Book of Concord Bible Class #7: Augsburg Confession-Art. 6 -17

This Bible study is an overview of Augburg Confession, articles six through seventeen.

Quiz #7 (blue sheet): Quiz-7-for-Oct-27-Augsburg-Confession.pdf
Handout 1 (from October 13): Handout-Articles-of-the-Augsburg-Confession-Overview.pdf

#62- God’s Word Exposed the formerly UnChristian Monastic Schools

First of all, we are today experiencing in all the German lands how schools are everywhere being left to go to wrack and ruin. The universities are growing weak, and monasteries are declining. The grass withers and the flower fades, as Isaiah [40:7–8] says, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it through his word and shines upon it so hot through the gospel. For now it is becoming known through God’s word how un-Christian these institutions are, and how they are devoted only to men’s bellies. The carnal-minded masses are beginning to realize that they no longer have either the obligation or the opportunity to thrust their sons, daughters, and relatives into cloisters and foundations, and to turn them out of their own homes and property and establish them in others’ property. For this reason no one is any longer willing to have his children get an education. “Why,” they say, “should we bother to have them go to school if they are not to become priests, monks, or nuns? ‘Twere better they should learn a livelihood to earn.”

The thoughts and purposes of such people are plainly evident from this confession of theirs. If in the cloisters and foundations, or the spiritual estate, they had been seeking not only the belly and the temporal welfare of their children but were earnestly concerned for their children’s salvation and eternal bliss, they would not thus fold their hands and relapse into indifference, saying, “If the spiritual estate is no longer to be of any account, we can just as well let education go and not bother our heads about it.” Instead, they would say, “If it be true, as the gospel teaches, that this {monastic} estate is a perilous one for our children, then, dear sirs, show us some other way which will be pleasing to God and of benefit to them. For we certainly want to provide not only for our children’s bellies, but for their souls as well.” At least that is what truly Christian parents would say about it (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 348-349).

Book of Concord Bible Class #6: Starting the Augsburg Confession

The Augsburg Confession is divided into “Articles of Faith and Doctrine” and “Articles Concerning Dissension, and Corrected Abuses.”  In order to better understand the two-fold structure of the Augsburg Confession, this study began with a quick review of the historical events from 1517 to 1530 (page 3 of last week’s handout).  Due to the conciliatory and gentle demeanor of Emperor Charles’ invitation to the Diet of Augsburg, the Lutherans were expecting quite a different kind of meeting than what transpired.  We saw from the preface to the Augsburg Confession that the Lutherans were still desiring a “general, free, and Christian council” in 1530.  Following the diet of Augsburg, that expectation quickly faded away.

When the “Evangelicals”(what the Lutherans were called) arrived in Augsburg, they discovered that the pamphlet, “The Four Hundred Four Articles of John Eck,” had been circulated, in which they were accused of practically every heresy that had ever been condemned by the church.  Therefore, the first 21 articles were added to the Augsburg Confession after they arrived, in order to reprove Eck’s slanderous document and show the orthodoxy of Lutheran doctrine.

This study worked its way through an overview of the first five articles of The Augsburg Confession.  Having arrived at the fifth article , we made the observation that Tappert’s translation included an erroneous and misleading footnote(#4 on page 31), which claimed “that the Reformers thought of ‘the office of the ministry’ in other than clerical terms.”

Quiz #6 (green sheet):  Quiz-6-for-Oct-20-Book-of-Concord-Subscription.pdf
Handout 1 (from October 6): Subscription-What-Kind.pdf
Handout 2:  Handout-Articles-of-the-Augsburg-Confession-Overview.pdf

46A Creation: It’s as if the devil has said,

“You Christians can go on teaching kids about the miracles Jesus did in the New Testament.  You can teach them about the babe in a manger, and the Resurrection.  You can teach them about Jesus healing blind people and raising dead.  Teach them about the feeding of the 5,000, about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, about Jonah being in the great fish for three days.  Go ahead. Teach them these stories.  And while you are doing that, I’m going to be indoctrinating those same kids not to believe the Book.  I’m going to use the fake news of evolution and millions of years to brainwash them into believing science has effectively disproved the Bible, making it nothing more than an outdate obsolete book of ‘stories.’  And sine you won’t be teaching apologetics, I will teach my own apologetics through the education systems, media and the Internet to make sure they doubt God’s Word.  The more this happens, most won’t even listen to your message of the Gospel” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.107).

#61- Children Know Why Parents Discipline: Love

This is the measure and goal of all punishments and vexations, just as parents chastise their children in order that they may be corrected and return to the way, not because parents plan to destroy or disinherit them; for this would be alien to the love put into their hearts by God. And in Eph. 6:4 and Col. 3:21 Paul is careful to warn them not to provoke their children to wrath, lest they become discouraged. The chastisement should be of such a kind that love and filial confidence toward parents and teachers remain and that children understand that they are not suffering correction for their destruction, but rather that they may continue to do their duty and show their father no cause to disinherit them because of their wickedness. It is usual for this to happen to those who cannot be corrected by words or blows and later incur punishment at the hands of a judge or executioner because of thefts, robberies, or other outrages after they have thrown off paternal authority. (Luther’s Works, v. 7 p.254).

45A Creation: False Information

“Not only do we need to start our message at the beginning in Genesis, but we need to deal with the false information that generations have been taught that makes so many doubt and disbelieve the Bible.  We have to be equipped with answers and be ready to give a defense of the faith against the onslaught of evolutionary teaching that has permeated people’s thinking around the world” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.106-107).

#60 The Entrusted Children

6. On the other hand, parents cannot earn hell more easily than by neglecting their own children in their own home and by not teaching them the things spoken of above. What use is it if they fast themselves to death, pray, go on pilgrimages, and do all manner of good works? After all, God will not ask them about these in the hours of death and on the day of judgment, but will require of them the children he entrusted to their care. This is shown by the word of Christ in Luke 23[:28–29], “You daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me but for yourselves and your children. The days will come when they will say, ‘Blessed are the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never gave suck!’ ” Why should they lament in this way if it does not mean that all their condemnation will come from their own children? If they had not had children, perhaps they might have been saved. These words certainly ought to open the eyes of parents and make them think about the souls of their children so that the poor children would not be deceived by the parents’ human love and made to believe they had rightly honored their parents because they had not shown anger toward them or had been obedient to them in everyday affairs. This serves only to strengthen the children’s self-will, although the commandment puts the parents in the place of honor so that the children’s self-will is broken and they are made humble and meek.

It has been said in reference to the other commandments that they are to be fulfilled in relation to faith, the chief work. It is the same in this instance. Nobody must think that the training and teaching of his children is sufficient in itself. It must be done in confidence of God’s favor. A man must have no doubt that he is well pleasing to God in what he is doing, and he should let work of this kind be nothing else but an expression and exercise of his faith. He should trust in God and look to him for blessings and a gracious will. Without faith of this kind no work is a genuine living work: it is neither good nor acceptable. Many heathen have brought their children up charmingly, but all that is lost because of their unbelief. (Luther’s Works, v. 44 p.86-87).

Book of Concord Bible Class #5: Confessional Subscription

“The Word of God alone should be and remain the only standard and rule of doctrine” (FC SD Rule and Norm 9).  Concerning the church fathers and  church councils, we accept them in so far as they agree with the Word of God, “to which everything should be subjected” (9).   However, the church does need a “summary of our Christian doctrine… a unanimously accepted, definite, common form of doctrine, which all our evangelical churches together and in common confess, from and according to which, because it has been derived from God’s Word, all other writings should be judged and adjusted as to how far they are to be approved and accepted” (10).  This summary serves the church by maintaining a standard by which members can maintain the true doctrine.

A Lutheran Church by definition should subscribe unconditionally to the Book of Concord, because(Latin: quia) it agrees with the Word of God.  The Lutheran Confessions themselves speak of just that kind of subscription.  “Therefore we also have determined not to depart even a finger’s breadth either from the subjects themselves, or from the phrases which are found in them, but, the Spirit of the Lord aiding us, to persevere constantly, with the greatest harmony, in this godly agreement, and we intend to examine all controversies according to this true norm and declaration of the pure doctrine” (Preface to the Book of Concord).

Quiz #5 (tan sheet):  Quiz-5-for-Oct-6-Book-of-Concord-Prefaces.pdf
Handout 1 (white sheets with answers to the quiz on the second page): Subscription-What-Kind.pdf
Handout 2:  Historical-Introduction-6-7-.pdf

44A Creation: It is a War

“It is a war, but a spiritual one that has been raging for 6,000 years.  Sadly, there is a rapidly increasing number of soldiers in the army of the ‘Greeks’ and depleting numbers in the army of the ‘Jews.’
Many of those in America in the older generations who are still like the ‘Jews’ are not necessarily Christians, though many were brought up in the Church, and many still do attend church. They don’t really understand what is happening, even though they have a Christianized worldview.  However, they do perceive a massive change in our culture, and many are perplexed and even horrified by it” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.105-106).

#59 What A Blessed Marriage and Home

Just think what a great lesson this is! How many good works you have at hand in your own home with your own child who needs all such things as these like a hungry, thirsty, naked, poor, imprisoned, sick soul! O what a blessed marriage and home that would be with such parents! That home would indeed be a true church, a chosen cloister, yes, a paradise! It was of such places that the psalmist sang in Psalm 128[:1–4], “Blessed are they that fear God and walk in his commandments. You shall eat of the labor of your hands. On this account shall you be happy and all will go well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in your house, and your children like the young shoots of laden olive trees around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears God.” Where are such parents? Where are those who inquire after good works such as these? Nobody comes forward. Why? Because God has commanded these works! The flesh and the devil pull you away from these works. There is no pomp or show about them; therefore, we assume they are worth nothing. Husbands run to St. James, wives make vows to Our Lady. No one vows to train and teach himself and his child to honor God properly. Those whom God has commanded a man to keep in body and soul he leaves behind, and wants to serve God in some place or another, something that was never commanded. No bishop forbids and no preacher rebukes such a perverse practice. In fact, in the interests of their own covetousness the clergy endorse such practices. Every day they think up more and more pilgrimages, canonizations of saints, and indulgence fairs. May God have mercy on such blindness! (Luther’s Works, v. 44 p.85-86).