Fagerberg, Holsten, and Eugene Lund. A New Look at the Lutheran Confessions (1529-1537). St. Louis: Concordia, 1988. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 11, “The Christian Life” Loc. 6439-7019.
Fagerberg asks what the Christian life looks like. Drawing from AC 6 and 20 it is clear that the Christian lives a life of good works brought forth by faith (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6444). The Catholic opponents of the Reformation understood the Lutherans as rejecting any good works at all (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6449), thus forcing the Reformers to articulate their position more forcefully. Because works cannot earn merit, they do not justify. They do, however, flow from faith and love for God. This view was well established in historic doctrine (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6478). While some customs that had no Scriptural authority could be retained, work-piety could not, as it was used as a means of justification, a concept very clearly articulated in Scripture (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6573).
In relation to the role of works Fagerberg discusses the concept of vocation - “the life commanded by God” (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6587). The reformers redefined vocation by not limiting it to holy orders but extending it to all our God-given roles in life (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6600). This Luther draws from the Fourth Commandment (Loc. 6627).
Fagerberg goes on to discuss the vocation of marriage in particular (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6702). Though they rejected the sacramental view of marriage, the Reformers did see it as a noble vocation. In the Confessional discussions the debate about marriage is relatively small (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6716). Yet marriage is viewed as a good thing, instituted in creation and appropriate for Christians and unbelievers alike (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6759). Marriage is by mutual, public consent. If a minister is involved it is to bless the union (Fagerberg 1988, Loc. 6793).