We want to demonstrate to all the pious children of God, who from their hearts pray for the future of the kingdom of Christ, our own duty in this so deplorable scattering of the church.
The fact that all people have been made by God and are God’s creatures should therefore be reason enough for us to go to them, seeking with the utmost faithfulness to bring them to eternal life.
This is why we have undertaken the writing of this little book concerning all these matters, inserting various quotations from the word of God and, insofar as the Lord has given us grace, explaining them. From these every Christian can thoroughly learn what sort of fellowship the church of Christ is, how Christ the Lord alone rules, what ministry he requires in that rule and how this ministry is to be ordered and performed, in relation to all those who are brought to the church of Christ and wish to be kept and built up in it.
We have throughout set out the spiritual quotations, so that the Christian reader can himself see the foundation of the word, consider it and lay it up in his heart. For there are not a few who, as soon as anything is said about church discipline and order, are always crying out that we want to bring back the traditions and bondage of men; and so we do not wish to put forward anything other than the obvious and certain teaching and clear undoubted command of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Martin Bucer (1491–1551) was one of the most important sixteenth-century Reformers, who became leader of the Reformed Churches in Switzerland and South Germany after the death of Zwingli.