On June 4, 1536 Pope Paul III decreed that a general council was to be held at Mantua the following year on May 23rd to discuss the problems brought up by the Lutheran Reformers. The Lutheran princes of the Smalcaldic League called upon Martin Luther to write a document containing what reforms they could not compromise on and what they could, so that they could present it to the council. Luther thinking he was near death, penned what he thought would be his last will and testament. Though not adopted by the Smalcaldic League, the Smalcald Articles were such a powerful confession of faith that it was appended to Elector John Fredrick’s will, and was incorporated in 1580 into the Book of Concord. The resolution that was adopted by the League was the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, written by Philip Melancthon. With in this document, Melancthon carefully sets out the biblical office of pastor and points out that the office of the papacy fulfills all the prophecies regarding the anti-Christ. This document was never presented to the general council as it was deferred several times until it met in Trent in 1545. However this document is also included in the Book of Concord as the official Lutheran position on the papacy. The Council of Trent itself anathematized Lutherans, certainty of faith, and the Gospel itself with out even permitting counter arguments from the Reformers.
Join us starting Wednesday July 25th at 7pm as we begin a study of these two documents in the Book of Concord. Listen to what can be considered the last will and testament of the great Reformer Martin Luther, with which he simply, powerfully, and unequivocally expresses and summarizes the faith once delivered to the saints. Read the scathing refutation of the papacy and all those who would set themselves up as mini-popes. Be comforted by the clear Gospel proclaimed through out both documents.
We will be providing copies of the Book of Concord for free for the study and for personal use. Please talk to Paul Edmon, pastor, or the elders if you have any questions.