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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Monastic Vows part 42

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2 Peter 3:15–18

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Monastic Vows 

They also cite the Rechabites, who had no possessions and did not drink wine (Jer 35:6f). Yes, the example of the Rechabites really does fit beautifully with our monks, whose monasteries surpass the palaces of kings and who live most splendidly! Though the Rechabites experienced poverty in all things, they nevertheless married. Though abounding in every delight, our monks profess celibacy.

Besides, examples ought to be interpreted according to the rule, that is, according to sure and clear passages of Scripture, not contrary to the rule, that is, contrary to the Scriptures.

Pulling It Together

It is remarkably easy to take a verse or two from the Bible and construct a doctrine or a whole way of life. The safeguard to doing this, or falling prey to its adherents, is to, as we say, “be in the Word”—all of God’s Word. Still, there are parts of the Scripture that are difficult to understand, as Peter admits. It is okay for us to admit this too. After years of being immersed in Scripture, we may come to understand some of those difficult passages. All the while, God is teaching us what is necessary to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Though we may not understand certain verses, instead of twisting them to fit our lifestyle, we may trust God that, with prayerful reading, the Spirit will open the Scripture to us in a manner that shows us the way forward and gives understanding (Psa 119:105, 130)

Prayer: Lord, give me patience to hear your Spirit. Amen.

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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, presented in a question and discussion format. The Leader's Guide that accompanies this study is a resource for those facilitating group discussion, or may serve as a reader's commentary for those who are studying the Book of Concord on their own.


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