#67- We Owe Obedience to the Church Which Speaks the Word of God

“In saying this Christ gave the answer to the argument concerning the true church; for to this day you hear our papists boasting and saying: the church, the church! It is true that Christ wants to have his home where the Father and the Holy Spirit want to be and to dwell. The entire Trinity dwells in the true church; what the true church does and directs is done and directed by God. Now the new church is a different dwelling from that of Jerusalem; he tears down all the prophecies concerning Jerusalem, as if Jerusalem were nothing in his eyes, and he builds another dwelling, the Christian church. Here we agree with the papists that there is one Christian church; but Christ wants to be everywhere in the land. These are fine, heart-warming words—that God wants to come down to us, God wants to come to us and we do not need to clamber up to him, he wants to be with us to the end of the world: Here dwells the Holy Spirit, effecting and creating everything in the Christian church.

But what is the dissension about between the papists and us? The answer is: about the true Christian church. Should one then be obedient to the Christian church? Yes, certainly, all believers owe this obedience; for St. Peter commands in the fourth chapter of his first Epistle: ‘Whoever speaks’ should speak ‘as one who utters oracles of God’ [I Pet. 4:11]. If anybody wants to preach, let him suppress his own words arid let them prevail in worldly and domestic affairs; here in the church he should speak nothing but the Word of this rich Householder; otherwise it is not the true church” (Luther’s Works, v. 51, p. 304-305).

Posted in 2017 Reformation Quotes.

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