A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series July 24, 2011 - Fifth Sunday after Trinity
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 5:1-11 for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity, July 24, 2011.
It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Articles VII and VIII.
Christ calls men to go into the world to fish for men and make them part of His kingdom in the Holy Christian Church. Thus, the Church and the Office of the Holy Ministry go hand in hand and the nets with which they are given to fish are Word and Sacrament.
1 They have condemned Article VII of our Confession, in which we said that the Church is the congregation of saints. The adversaries have added a long essay stating that the wicked are not to be separated from the Church, since John the Baptist has compared the Church to a threshing floor on which wheat and chaff are heaped together (Matthew 3:12), and Christ has compared it to a net in which there are both good and bad fish (Matthew 13:47). 2 This is a true saying: "There is no remedy against the attacks of the slanderer." Nothing can be spoken with such care that it can escape ridicule. 3 For this reason we have added Article VIII. Let no one think that we separate the wicked and hypocrites from the outward fellowship of the Church, or that we deny power to Sacraments administered by hypocrites or wicked men. There is no need here of a long defense against this slander. . . . 5 But the Church is not only the fellowship of outward objects and rites, as other governments, but at its core, it is a fellowship of faith and of the Holy Spirit in hearts. Yet this fellowship has outward marks so that it can be recognized. These marks are the pure doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments in accordance with the Gospel of Christ. This Church alone is called Christ's body, which Christ renews, sanctifies, and governs by His Spirit. Paul testifies about this when he says, "And gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23). 6 Those in whom Christ does not act are not the members of Christ. The adversaries admit this too. The wicked are "dead" members of the Church. We wonder why the adversaries have found fault with our description that speaks of living members. 7 Neither have we said anything new. Paul has defined the Church precisely in the same way, that it should be cleansed in order to be holy. He adds the outward marks, the Word and Sacraments. For he says: Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the Church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
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