Monday, June 25, 2007

Reformation Anniversary TODAY

Read original article by Dr. Richard P. Bucher

On June 25, at 3:00 p.m., the Lutherans' Confession of Faith was read in the presence of the Emperor. Dr. Christian Beyer, chancellor of Saxony read the Confession. Though Melanchthon had written it in Latin (the scholarly language of the day), a German translation done by Justus Jonas, another co-worker of Luther, was the one read that day. It is recorded that the reading of this great Confession made a deep impression on all who listened.

It must be stressed that this was not the confession of theologians only. It was the confession of all those who believed the Gospel that Luther had preached. So that the emperor would know this, during the reading of the Augsburg Confession, Elector John and other Lutheran princes and officials came and stood before the assembly. This was their confession and they wanted all to know it! After the Confession was read these princes and other officials signed it. This was a courageous act, for by doing so, they were siding with the outlaw and heretic Martin Luther against their Emperor and the Pope.

The Augsburg Confession is divided into two sections. The first section contains 21 articles (doctrinal statements) on core teachings of the Christian Faith: God, Original Sin, Jesus, Justification by Faith, Ministry, New Obedience, Church, Baptism, Lord's Supper, Confession, Repentance, Use of the Sacraments, Ecclesiastical Order, Ecclesiastical Usages, Civil Affairs, Christ's Return to judgment, Free Will, Cause of Sin, Faith and Good Works, and Worship of Saints.

The second section addresses seven teachings or practices in the Roman Catholic Church that the confessors believed were abuses: withholding the cup from the laity, celibacy, false ideas about the Mass, the enumeration of all sins in confession, compulsory regulations concerning foods and traditions, monastic vows, and the power of bishops.

Do yourself a favor and read (or reread) the Augsburg Confession that you might be reminded what it is that we Christian Lutherans confess and believe.
Read the Augsburg Confession of 1530

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