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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope – part 65

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Mark 10:5–9

From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope 

Since they have framed certain unjust marriage laws, and apply them in their courts, there is further reason to establish other courts. The traditions concerning spiritual relationships are unjust, as is the tradition forbidding an innocent person to marry after divorce. Also unjust is the law that generally approves all secret and dishonest betrothals in violation of the right of parents. The law concerning the celibacy of priests is also unjust. There are other snares of consciences in their laws, but a recital would be of no profit. It is sufficient to have said this: that there are many unjust papal laws concerning matrimonial matters that demonstrate the need for magistrates to establish other courts.

Pulling It Together

If there are issues in a Christian marriage, a pastor may address them with what is written. Scripture provides abundant comfort and assistance on the specific subject as well as on general topics that are helpful to a marriage. Yet, if the issue lies beyond the reach of the church, let the matter be taken up in civil court. The real issue here, is one of conscience. Scripture provides comfort for those who will amend their ways. However, when new ecclesiastical laws are contrived to control people—for whatever reason—conscience may (and should) always appeal to the Word.

Prayer: Bless Christian marriages, Lord, with your presence in both law and grace. Amen.

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Alphabet Soup is a four-unit (seven lessons each) Sunday School series designed for young students in Preschool and Kindergarten. Lessons are based on storytelling, rhyme, and pictures, and are suitable for participation by non-readers. The flexible lesson plans introduce the youngest believers to the importance and truth of God’s Word. 


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