Zitat: The Office of the Holy Ministry

Unless I'm way off base with my basic translating skills (and have completely forgotten how to perform an accurate Google search!), I believe the English word "quote" (used as a noun) is translated as "zitat" in German.

That will help to explain the strange "Z" word listed in the title of this post. That being said, I'm always keeping my eyes and ears open for quotes that stir my soul. Here's the latest.

God willing, perhaps some time later this week I'll share why this sermon excerpt from Martin Luther caught my eye today. This is what he had to say about the Office of the Holy Ministry.


I hope, indeed, that believers, those who want to be called Christians, know very well that the spiritual estate has been established and instituted by God, not with gold or silver but with the precious blood and bitter death of his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:18f.). From his wounds indeed flow the sacraments. He paid dearly that men might everywhere have this office of preaching, baptizing, loosing, binding, giving the sacrament, comforting, warning, and exhorting with God's word, and whatever else belongs to the pastoral office. For this office not only helps to further and sustain this temporal life and all the worldly estates, but it also gives eternal life and delivers from sin and death, which is its proper and chief work.

*- Martin Luther, "A Sermon on Keeping Children in School" (1530),
trans. Charles M. Jacobs, vol. 46 of Lulther's Works,
ed. Robert C. Schultz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967), 219-20.

NOTE:
When Luther writes "that men everywhere might have this office ...," he is not referring to the common priesthood and asserting that each Christian possesses the office and therefore may exercise it. Rather, he is saying, in perfect agreement with AC V, that Christ instituted "the spiritual estate" in order that men everywhere might hear this preaching, be baptized, have their sins forgiven, receive the Body and Blood of Christ, etc. As always for Luther, the common Christian receives the gifts of God; he is not the administrator of them.

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, many of our churches and their congregants today (yes, even Pastors too) would benefit mightily from reading such words.

[NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with Lutheran doctrine -- in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word -- so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Thank you in advance for your time and help. Grace and peace to you and yours!]

Share|
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!