A Reading from the Book of Concord 3 year series October 16, 2005 - 22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Standard LW 3-year Readings: First: Isa 45:1-7 Epistle: 1 Thess 1:1-5a Gospel: Matt 22:15-21 Psalm: Psalm 96
The following reading from the Kolb edition of the Book of Concord is for the A series Gospel, Matthew 22:15-21 for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, October 16, 2005.
It is from Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XVI, paragraphs 1-3, 5, pages 231-232.
Both the civil government and the Church are responsible directly to God for duties God has assigned to each: to the civil government is given the responsiblity for the physical wellfare and protection and to the Church is given the responsibility of the spiritual wellfare of the people.
We confessed "that it is permissible for a Christian to hold public office, to render verdicts on the basis of imperial laws or other established laws, to prescribe just punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve in the military, to enter into legal contracts, to own property, to take an oath when magistrates require it, or to contract marriage." In short, we confessed that legitimate civil ordinances are good creations of God and divine ordinances in which a Christian may safely take part. This entire topic on the distinction between Christ's kingdom and the civil realm has been helpfully explained in the writings of our theologians. Christ's kingdom is spiritual, that is, it is the heart's knowledge of God, fear of God, faith in God, and the beginning of eternal righteousness and eternal life. At the same time, it permits us to make outward use of legitimate political ordinances of whatever nation in which we live, just as it permits us to make use of medicine or architecture or food, drink, and air. Neither does the gospel introduce new laws for the civil realm. Instead, it commands us to obey the present laws, whether they have been formulated by pagans or by others, and urges us to practice love through this obedience. Thus, Karlstadt was insane when he tried to impose the judicial laws of Moses upon us... The gospel does not destroy the state or the household but orders us to obey them. (paragraphs 1-3, 5)