Friday, June 28, 2013

Daily Devotional Thought--From the Lutheran Confessions

It’s Friday!  That means we turn out attention to the Augsburg Confession.  This week’s topic is one that is near and dear to the heart of all Lutherans: The Lord’s Supper. Notice this article’s simplicity.  The Lutherans made every effort not to go beyond the Words of Jesus.  They wanted to avoid the error of explaining away one of the greatest mysteries of the faith.  And yet, they were determined to believe, teach, and confess what the LORD had given and taught. Enjoy!

Collect of the Week
O God, You have prepared for those who love You such good things as surpass our understanding. Cast out all sins and evil desires from us, and pour into our hearts Your Holy Spirit to guide us into all blessedness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Article X (The Lord’s Supper)
1 Our churches teach that the body and blood of Christ are truly present and distributed to those who eat the Lord’s Supper [1 Corinthians 10:16]. 2 They reject those who teach otherwise. (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. Edited by Paul Timothy McCain. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2005, S. 35).

Note: By the time the Augsburg Confession was written, deep divisions had arisen among the various reformers concerning the Lord’s Supper. The Lutherans were very careful to distance themselves from those who reject that the body and blood of Christ are in fact truly present in His Supper and distributed to all those who eat and drink. Transubstantiation, consubstantiation, or any other human speculation asks the wrong question: how is Christ present? Lutheranism has no theory or philosophical explanation of how Christ is present. Rather, Lutherans insist on answering the what of the Lord’s Supper. We believe, teach, and confess that of the bread, Christ said, “This is My body,” and of the wine, “This is My blood.” These are given and shed “for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26–28). We reject any teaching that is contrary to our Lord’s Word. (See also Ap X; SA III VI; LC V; FC Ep VII and SD VII.) (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. Edited by Paul Timothy McCain. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2005, S. 35)

Almighty God, the found of all wisdom, by Your Holy Spirit enlighten those who teach and those who learn that, rejoicing in the knowledge of Your truth, they may worship You and serve You from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen (LSB, Collect 115).

Ap Apology of the Augsburg Confession
SA Smalcald Articles
LC Large Catechism
FC Ep Epitome of the Formula of Concord
SD Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord

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