On June 25, 1530, in Augsburg, Germany, the Lutheran princes signed their names to the Augsburg Confession. Thirteen years had past since The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther -- Augustinian monk, priest, theologian, and professor -- had nailed his 95 Theses to the church doors of St. Mary's Church in little Wittenberg.
Some Lutheran churches still set aside this day as the day when they confirm new members in the fellowship of the Christian faith. What a wonderful connection to be made between new confirmands confessing their Baptismal faith on the same day when princes confessed their faith before the Holy Roman emperor and the assembled state and Catholic representatives. Those princes, like Luther and other Reformers, put their lives on the line that day.
Tonight our weekly Bible study continued to read and work through the Augsburg Confession and its Apology. We've been at it for at least nine months now. We recently finished Article 4 on justification. We spent at least 3 or 4 months unpacking that article alone in the Apology. We are currently on Article 11: Confession (of sins).
I am truly thankful for the faithful band of Christians who come out week after week to study the Augsburg Confession and the Scriptural doctrines of the Church. God has truly blessed us with these confessional writings that even 478 years later focus our attention on Christ crucified for our sins and risen for our justification. Eternal life is ours through Christ alone!
May God help us to follow the example of the Lutheran princes, who at Augsburg put their lives, their finances, their citizens, their states, their reputation, and their faith on the line. They trusted in Christ alone, knowing that whatever happened to them in this earthly life it could not and would not separate them from the eternal life in heaven that Christ promises at His return when He raises our bodies from the grave to live with Him and all the saints forever and ever.
Happy Birthday Lutheran Church!
P. S. What a fitting day for the German national team to advance to the Euro 2008 Finals! Das is sehr gut!