The Confession of Faith:
Which Was Submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V
At the Diet of Augsburg in the Year 1530
by Philip Melancthon (1497-1560)

Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau
Published in:

Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books
of the Ev. Lutheran Church
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921),
pp. 37-95.

To: Previous Page - Book of Concord - Philip Melancthon - Project Wittenberg

Article XVI
Of Civil Affairs

[cf. Confutatio Pontificia]

Of Civil Affairs they teach that lawful civil ordinances are good works of God, and that it is right for Christians to bear civil office, to sit as judges, to judge matters by the Imperial and other existing laws, to award just punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve as soldiers, to make legal contracts, to hold property, to make oath when required by the magistrates, to marry a wife, to be given in marriage.

They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid these civil offices to Christians.

They condemn also those who do not place evangelical perfection in the fear of God and in faith, but in forsaking civil offices, for the Gospel teaches an eternal righteousness of the heart. Meanwhile, it does not destroy the State or the family, but very much requires that they be preserved as ordinances of God, and that charity be practiced in such ordinances. Therefore, Christians are necessarily bound to obey their own magistrates and laws save only when commanded to sin; for then they ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5, 29.

This text was converted to ASCII text for Project Wittenberg by Allen Mulvey and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to:

Rev. Robert E. Smith
Walther Library
Concordia Theological Seminary.

Surface Mail: 6600 N. Clinton St., Ft. Wayne, IN 46825 USA
Phone: (260) 452-3149 - Fax: (260) 452-2126

To: Next Page - Book of Concord - Philip Melancthon - Project Wittenberg