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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Political Order part 7

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Acts 2:42–47

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Political Order 

But the monks have so thoroughly spread this outward hypocrisy before people’s eyes that they are blind to what true perfection is. With what praises they have promoted community property, as though it were gospel! This message is very dangerous, especially since it differs so much from the Scriptures. Scripture does not command that property be held in common. The Decalogue acknowledges rights of ownership, and commands each one to hold what is his own, when it says, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exod 20:15). Wycliffe was obviously crazed when he said that priests were not allowed to hold property.

Pulling It Together

It is dangerous to souls for us to concede that anything people do produces perfection. We are only made perfect by God through faith in Christ. This perfection is not brought about by our religious acts, and certainly not by this one: having all things in common. Granted, the early churches—and some today—had all things in common. God bless them! But this does not create perfection. When we have faith in Christ, God calls us, or considers us, perfect and holy—whether we see it or not—and in response to that faith, we may do any number of religious things, such as holding property in common. But these things are not required by the Scripture for the forgiveness of sins, a reconciled God, or eternal life. 

Prayer: Give me the spirit to further devote myself to you, Lord. Amen.

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