From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles – part 26
Secondly, this is an unnecessary thing, which may be omitted without sin and danger.
Pulling It Together: While it may be “omitted without sin and danger,” it may not be done without danger of sin. If people believe that Holy Communion is a work, a sacrifice done by a priest, and a service performed by themselves to receive God’s grace and forgiveness, then they are in real danger. If they believe that God’s free grace is something that must be merited, then they reject Christ; they refuse his mercy and grace. They spurn Christ’s crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection, if they insist this sacrifice of the Mass must be performed again and again (Heb 9:28). This crucifying of Christ makes mockery of him, all for the sake of being religious. The irony is, this false religion affords no certain hope of real forgiveness or eternal life. Its adherents are always concerned whether they have done enough to compensate for their sins. All the while, Jesus has done everything.
Prayer: Restore to me, Lord Jesus, the joy of your salvation. Amen.
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Why Did Jesus Have to Die? is a six-week Bible Study that examines the most profound event of salvation history — the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — exploring from a biblical perspective what is known as the doctrine of the Atonement.