Home » Headline, History of the Reformation, Reformation 500, Theological reflection

Celebrating the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession

June 25, 2018 No Comment

An illustration of the first 21 articles by Wenceslas Hollar.

Today, June 25th, is the anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession. While Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on October 31, 1517 was the spark that ignited the Reformation, it wasn’t until the presentation of the Augsburg Confession on June 25, 1530 that we see what we might term a distinct Evangelical Lutheran Church. For it is in this confession made at Augsburg where those Reformation principles of grace alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone are clearly articulated and set forth. It consists of twenty-one articles held by the evangelical Lutherans – those in common with the Roman Catholics, those in common with the church fathers, those in opposition to the unscriptural teachings of Rome, and those in distinction from the Zwinglians, Anabaptists, and other radical Reformers; and seven articles relating to abuses in the Roman Church which were deemed most objectionable and had already been changed and corrected in the Lutheran churches.

Martin Luther said this about that momentous day back on June 25, 1530: “The Diet of Augsburg is truly the last trumpet before the final Judgment. How the world there raged against the Word! But because of the confession of faith and of the Word of God which was there made, our doctrine and faith finally burst into light so that our opponents themselves had to testify that our Confession is pure Scripture.” Likewise, C. F. W. Walther wrote the following about this important day: “The Augsburg Confession is nothing else than Holy Scripture. Anyone who rejects the Augsburg Confession is rejecting Scripture because he is not accepting what the Bible itself says.”

On this day, we thus thank and praise our heavenly Father for the example of the unswerving and fearless confessors of Augsburg who, by the way, were all laymen. And we ask that the Holy Spirit would preserve us, our pastors and members of our congregations, in that same confession of faith unto everlasting life and to inspire us to pass on this saving faith to future generations.

Prayer:

Lord God, eternal King, You have built Your Church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. As You preserved the proclamation of Your Word through the confession made at Augsburg many years ago, keep us firm in the true faith also in our day. Send forth Your Holy Spirit that we may confess Your Son before others, knowing that He confesses us before Your throne of grace; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.