Luther burns the Papal bull Exsurge Domine in the square of Wittenberg year 1520, Karl Aspelin (1857-1932)

Lutheran Essentials is currently meeting remotely due to the COVID19 pandemic.  You can join us via our livestream, we will start at 7pm.  We are beginning our study of Martin Luther’s “On the Freedom of a Christian”.   As part of the class we are handing out copies of “On the Freedom of a Christian” for free as well as copies of the Book of Concord and the Lutheran Service Book.

We will open our study with Psalm 4, our catechetical lesson will be on First Article of the Apostles’ Creed from the Small Catechism.  We will then read the Introduction (pg. 7-8) to this edition of the “On the Freedom of a Christian”. We will discuss the historical context for the writing of this tract and then read the Dedication Letter to Pope Leo X (pg. 67-81) which Luther attached to its publication on September 6th, 1520.  From all of this we will see how much Luther’s thinking and doctrine has changed over the past 3 years since 1517, and also how his relationship with the Church had soured significantly to the point of his excommunication four brief months later.  We will then sing the hymn “Lord Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (LSB 655)

After we complete our background work, if we have time, we will read the Thesis Statement of this tract (pg. 9-11).  Luther will lay out his theme for the entire work, that a Christian is both free and bound.  Free with respect to faith, bound with respect to works.  This dichotomy will be what Luther will unpack in the rest of the tract.  We will close with the hymn “Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us” (LSB 851).

As always new people are always welcome to this study at any point during the class.  Please talk to the Pastor, Elders or Paul Edmon if you have any questions.

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