Friday, July 13, 2012

On the Priesthood of the Lutheran Pastor

HT: The Rev. William Weedon:

Although Holy Scripture nowhere specifically calls ministers of the church "priests," we nevertheless admit that this word can be attributed specifically and in a sound sense to ministers of the church, and was so attributed by the ancients.  Just as Paul says that was "in the priestly service of the Gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 15:16), so also ministers of the church can be called "priests" not only in the general sense according to which all the devout are called priests but also in a specific respect, namely, inasmuch as they make a sacrifice by the preaching of the Gospel and offer to God "a pure offering" (Mal. 1:11); also inasmuch as they consecrate themselves in particular to God, have a specific concern for the poor, and pour out prayers for their own needs and for the needs of the church. 
— Blessed Johann Gerhard (1582-1637) , On the Ministry, p. 23.

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