What Should A Pastor Preach and Teach?

The topics with which it is necessary to deal in the true Christian church and about which we are concerned:

What law is
What gospel is
What sin is
What grace is
What the gift of the Spirit is
What true repentance is
How true confession is made
What faith is
What forgiveness of sins is
What Christian liberty is
What free will is
What love is
What the cross is
What hope is
What baptism is
What the mass is
What the church is
What the keys are
What a bishop is
What a deacon is
What the preaching office is
The true catechism, namely, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed
True prayer
The litany
The reading and interpretation of the Scriptures
What good works are
Instruction of married people, children, manservants, and maids
Respecting authority
Children’s schools
Visitation of the sick
Providing for the poor and hospitals
Ministering to the dying

No bishop has ever dealt with such topics and besides your people have never thoroughly understood or been taught them and a large part has become utterly meaningless. You cannot deny this. We have been educated in your schools, and your books, which testify to it, are still extant. The whole world gives evidence that these things were formerly never preached. Now it is certain that all depends upon these points, that the Christian Church is cared for through them, and does not need your superfluous additions at all.

Martin Luther, “Exhortation to All Clergy Assembled at Wittenberg” (written in 1530). Luther’s Works Volume 34, pages 52-53.

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