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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Human Traditions in the Church part 20

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Colossians 1:24–27

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Human Traditions in the Church 

That is not all. When minds are possessed with the notion that such observances are necessary for justification, consciences are in woefully anxious because they cannot fulfill all the requirements. Who could enumerate all of the observances? There are large books—indeed, whole libraries—that do not contain a syllable about Christ, faith in him, or the good works of one’s calling, but only collect the traditions along with interpretations by which observances are made more rigorous or relaxed.

Pulling It Together

How can there be a secure and sincere hope of glory when that hope is based in one’s own ability to perform? That would be to despair of glory. Our hope, however, is based on a truer self than self: on Christ in us. He is the only reason we have the hope of glory. This glorious hope is born of a great mystery but it is true nonetheless. Through the Word and the Sacraments, Christ is in us and is filling us with his Spirit in both new life and the righteousness of God. That is why we hope; the righteousness of “Christ in you” is your only “hope of glory.”

Prayer: I hope in you with a sure hope, Lord. Amen. 

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