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Augsburg Confessions
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  Contents What is the Augsburg Confession?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Preface to Emperor Charles V . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2The ChiefArticles ofFaith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2God. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Original Sin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3The Son ofGod. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Justification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4The Ministry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4New Obedience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4The Church. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4What the Church Is. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Baptism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4The Lord’s Supper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Confession. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Repentance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5The Use ofthe Sacraments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Ecclesiastical Order. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Ecclesiastical Usages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Civil Affairs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Christ’s Return to Judgment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Free Will. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5The Cause ofSin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Good Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6The Worship ofthe Saints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Abuses Corrected. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Both Kinds in the Sacrament. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8The Marriage ofPriests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9The Mass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Confession. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Distinction ofFoods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Monastic Vows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Ecclesiastical Power. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 What is the Augsburg Confession? In January 1530,Emperor Charles V issued a summonsfor a special meeting ofthe leaders ofhis kingdom for the pur-pose ofbringing a resolution to the various disputes and ten-sions that had resulted from the work ofMartin Luther andother reformers.This meeting,called a “diet,”was convened inthe German city ofAugsburg.Philip Melanchthon prepared a text to be presented at theDiet ofAugsburg,based on an earlier set doctrinal articles pre-pared by Martin Luther and his colleagues in the city of Torgau.Melanchthon’s draft was sent to Luther for his consid-eration and possible revision.After Luther’s approval wasobtained,Melanchthon prepared the final text.The Germanversion ofwhat became known as the Augsburg Confessionwas read on Saturday afternoon,June 25,1530.The Augsburg Confession is the most succinct presenta-tion ofLutheranism.Articles 1–21 have to do with basicChristian doctrines,with the most important ofthese articlesbeing Articles 3,4,5.Articles 22–28 concerns the abuses theLutherans had worked to correct.The Augsburg Confessionfocuses especially on the objective and universal message of salvation by God’s grace alone,received through faith alone,allas a result ofthe work ofChrist,alone.With the Augsburg Confession,the Lutherans were intenton making clear that what they stood for was nothing more,nor certainly anything less,than the ancient faith ofthechurch,a faith that had been corrupted and obscured by Medieval Roman Catholicism.It is the “magna carta”of Lutheranism,setting forth for the first time her beliefs andconvictions and rejection ofvarious abuses in the church.This commitment to what the church has always taught,believed and confessed,on the basis ofGod’s Holy Word,remains to this day a hallmark ofgenuine,orthodox and con-fessing Lutheranism.With hope and courage the Lutheranconfessors declared,“I will speak ofthy testimonies beforekings,and will not be put to shame”(Psalm 119:46). [PTM]  The Augsburg Confession  The Confession of Faith which was submitted toHis Imperial Majesty Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg in the year 1530 by certain princes and cities I will speak ofthy testimonies before kings,and will not be put to shame. Psalm 119:46 P reface to the Emperor Charles V.1] Most InvincibleEmperor,Caesar Augustus,Most Clement Lord:Inasmuch as Your Imperial Majesty has summoneda Diet ofthe Empire here at Augsburg to deliberate con-cerning measures against the Turk,that most atrocious,hereditary,and ancient enemy ofthe Christian name andreligion,in what way,namely,effectually to withstand hisfuror and assaults by strong and lasting military provi-sion;2] and then also concerning dissensions in the mat-ter ofour holy religion and Christian Faith,that in thismatter ofreligion the opinions and judgments ofthe par-ties might be heard in each other’s presence;and consid-ered and weighed 3] among ourselves in mutual charity,leniency,and kindness,in order that,after the removaland correction ofsuch things as have been treated andunderstood in a different manner in the writings on eitherside,these matters may be settled and brought back to onesimple truth and Christian concord,4] that for the futureone pure and true religion may be embraced and main-tained by us,that as we all are under one Christ and dobattle under Him,so we may be able also to live in unity and concord in the one Christian Church.And inasmuch as we,the undersigned Elector and 5]Princes,with others joined with us,have been called to theaforesaid Diet the same as the other Electors,Princes,andEstates,in obedient compliance with the Imperial man-date,we have promptly come to Augsburg,and—what wedo not mean to say as boasting—we were among the firstto be here.6] Accordingly,since even here at Augsburg at the very beginning ofthe Diet,Your Imperial Majesty caused to beproposed to the Electors,Princes,and other Estates oftheEmpire,amongst other things,that the several Estates of the Empire,on the strength ofthe Imperial edict,shouldset forth and submit their opinions and judgments in theGerman and the Latin 7] language,and since on the ensu-ing Wednesday,answer was given to Your ImperialMajesty,after due deliberation,that we would submit theArticles ofour Confession for our side on next Wednesday,therefore,in obedience to Your Imperial Majesty’s 8] wish-es,we offer,in this matter ofreligion,the Confession ofourpreachers and ofourselves,showing what manner ofdoc-trine from the Holy Scriptures and the pure Word ofGodhas been up to this time set forth in our lands,dukedoms,dominions,and cities,and taught in our churches.9] And ifthe other Electors,Princes,and Estates oftheEmpire will,according to the said Imperial proposition,present similar writings,to wit,in Latin and German,giv-ing their opinions in this 10] matter ofreligion,we,withthe Princes and friends aforesaid,here before YourImperial Majesty,our most clement Lord are prepared toconfer amicably concerning all possible ways and means,in order that we may come together,as far as this may behonorably done,and,the matter between us on both sidesbeing peacefully discussed without offensive strife,thedissension,by God’s help,may be done away and broughtback to one true accordant 11] religion;for as we all areunder one Christ and do battle under Him,we ought toconfess the one Christ,after the tenor ofYour ImperialMajesty’s edict,and everything ought to be conductedaccording to the truth ofGod;and this it is what,withmost fervent prayers,we entreat ofGod.12] However,as regards the rest ofthe Electors,Princes,and Estates,who constitute the other part,ifnoprogress should be made,nor some result be attained by this treatment ofthe cause ofreligion after the manner inwhich Your Imperial Majesty has wisely held that it shouldbe dealt with and treated namely,by such mutual presen-tation ofwritings and calm conferring together amongourselves,13] we at least leave with you a clear testimony,that we here in no wise are holding back from anythingthat could bring about Christian concord,—such as couldbe effected with God and a good conscience,—as 14] alsoYour Imperial Majesty and,next,the other Electors andEstates ofthe Empire,and all who are moved by sincerelove and zeal for religion,and who will give an impartialhearing to this matter,will graciously deign to take noticeand to understand this from this Confession ofours andofour associates.15] Your Imperial Majesty also,not only once butoften,graciously signified to the Electors Princes,and  The Augsburg Confession  Estates ofthe Empire,and at the Diet ofSpires held A.D.1526,according to the form ofYour Imperial instructionand commission given and prescribed,caused it to bestated and publicly proclaimed that 16] Your Majesty,indealing with this matter ofreligion,for certain reasonswhich were alleged in Your Majesty’s name,was not will-ing to decide and could not determine anything,but thatYour Majesty would diligently use Your Majesty’s officewith the Roman Pontifffor the convening ofa GeneralCouncil.17] The same matter was thus publicly set forthat greater length a year ago at the last Diet which met atSpires.18] There Your Imperial Majesty,through HisHighness Ferdinand,King ofBohemia and Hungary,ourfriend and clement Lord,as well as through the Orator andImperial Commissioners caused this,among other things,to be submitted:that Your Imperial Majesty had takennotice of;and pondered,the resolution ofYour Majesty’sRepresentative in the Empire,and ofthe President andImperial Counselors,and the Legates from other Estatesconvened at Ratisbon,19] concerning the calling ofaCouncil,and that your Imperial Majesty also judged it tobe expedient to convene a Council;and that Your ImperialMajesty did not doubt the Roman Pontiffcould beinduced to 20] hold a General Council,because the mat-ters to be adjusted between Your Imperial Majesty and theRoman Pontiffwere nearing agreement and Christian rec-onciliation;therefore Your Imperial Majesty himselfsigni-fied that he would endeavor to secure the said Chief Pontiff’s consent for convening,together with yourImperial Majesty such General Council,to be published assoon as possible by letters that were to be sent out.21] Ifthe outcome,therefore,should be such that thedifferences between us and the other parties in the matterofreligion should not be amicably and in charity settled,then here,before Your Imperial Majesty we make the offerin all obedience,in addition to what we have already done,that we will all appear and defend our cause in such a gen-eral,free Christian Council,for the convening ofwhichthere has always been accordant action and agreement of votes in all the Imperial Diets held during Your Majesty’sreign,on the part ofthe Electors,Princes,and otherEstates ofthe Empire.22] To the assembly ofthis GeneralCouncil,and at the same time to Your Imperial Majesty,wehave,even before this,in due manner and form oflaw,addressed ourselves and made appeal in this matter,by farthe greatest and gravest.To this 23] appeal,both to YourImperial Majesty and to a Council,we still adhere;neitherdo we intend nor would it be possible for us,to relinquishit by this or any other document,unless the matterbetween us and the other side,according to the tenor of the latest Imperial citation should be amicably and chari-tably settled,allayed,and brought to Christian concord;24] and regarding this we even here solemnly and publicly testify. Chief Articles of Faith  Article I: Of God. 1] Our Churches,with common consent,do teach thatthe decree ofthe Council ofNicaea concerning the Unity ofthe Divine Essence and concerning the Three Persons,is true and to be believed without any doubting;2] that isto say,there is one Divine Essence which is called andwhich is God:eternal,without body,without parts,ofinfi-nite power,wisdom,and goodness,the Maker andPreserver ofall things,visible and invisible;and 3] yetthere are three Persons,ofthe same essence and power,who also are coeternal,the Father the Son,and the Holy Ghost.And the term “person”4] they use as the Fathershave used it,to signify,not a part or quality in another,butthat which subsists ofitself.5] They condemn all heresies which have sprung upagainst this article,as the Manichaeans,who assumed twoprinciples,one Good and the other Evil:also theValentinians,Arians,Eunomians,Mohammedans,and allsuch.6] They condemn also the Samosatenes,old andnew,who,contending that there is but one Person,sophis-tically and impiously argue that the Word and the Holy Ghost are not distinct Persons,but that “Word”signifies aspoken word,and “Spirit”signifies motion created inthings.  Article II: Of Original Sin. 1] Also they teach that since the fall ofAdam all menbegotten in the natural way are born with sin,that is,with-out the fear ofGod,without trust in God,and with 2] con-cupiscence;and that this disease,or vice ofsrcin,is truly sin,even now condemning and bringing eternal deathupon those not born again through Baptism and the Holy Ghost.      3] They condemn the Pelagians and others who deny that srcinal depravity is sin,and who,to obscure theglory ofChrist’s merit and benefits,argue that man can be justified before God by his own strength and reason.  Article III: Of the Son of God. 1] Also they teach that the Word,that is,the Son ofGod,did assume the human nature in 2] the womb ofthe blessedVirgin Mary,so that there are two natures,the divine and thehuman,inseparably enjoined in one Person,one Christ,trueGod and true man,who was born ofthe Virgin Mary,truly suffered,was crucified,dead,and 3] buried,that He mightreconcile the Father unto us,and be a sacrifice,not only forsrcinal guilt,but also for all actual sins ofmen.4] He also descended into hell,and truly rose again thethird day;afterward He ascended into heaven that He mightsit on the right hand ofthe Father,and forever reign and havedominion over all creatures,and sanctify 5] them thatbelieve in Him,by sending the Holy Ghost into their hearts,to rule,comfort,and quicken them,and to defend themagainst the devil and the power ofsin.6] The same Christshall openly come again to judge the quick and the dead,etc.,according to the Apostles’Creed.  Article IV: Of Justification. 1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified beforeGod by their own strength,merits,or works,but are freely  justified for 2] Christ’s sake,through faith,when they believethat they are received into favor,and that their sins are for-given for Christ’s sake,who,by His death,has made satisfac-tion for our sins.3] This faith God imputes for righteousnessin His sight.Rom.3 and 4.  Article V: Of the Ministry. 1] That we may obtain this faith,the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments wasinstituted.For through the Word and Sacraments,asthrough instruments,2] the Holy Ghost is given,who worksfaith;where and when it pleases God,in them that hear 3]the Gospel,to wit,that God,not for our own merits,but forChrist’s sake,justifies those who believe that they arereceived into grace for Christ’s sake.4] They condemn the Anabaptists and others whothink that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the exter-nal Word,through their own preparations and works.  Article VI: Of New Obedience. 1] Also they teach that this faith is bound to bringforth good fruits,and that it is necessary to do good workscommanded by God,because ofGod’s will,but that weshould not rely on those works to merit justification 2]before God.For remission ofsins and justification isapprehended by faith,as also the voice ofChrist attests:When ye shall have done all these things,say:We areunprofitable servants.Luke 17,10.The same is also taughtby 3] the Fathers.For Ambrose says:It is ordained ofGodthat he who believes in Christ is saved,freely receivingremission ofsins,without works,by faith alone.  Article VII: Of the Church. 1] Also they teach that one holy Church is to continueforever.The Church is the congregation ofsaints,in whichthe Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are right-ly administered.2] And to the true unity ofthe Church it is enough toagree concerning the doctrine ofthe Gospel and 3] theadministration ofthe Sacraments.Nor is it necessary thathuman traditions,that is,rites or ceremonies,instituted by men,should be everywhere alike.4] As Paul says:Onefaith,one Baptism,one God and Father ofall,etc.Eph.4,5.6.  Article VIII: What the Church Is. 1] Although the Church properly is the congregationofsaints and true believers,nevertheless,since in this lifemany hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith,it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men,according to the saying ofChrist:The Scribes and 2] thePharisees sit in Moses’seat,etc.Matt.23,2.Both theSacraments and Word are effectual by reason ofthe insti-tution and commandment ofChrist,notwithstandingthey be administered by evil men.3] They condemn theDonatists,and such like,who denied it to be lawful to usethe ministry ofevil men in the Church,and who thoughtthe ministry ofevil men to be unprofitable and ofnoneeffect.  Article IX: Of Baptism. 1] OfBaptism they teach that it is necessary 2] to sal-vation,and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God,and that children are to be baptized who,being    
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