A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series May 25, 2014 - Rogate: Easter 6
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Epistle, 1 Timothy 2:1-6 for the Rogate: Easter 6, May 25, 2014.
It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XVI.57-60.
"It is pleasing in the sight of God our savior," that we pray for government officials and even our military and law enforcement personnel because they serve as His instruments on earth to do His work at His command.
57] … the Gospel does not destroy the state or the family, but rather approves them and asks us to obey them as a divine ordinance, not only because of punishment, but also because 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. Therefore, private remedy is prohibited not by advice, but by a command (Matthew 5:39; Romans 12:19). Public remedy, made through the office of the official, is not condemned, but is commanded and is God's work, according to Paul (Romans 13:1). Now the different kinds of public remedy are legal decisions, capital punishment, wars, and military service. 60] Clearly, many writers have thought wrongly about these matters, [teaching such pernicious errors that nearly all princes, lords, knights, servants regarded their proper estate as secular, ungodly, and damnable, etc. … What an unspeakable peril and damage has resulted from this to souls and consciences.] They were in the error that the Gospel is an outward, new, and monastic form of government. Also, they did not see that 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