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From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles
Nothing in this article can be yielded or surrendered, though heaven and earth, or any other transient thing should pass away. As Peter says, “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “With his wounds we are healed” (Isa 53:5). On this article depends everything we teach and practice in opposition to the pope, the devil, and the world. Therefore, we must be certain about this doctrine, and not doubt. Otherwise all is lost, and the pope, the devil, and all others gain the victory over us.
Pulling It Together: Faith. Faith in Christ. Faith in Christ alone. This must not be yielded, or else anything may be believed. A system of law, or works, or any human tradition could be said to lead to salvation. But what is written? We have life in his name. Eternal life, salvation, righteousness, and justification all come through faith in Christ alone. Everything depends upon this doctrine. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6); there is no other name by which we are saved.
Prayer: Give me the assurance of your salvation, Lord, and the peace that comes only from your Spirit. Amen.
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Pastor Kent Groethe's study of the Book of Acts, Acts - Old Places, New Faces, focuses on the life of the early church as a model for church life today. The message and power of the church today needs to be revitalized and renewed by the power of God's Spirit, just as it was in the early church.