Project Wittenberg

The Ministry
Offices, Procedures and Nomenclature

A Report of the
Commission on Theology and Church Relations
of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

September 1981

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Citations from the Lutheran Confessions are taken from The Book of Concord edited by T. G. Tappert (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), and, in some cases, Concordia Triglotta. The following abbreviations have been used:

AC - Augsburg Confession
Ap - Apology of the Augsburg Confession
FC - Formula of Concord
LC - Large Catechism
SD - Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord
Trig. - Concordia Triglotta

Scripture quotations in this publication are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, 1973 (except when otherwise noted). Used by permission.



Since we are examining the doctrine of the ministry in the Lutheran Church, it is important to note the following passages from the Lutheran Confessions that set forth the doctrine of the ministry:

  • These passages from the Lutheran Confessions emphasize the following aspects of the Lutheran understanding of the ministry:

    • God has given the Word and sacraments that people may come to faith.

    • God has arranged that the Word and sacraments should be taught and administered.

    • Since such a ministry has been established by God, individuals are called to be ministers by the church.

    • Those who are called to be ministers hold and exercise the office of the ministry.

    • The Power or Office of the Keys, given by Christ to the church, is exercised publicly on behalf of the church by the called ministers.

    • The power of the ministers is the power to preach the Gospel, administer the sacraments, and forgive and retain sins.

    • The power of the ministry is not a temporal power but a power in spiritual matters of Word and sacrament.

    • Ministers cannot arrogate such authority to themselves, but it must be conferred by the call of the church.

  • PWimage

    This text was converted to ASCII text for Project Wittenberg by Rev. Robert Grothe and Rev. Todd Dittloff 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
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