The Smalcald Articles – part 21

Scripture Text: Romans 3:23–25a

The justification of sinners is received as God’s gift, not because of religious or moral activity. Justification is a legal term, appropriated by the Apostle Paul to express God’s great gift.

The Smalcald Articles – part 18

Scripture Text: Romans 14:19

Luther wanted unity in the Church, but not if it meant sacrificing the very truths that upheld that Church. Three memorable, Latin slogans that came out of the Lutheran reform movement can help us determine when we are parting from Christian truth.

The Smalcald Articles – part 15

Scripture Text: John 15:26

With the Nicene Creed, Luther confessed that God the Father is eternal, that the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.

The Smalcald Articles – part 14

Scripture Text: Romans 1:20

Luther begins with the beginning: that God is that One God, the Only God, who has created everything. This beginning includes the great mystery of the Christian faith...

The Smalcald Articles – part 12

Scripture Text: John 14:15, 21

We busy ourselves with a kind of mundane yet exuberant piety, the machinations of religion, so that we might deceive ourselves (and others, I suppose) into thinking we are holy and righteous.

The Smalcald Articles – part 11

Scripture Text: Matthew 23:24–25

All those things that Luther denounced were outward displays. They ought to be fixed, but dealing with those outer matters neglects the more important things, the inner matters that end up improving the outer.

The Smalcald Articles – part 9

Scripture Text: Matthew 9:35–38

It was after Jesus saw the desolate villages, the “sheep without a shepherd,” that he called the twelve disciples. God equips his Church with a variety of vocations...

The Smalcald Articles – part 8

Scripture Text: Luke 13:3

The Spirit of God often uses new situations to change our perspective, to bring us to repentance. We are all sinners, so we are all in need of daily and constant repentance.

The Smalcald Articles – part 7

Scripture Text: Ephesians 4:11–16

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.

The Smalcald Articles – part 6

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 5:3–5

Luther is still speaking primarily of the fanatics, the schwärmerei, those who used Luther’s words to their own ends. They twisted his teachings, bringing division to the church instead of reform.

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