The Augsburg Confession

Nine years after the famous, “Here I Stand” speech given by Martin Luther in Worms, before the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, in the year 1530 a group of princes, and theologians stood before the same Emperor to give an account of their faith in the city of Augsburg. It was at this historic event that the new Lutheran Church first presented the foundational doctrinal document of the Lutheran Church on June 25, the Augsburg Confession.

The Augsburg Confession is the doctrinal confession of faith penned by Philipp Melanchthon and signed by the various princes and cities which had embraced the new denomination. It was with this document that the reformers laid out the case for their beliefs, but most importantly perhaps the Augsburg Confession seeks to prove that the “new” Lutheran Church was in fact in line with the ancient church and that it was Rome that had separated. The Augsburg Confession addresses the many areas of faith which the Lutherans were facing slanderous charges of heresy. It was this confession more than any other that the reformers would point to to prove the orthodoxy of the fledgling Lutheran Church.

On June 25, 1530 Dr. Beyer stood and read the confession before the Emperor and the large gathered crowd, of both supporters and critics. When Dr. Beyer finished the reading a German and Latin copy was presented to the Emperor for review and copy, and as it was presented another supporter told the Emperor, “Most gracious Emperor, this is a Confession that will even prevail against the gates of hell, with the grace and help of God.”

And nearly 500 years later the Augsburg Confession still stands as the cornerstone of Lutheran Doctrine; it is studied by students, and called workers still swear to confess it. The Lutheran teaching has not changed in the last 500 years because it hasn’t changed in the last 2000 years, the Augsburg Confession reminds us that we are part of something greater than a tradition begun by an Augustinian monk, but rather we are part of the tradition of the Church going back to its founding by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Come soon Lord Jesus.

Written By: Vicar Jacob Berlinski