Kolb, Robert. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
Augsburg Confession XVI, “Concerning Public Order and Secular Government.” p. 50
Apology to the Augsburg Confession XVI, “Political Order.” pp. 231-233
Article 16 of the Augsburg Confession teaches that orderly government and political authority are created by God. It is not a sin to be involved in government service, including as a soldier. The Anabaptist prohibition of such involvement is condemned, as is the view that Christians are obligated to depart from civil life altogether. The Christian may not enter into sin by government command, but is otherwise free (Kolb 2000, 50).
In the Apology we find that the opponents had accepted article 16. The apology restates the premises and explains that there is a distinction between the Church and the civil realm. While Christians live a spiritual life, they do so in society. The state cannot legislate spirituality and the church does not make civil laws (Ibid., 232). The tendency of Christians to create laws has been troubling to leaders in the past. The Lutheran Reformers self-consciously fought this tendency (Ibid., 233). As to holding property, based on the Bible’s prohibitions against stealing, Melanchthon asserted that private property is protected, along with contracts and other civil arrangements.