Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on September 19, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Titus 2:15—3:3 (NKJV)
2:15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
When Luther was being opposed and slandered on account of the Reformation teaching that a man is saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ, he distinguished between his person and his office. If his opponents wished to attack his person, Luther did not defend himself. However, if they attacked his office of doctor/teacher in the Church, Luther said that he was compelled to defend his office. According to his office of doctor/teacher, he was required to make judgments concerning matters of religion. Dr. Luther was called by God to preach the truth and rebuke falsehood. St. Paul tells Titus, “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.” And Paul means they ought not to despise Titus’ office!
There is a difference between authority and power. Power is the brute might needed to make something happen. Authority is the authorization by another to carry out a task. Our Lord and Savior authorized the pastoral work of teaching and baptizing to be carried out first by the Apostle and then by those who have been divinely called into the Pastoral Office. Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”
Prayer: Almighty God, needing forgiveness ourselves, make us merciful in our rebukes that we show humility to all men. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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