says, “The Law perishes from the priest” (Ezek 7:26).

Pulling It Together

There have always been and still are priests, popes, pastors, and bishops who will have nothing to do with the commands and law of God. Scripture is not their guide; indeed, they teach the people that some verses of the Bible are true, while others are fairy tales. In short, they are their own rule of faith and would have others live by their word instead of by God’s word.

Congregations should not be measured by their false teachings—unless, knowing better, they follow these heresies. The words of Christ must be our standard of faith and practice, even if traditions and the opinions of men must be condemned.

Prayer: Give me your strength, Holy Spirit, so that I may live by your word of truth. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Back issues of Connections magazine are available. So are new subscriptions!

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Original image  •  Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's Sola Devotion. 

Mark 7:8, 13

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Both Kinds in the Lord’s Supper 

Even if we presume the freedom to use one part or both, how can the prohibition of one kind be defended? The Church cannot take the liberty of turning the ordinances of Christ into matters of indifference. Yet we excuse the Church, which has borne the injury since it could not obtain both parts. However, we condemn those who maintain in their writings that the use of the entire Sacrament is justly prohibited, those who not only prohibit, but even excommunicate and violently persecute those using the entire Sacrament. Let them determine how they will give an account to God for their decisions.

Pulling It Together

Christ’s command cannot get much clearer than, “Take; eat,” and “Drink of it, all of you.” He did not suggest a choice of courses. It is not a matter of whether one likes the taste of either bread or wine. Nor is it a matter of class of people, or care of the carpet. It is simply a matter of command. What did Christ say? Thus, it is not a question of what tradition a church holds to, or what their pastor thinks about the Lord’s Supper. It has always been and remains his meal, that is received in the way he instituted.

Imagine Christ handing the cup to any believer and the pastor stepping between Christ and that person, insisting, “Nope! None for her, sir. She’s no one special.” Quite the contrary; she is a person for whom Christ shed his blood, and the cup is meant for her. The poor consciences of sinners should not be deprived from either course in God’s holy meal.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your gracious commands. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

New Sola electronic greeting cards for Holy Week and Easter have been added to the free Sola app. Download it today and send some e-cards! • Android  • Apple  This free, mobile app also includes a searchable ESV Bible, the Sola Small Catechism, Sola Devotions, Sola products, the Sola Online Worship eResource, and more.

Pin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone