A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series July 28, 2013 - Ninth Sunday after Trinity
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 16:1-13 for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity, July 28, 2013.
It is from The Power and Primacy of the Pope, PP. 24-27.
As managers of God's means of grace (1 Cor. 4:1), pastors have nothing of their own to give or withhold. They are not sent to collect payment from sinners, but to relieve their unmanageable burden of debt.
24 In addition, it must be recognized that the Keys belong not to the person of one particular man, but to the Church. Many most clear and firm arguments show this. For Christ, speaking about the Keys, adds, for example, "If two of you agree on earth" (Matthew 18:19). Therefore, He grants the Keys first and directly to the Church. This is why it is first the Church that has the right of calling. ‹For just as the promise of the Gospel belongs certainly and immediately to the entire Church, so the Keys belong immediately to the entire Church, because the Keys are nothing else than the office whereby this promise is communicated to every one who desires it, just as it is actually manifest that the Church has the power to ordain ministers of the Church. And Christ speaks in these words: Whatsoever you shall bind, etc., and indicates to whom He has given the Keys, namely, to the Church: Where two or three are gathered together in My name. Likewise, Christ gives supreme and final jurisdiction to the Church when He says: Tell it unto the Church.›
Therefore, these passages demonstrate that Peter is the representative of the entire assembly of the apostles. They do not grant Peter any privilege or superiority or lordship.
25 As for the declaration "on this rock I will build My church" [Matthew 16:18], certainly the Church has not been built upon the authority of a man. Rather, it has been built upon the ministry of the confession Peter made, in which he proclaims that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God [Matthew 16:16]. Therefore, Christ addresses Peter as a minister, "On this rock," that is, this ministry. ‹Therefore, He addresses him as a minister of this office in which this confession, and doctrine is to be in operation and says: "Upon this rock," i.e., this preaching and preaching office.›
26 Furthermore, the ministry of the New Testament is not bound to places and persons like the Levitical [Old Testament] ministry was. Rather, it is spread throughout the whole world. That is where God gives His gifts, apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers [Ephesians 4:11]. Nor does this ministry work because of the authority of any person, but because of the Word given by Christ [Romans 10:17]. ‹Nor does the person add anything to this Word and office; it matters not who is preaching and teaching it; if there are hearts who receive and cling to it, to them it is done as they hear and believe.› 27 Most of the holy Church Fathers, such as Origen, Cyprian, Augustine, Hilary, and Bede, interpret the passage "on this rock" in this way, as not referring to the person of Peter.
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen