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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Human Traditions in the Church part 27

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Deuteronomy 6:5–7

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Human Traditions in the Church 

With the adversaries, those who perform the Masses are unwilling celebrants and those hired for pay, and very frequently only for pay. They chant psalms, not to learn or pray but for the sake of the ceremony, as though the work was an act of worship, or at least due some reward. With us many receive the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day, but only after having first been instructed, examined, and absolved. The children sing psalms so that they may learn; the people also sing, in order that they may either learn or pray. There is no catechization of the children whatever among our opponents, though it is stipulated in the canons. With us, pastors and ministers of the churches are obligated to instruct and test the youth publicly, a custom that produces the best outcomes.

Pulling It Together

Holy Communion is not a ritual that is to be performed as though it were a good work done by us. Communion is a means of grace, something done by God for us and for Christ’s sake. This understanding must be taught to all, especially to our children. This instruction must begin in the home—for parents are the primary teachers of their own children. But the faith is also taught to the young in our churches by pastors and other faithful ministers, such as Sunday School teachers. Only then may Holy Communion be received with understanding, and the fear, love, and trust of God be properly instilled in our youth.   

Prayer: Teach me, O Lord, to love you with all my being. Amen.

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In Part 2 of Sola Scriptura, "The Norm of Faith" study shows how anactive view of the Word informs and guides our understanding of what Scripture says. In other words, it will talk about what the Bible means based on what it does. In terms of how we come to articulate our faith and our doctrinal teachings, to speak of Scripture as the "norm" of faith means that it is the standard against which our theology and proclamation are measured.

• Study Guide   • See also Sola Scriptura, Part 1: The Source of Faith


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