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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Monastic Vows
Therefore, since the abandonment of property is just a human tradition, it is a useless service. It is excessive to praise it as the “Extravagant” does by stating that abdicating ownership of all things for God is meritorious and holy and a way of perfection. It is quite dangerous to exalt a matter that conflicts with political order. But, they insist, that Christ speaks of it here as perfection. Yes, but violence is done to the text by quoting it in a mutilated form. Perfection lies in what Christ adds: “Follow Me.”
Pulling It Together
Are you willing to follow Jesus? If it means you would lose the civil right to buy and sell, to make a living, to provide for your family, would you still follow Jesus? If it meant that your family turned their back on you, would you still be his disciple? Perhaps you wanted to be a doctor but it became clear that Jesus wants you to be a missionary. Would you follow him when that would mean leaving income, property, and family behind? Whoever does not bear his particular cross and follow Jesus cannot be his disciple.
Yet, even such obedience is not so-called evangelical perfection. Perfection is not found in what we do or the sacrifices we make, even for God. Perfection is the grace of God poured out within us. His glorious grace is not dispensed when we have finally done enough. It happens at the moment of faith and while we keep faith in God—no matter where he leads us.
Prayer: Give me the strength of your Spirit, Lord, that I may carry my cross and follow you. Amen.
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A Listening Bible: Letters from Jesus in the Written Word, by Glen S.R. Carlson, helps you take time to LISTEN to what Jesus is saying to you from Romans to Jude (softcover; 692 pages).