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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Ecclesiastical Order part 3

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1 Timothy 1:5–7

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Ecclesiastical Order 

We have clear consciences in this matter because we know that our confession is true, godly, and catholic. Also, we dare not approve the cruelty of those who persecute this doctrine. We know that the Church is where the Word of God is taught correctly, and the Sacraments are rightly administered. The Church is not among those who endeavor to efface God’s Word by their edicts, and who also put to death those who teach what is right and true. The canons are milder even towards those who transgress.

Pulling It Together

Is the result of your doctrine love or hate, peace or discord? Do you find that you are often agitated with people, politics, the news, life in general? Or are you focused on God, and are therefore at peace, in spite of what seems to be happening in the world around you?

The purpose of faith is not about winning arguments or feeling like you are right; it is about being right with God, because being justified to God means, among many other things, being at peace—not only with God but with yourself and your neighbor. After all, the goal of correct doctrine (1 Tim 1:3–4) is a love for God and neighbor (Mark 12:30–31). This love develops out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and genuine faith.

Therefore the Church is that assembly of people where right doctrine is taught and where the sacraments are properly administered, and thus, where people are at peace with God and neighbor, though all around them seems bent on hell and destruction.

Prayer: Help me do my part, Lord, in properly handling the gospel. Amen. 

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