A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series November 7, 2010 - Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Matthew 22:15-22 for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity, November 7, 2010.
It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XVI.
The freedom we have in Christ and the Gospel does not free us from subjection and obedience to governments and earthly authorities in our daily life and vocations. On the contrary, in faith, the Christian looks upon these as good gifts of God, and esteems them as great blessings that benefit both them and their neighbors.
54 . . . Christ's kingdom allows us outwardly to use legitimate political ordinances of every nation in which we live, just as it allows us to use medicine or the art of building, or food, drink, and air. 55 Neither does the Gospel offer new laws about the public state, but commands that we obey present laws, whether they have been framed by heathens or by others. It commands that in this obedience we should exercise love. . . . 56 Our theologians have written more fully about these subjects. They have done so because the monks spread many deadly opinions in the Church They called holding property in common the governance of the Gospel. They said that not holding property, or not acquitting oneself at law, were evangelical counsels. These opinions greatly cloud over the Gospel and the spiritual kingdom and are dangerous to the commonwealth. 57 For the Gospel does not destroy the state or the family, but rather approves them and asks us obey them as a divine ordinance, not only because of punishment, but also on account of conscience.
58 . . . The Gospel does not introduce laws about the public state, but is the forgiveness of sins and the beginning of a new life in the hearts of believers. Besides, the Gospel not only approves outward governments, but also subjects us to them (Romans 13:1). In a similar way we have been necessarily placed under the laws of seasons, the changes of winter and summer, as divine ordinances. 59 The Gospel forbids private remedy. Christ instills this often so that the apostles do not think they should seize the governments from those who held otherwise, just as the Jewish people dreamed about the kingdom of the Messiah. Christ did this so that the apostles might know they should teach that the spiritual kingdom does not change the public state. 60 . . . the Gospel brings eternal righteousness to hearts, while it outwardly approves the public state.
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