A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series May 27, 2012 - Pentecost
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, John 14:23–31 for the Pentecost, May 27, 2012.
It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Articles VII and VIII.
The Holy Spirit is always present in the holy Christian Church. The holy Christian Church is always present with the Holy Spirit. Both are distinguished by the keeping of Christ's pure Word--that is, the preaching, hearing, and living Word of the Father.
22 Just as the Church has the promise that it will always have the Holy Spirit, so it also has warnings that there will be wicked teachers and wolves [Acts 20:29]. Yet, the Church in the proper sense has the Holy Spirit. Although wolves and wicked teachers run rampant in the Church, they are not properly Christkingdom. Just as Lyra also testifies when he says: The Church does not consist of people in power or ecclesiastical or secular dignity, because many princes and archbishops and others of lower rank have been found to have apostatized from the faith. Therefore, the Church consists of those persons in whom there is a true knowledge and confession of faith and truth. We have said nothing more in our Confession than what Lyra says here.
. . .28 According to the Scriptures, we hold that the Church, properly called, is the congregation of saints who truly believe Christ's Gospel and have the Holy Spirit. We confess that in this life many hypocrites and wicked people are mixed in with these. They have the fellowship in outward signs, are members of the Church according to this fellowship in outward signs, and so hold offices in the Church (preach, administer the Sacraments, and bear the title and name of Christians). However, the fact that the Sacraments are administered by the unworthy does not detract from the Sacraments' power. Because of the call of the Church, the unworthy still represent the person of Christ and do not represent their own persons, as Christ testifies, "The one who hears you hears Me" (Luke 10:16). (Even Judas was sent to preach.) When they offer God's Word, when they offer the Sacraments, they offer them in the stead and place of Christ. Those words of Christ teach us not to be offended by the unworthiness of the ministers.
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