Lutherans do not view ordination as a sacrament for the following reasons.

    First of all, there is no divine promise connected with ordination. Second, the third chapter of Galatians makes it clear that God’s grace comes to us only through faith in His promises. In other words, without a promise there is no way that ordination can convey grace to anyone. That is what the Bible says, and that is what the Lutheran Church teaches, as the following statement from the Apology to the Augsburg Confession reveals.

“A sacrament is a ceremony or an act in which God offers us the content of the promise joined to a ceremony.” (Tappert, pg. 252-18)

    Furthermore, the following passages of Scripture specifically tell us that the faith, by which we receive what is promised, is faith in Christ not just faith in a ceremony. The first is 2 Cor. 1:20, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.” The second is Gal. 3:22, “Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe”

    As to the personal nature of that faith, the Apology has this to say, “Paul teaches that we are justified not by the law but by the promise, which is received by faith only. // Here we are talking about personal faith which accepts the promise as a present reality and believes that the forgiveness of sins is actually being offered.” (Tappert, pg. 152-294 and 214-21)

    Dr. Walter A. Maier expressed that doctrine this way, “Do not be misled by those who say that Baptism is not important. They contradict Christ. They put their own opinion above Scripture. Take Jesus at His word, and you will find that through Baptism — and I mean of course, not merely the performance of the ritual itself, but by your personal faith in Jesus and in His promise — the Holy Ghost unmistakably comes to you.” (The Power of Pentecost, 1943)

    Since there is no promise connected with ordination, those who view it as a sacrament assume that it will convey grace ex opere operato, and C.F.W. Walther had this to say about men who hold that doctrine
    “One would think it to be utterly impossible for a Christian minister to teach that the Sacraments produce salutary effects ex opere operato; still, that is what happens again and again. This awful error is taught by the very men who wish to pass for genuinely strict Lutherans, every time they discuss the Sacraments. When they have finished unfolding their doctrine of baptism, every hearer has received the unmistakable impression that, in order to get into heaven, it is merely necessary to submit to the act of being baptized.” (Law and Gospel, page 351)

    Finally, those who expect God’s grace to come in any way other than through faith in His promises, are trusting in a false gospel.

From a letter to Christian News, by Gary Ray Branscome, Feb. 06