A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series May 4, 2014 - Misericordias Domini: Easter 3
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, John 10:11-16 for the Misericordias Domini: Easter 3, May 4, 2014.
It is from Formula of Concord: Solid Declaration, The Comprehensive Summary, Foundation, Rule, and Norm.
Our Lutheran Confessions provide the under-shepherds of Jesus, The Good Shepherd, with weapons to fight off false teaching wolves. They also provide a manual for the sheep to judge whether their pastor is truly Christ's under-shepherd, or merely a hired hand--or even a wolf.
ANTITHESIS OR FALSE DOCTRINE IN THE DISPUTED ARTICLES
14 It is not only necessary that the pure, wholesome doctrine be rightly presented for the preservation of pure doctrine and for thorough, permanent, godly unity in the Church, but it is also necessary that the opponents who teach otherwise be reproved (1 Timothy 3; [2 Timothy 3:16;] Titus 1:9). Faithful shepherds, as Luther says, should do both things: (a) feed or nourish the lambs and (b) resist the wolves. Then the sheep may flee from strange voices (John 10:5-12) and may separate the precious from the worthless (Jeremiah 15:19).
15 Regarding these matters, we have thoroughly and clearly told one another the following: a distinction should and must by all means be kept between (a) unnecessary and useless wrangling (the Church should not allow itself to be disturbed by this, since it destroys more than it builds up) and (b) when the kind of controversy arises that involves the articles of faith or the chief points of Christian doctrine. Then the false, opposite doctrine must be reproved for the defense of the truth.
16 The aforesaid writings offer the Christian reader—who delights in and has a love for the divine truth—clear and correct information about each and every disputed article of our Christian religion. They show what he should regard and receive as right and true according to God's Word of the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures. They also show what he should reject, shun, and avoid as false and wrong. The truth must be preserved distinctly and clearly and distinguished from all errors. Nothing must be hidden and concealed under common words. Therefore, we have clearly and directly declared ourselves to one another on the chief and most important articles taken one by one. At the present time these articles have come into controversy so that there might be a public, definite testimony, not only for those now living, but also for our descendants. We make known what is and should remain the unanimous understanding and judgment ‹decision› of our churches in reference to the articles in controversy:
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