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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 7

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Ephesians 4:11–16

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

I often think of the good Gerson, who doubted whether good writing should be published. If it is not published, many souls are neglected who might have been saved. If it is published, the devil is there with innumerable wicked and malignant tongues to poison and corrupt everything, so that fruit is prevented anyway. Yet what they gain by doing so is unmistakable. For while they have so shamefully slandered us and used their lies to keep the people, God has constantly advanced his work, and has been making their following ever smaller and ours greater, and by their lies has caused and still causes them to be brought to shame.

Pulling It Together: God uses his Word and Sacraments to grow our faith, and increase and unify the Church. Nevertheless, his Word and Sacraments are distributed by the work of his Spirit through people. If God has called you to the work of an evangelist, spread his Word. If he has given you the gift of teaching, build up the Church. God works through the ministry of Word and Sacrament to make each and every one of his people grow up in faith, so that they may work together in his kingdom. It is human nature to be concerned if our words or works will be rejected, but the results are God’s business.

Prayer: Help me, Holy Spirit, do what you have called me to do. Amen.

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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, presented in a question and discussion format. The Leader's Guide that accompanies this study is a resource for those facilitating group discussion, or may serve as a reader's commentary for those who are studying the Book of Concord on their own.

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