#23 The Minister’s Office and Not his Person Matters

Just as was said earlier about the other four parts of the great, divine, holy possession by which the holy church is sanctified, that you need not care who or how those from whom you receive it are, so again you should not ask who and how he is who gives it to you or has the office. For all of it is given, not to him who has the office, but to him who is to receive it through this office, except that he can receive it together with you if he so desires. Let him be what he will. Because he is in office and is tolerated by the assembly, you put up with him too. His person will make God’s word and sacraments neither worse nor better for you. What he says or does is not his, but Christ, your Lord, and the Holy Spirit say and do everything, in so far as he adheres to correct doctrine and practice. The church, of course, cannot and should not tolerate open vices; but you yourself be content and tolerant, since you, an individual, cannot be the whole assembly or the Christian holy people.  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.156)

Picture: Crown and lilies

For the Ministry. 2

O HOLY Lord, Father almighty, eternal God, carry onward in us the gifts of Thy grace, and mercifully bestow by Thy Spirit what human frailty cannot attain, that they who minister before Thee may be both grounded in perfect faith, and conspicuous by the brightness of their souls; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.  (Oremus, 1925, p.72).

#22 The Qualifications of Her Ministers

It is, however, true that the Holy Spirit has excepted women, children, and incompetent people from this function, but chooses (except in emergencies) only competent males to fill this office, as one reads here and there in the epistles of St. Paul that a bishop must be pious, able to teach, and the husband of one wife —and in I Corinthians 14 [:34] he says, “The women should keep silence in the churches.” In summary, it must be a competent and chosen man. Children, women, and other persons are not qualified for this office, even though they are able to hear God’s word, to receive baptism, the sacrament, absolution, and are also true, holy Christians, as St. Peter says [I Pet. 3:7]. Even nature and God’s creation makes this distinction, implying that women (much less children or fools) cannot and shall not occupy positions of sovereignty, as experience also suggests and as Moses says in Genesis 3 [:16], “You shall be subject to man.” The gospel, however, does not abrogate this natural law, but confirms it as the ordinance and creation of God.  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.154-155)

Picture: Cross and Lilies

Book of Concord, Bible Class #23: Ap. IV Justification, part 3

This Bible study examines article IV. Justification of the Apology{Defense} of the Augsburg Confession.

Quiz #22 (pink sheet):   Quiz-22-for-Mar-1-2020-Apology-IV-continued.pdf
Overhead 1: Apology-IV-Continued-Mar-1-2020.pdf
Overhead 2: Overheads-for-Ap-IV-on-March-1-2020.pdf

For the Ministry. 1

JESUS, our God, Who, making a whip of small cords, dravest out those who bought and sold in Thy temple: Grant to us in Thy Church not to be taken with the gain of temporal things, nor to dwell within it in evil conversation: but that the zeal of Thy house may so eat us up, that Thou wouldst make of us examples for the brethren, pleasing unto Thee; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.   (Oremus, 1925, p.72).

#21 Fifth, the Church Is Recognized by Her Ministers

Fifth, the church is recognized externally by the fact that it consecrates or calls ministers, or has offices that it is to administer. There must be bishops, pastors, or preachers, who publicly and privately give, administer, and use the aforementioned four things or holy possessions in behalf of and in the name of the church, or rather by reason of their institution by Christ, as St. Paul states in Ephesians 4 [:8], “He received gifts among men …”—his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some teachers and governors, etc. The people as a whole cannot do these things, but must entrust or have them entrusted to one person. Otherwise, what would happen if everyone wanted to speak or administer, and no one wanted to give way to the other? It must be entrusted to one person, and he alone should be allowed to preach, to baptize, to absolve, and to administer the sacraments. The others should be content with this arrangement and agree to it. Wherever you see this done, be assured that God’s people, the holy Christian people, are present.  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.154)

Picture: Baptismal font stained glass