The Smalcald Articles.

Articles of Christian Doctrine which were to have been presented on our part to the Council, if any had been assembled at Mantua or elsewhere, indicating what we could accept or yield, and what we could not.

by Martin Luther (1537)
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.453-529.

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Article VII: Of the Keys.

The keys are an office and power given by Christ to the Church for binding and loosing sin, not only the gross and well-known sins, but also the subtle, hidden, which are known only to God, as it is written in Ps. 19, 13: Who can understand his errors? And in Rom. 7, 25 St. Paul himself complains that with the flesh he serves the law of sin. For it is not in our power, but belongs to God alone, to judge which, how great, and how many the sins are, as it is written in Ps. 143, 2: Enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. And Paul, 1 Cor. 4, 4, says: For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified.

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

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