‘By What Authority?’

 In Luther's Pulpit (Kirk) by crbassettJoin Pastor Mark as he works from an article by James Nestingen, on how Lutherans understand the Word of God,  and where we (any Christian) derive our authority to preach, teach, and proclaim the Word, and administer the sacraments.



click here > By What Authority?’ 



Thanks to Pastor Mark Anderson, and James Nestingen.

And thanks to flickr and crbassett, for the photo of the pulpit that Luther preached from.






17 Responses

  1. old adam,

    do you think the teaching of Catholics about Real Prescense in the Eucharist is incorrect?

  2. scredsoxfan2,

    We too, believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and the wine of the sacrament.

    We don’t say that the bread and the wine actually turn into (transubstantiation) the actual body and blood of Christ…but we do believe that Christ is in, under, and with the bread and the wine, so that He is actually present in them, accompanied by God’s Word of promise. How this occurs, we do not know, But we trust that it does occur.

  3. Why do you believe in this?

  4. Because Jesus commanded that we partake in His Supper and said that if we don’t “you have no life in you”.

    He never commanded that we do something where He would not actually be in it, acting in it, for us and for His purposes.

  5. How do you know that this (real prescence) is what he commanded?

  6. He commanded that we take and eat the bread and the wine. He told us to “do this…”.

    He also told us to go into the world and baptize. And to preach and teach about Himself.

    As I have said, Jesus never commanded us to do anything where He would not be there in it, for us.

    That is how we can trust that He is in the Word, and the Sacraments.

    The authority comes from Him.

  7. When you tell someone about Jesus and how their sins are forgiven because of what Jesus did and said from the cross, Christ Jesus Himself is in those words that you are speaking to that person.

    Those words (that Word) has power (Romans 1:16) and it will not return void. It will accomplish that for which it intends.

  8. How do you know that this interpretation is correct and that others are wrong?

    Christ commanded His Church and founded it on Peter, with Him “in it” through the work of the Holy Spirit.

    He gave it authority.

    What do you say to this?

  9. We say that Peter’s confession of faith (Christ Himself) is the Rock that the Church was founded upon, and not another sinful man.

    We also understand that many do not agree with our take, that the Word itself is all the authority necessary for the preaching and teaching of Christ.

    But, unlike many who never get to hear another version, you are at least hearing what we believe on the matter. You probably know more about why Lutherans believe what they believe, than do many Lutherans!

    Thanks, scredsoxfan2.

  10. i understand what you beleive, but how do i know it is right apart from MYSELF?

    Your own pastor in the talk says: “It’s God’s business to establish His authority…”

    I completely agree, He chose to establish it through His Church, the Apostles, and Peter specifically. He gave them the authority to bind and loose and to pass on that authority, through Him. Similarly, He does in fact give authority to Scripture. However, you still have to answer how you know it is Scripture. Your answer to this seems to be we know it’s Scripture because when I read it, it tells me of Christ. You also indicate that your interpretation is correct because you have the correct “lens” of the Word, which is Christ centered faith. Saying this posits that those who don’t have YOUR interpretation (which you THINK is correct) are wrong because they just dont have as good of a “lens” or in other words that their faith (understanding of the Word) is faulty. This answer puts a lot of stock in your own self, how is that Christ centered?

    Have I missed something.

  11. This might be helpful.

    Click to access LutheransScripture.pdf

  12. The Protestant view is that the essence of the Church is the Word (Christ), found (affirmed and apprehended) in the preaching and sacraments, as well as embodied in the people of God by the immediate action of the Holy Spirit. This allows for a key distinction in terms, with “the visible Church” typically referring to the Church as institution, and the “invisible Church” referring to all believers wherever they may be.

    In Roman Catholicism, Unam Sanctam states that the spiritual powers may not be judged by the temporal powers. When you combine this with the particular view of “spirituality of the Church” that Thomas Becket posthumously won over King Henry and the Investiture Contest’s Dictatus Papae (which states that the Pope alone can call general councils, that the Pope cannot be judged by anyone, and that the Pope can remove the magistrate’s authority over his subjects), you get a pretty clear picture of the Rome’s position regarding authority.

    Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglo-Catholics refer to Apostolic Succession to mean different things, and at times, this is used in such a manner as to say that only these three communions are valid churches. Ironically, it is usually only the Anglicans who are willing to grant that all three of these churches fully qualify. Rome tends to relegate the true succession to only themselves and the East. Then most ironically, the Orthodox restrict the true succession to only themselves.

    It is often assumed that our modern notion of episcopacy was the earliest form of Church governance, but this is not the case. What we have inherited was achieved through an imitation of the civic polity of late antiquity. We also know that the earliest church bishops were coordinators of the local assembly (Rudolph Sohm via Walter Lowrie (for the English) is essential reading on this point).

    The protestant understanding in relation to these matters can be clearly seen in the New Testament structure of the church itself, especially in regards to the Apostle Paul. 2 Corinthians chapters 10-12 gives us a clear example. Paul does not appeal to any sort of legal office, at least not of any bureaucratic sort. Rather he “boasts in” the content of his preaching, the suffering he has born for Christ, his personal “track record” of service, and heavenly visions. He even says what things “mark an apostle”: signs, wonders, and miracles (2 Cor. 12:12). Where would that manner of succession currently be found?
    “Succession” for Paul comes in the preaching and hearing of faith and baptism. The unifying marks are found in Ephesians 4:5- One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Paul’s influence is perhaps the strongest intellectual reason for the discontinuity of the earlier church organization.

    (With thanks to Steven Wedgewood).

  13. I dont think that any of you actually answered the question. If you are objectively right, how do I know?

  14. “Your answer to this seems to be we know it’s Scripture because when I read it, it tells me of Christ”.

    And why would this be our answer?
    Perhaps because of what Christ Himself teaches us.

  15. but the implied logic is that YOU read it and interpret to be of Christ.

    again, if you and i have a disagreement on something of scripture how do you affirm that you are rightly proclaiming Christ and that I am wrong?

  16. is Mere Christianity Scripture? it tells us of Christ…

  17. “YOU read it and interpret to be of Christ”.

    Are the scriptures not the means to opening to us, so that we might find and know, the living word of God? Shouldn’t we seek to interpret scripture within the cradle of scripture itself – isn’t this what teaches us, with the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, who Christ is?

    “if you and I have a disagreement on something of scripture how do you affirm that you are rightly proclaiming Christ and that I am wrong?”

    Jesus Christ is the one foundation, the corner stone, of the living temple which is the church, the body and the bride – is that ‘rightly proclaiming’ or not? Is that scriptural or not?

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