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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Invocation of Saints – part 27

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1 Timothy 2:1–6

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Invocation of Saints 

Even if we could imagine that the invocation of saints were taught with the greatest circumspection, the subject is still dangerous. Why is it necessary to defend it when it has no command or testimony from God’s Word? Indeed, it does not have even the testimony of the ancient writers.

Pulling It Together

Great value was placed on Patristics: what the early theologians and bishops called the Church Fathers taught about the Christian faith from the time of the apostles through the seven ecumenical councils of the Church (roughly until early in the eighth century).

As the centuries passed, the practices of the churches changed. In the earliest centuries, churches gave thanks to God in memory of the faithful. This is still done today, for example, the Commemoration of Polycarp, disciple of John, pastor, and martyr. He is remembered on February 23rd each year. Athanasius of Alexandria is remembered on May 2nd, Mary on July 22nd, and others on various days of the year. Eventually, thanks gave way to veneration of and prayer to the saints. This evolution may be observed in the Church Fathers.

It cannot, however, be found in the New Testament, where anyone other than Christ alone is the Mediator of the Church. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). This is the testimony of Scripture, of the earliest Church Fathers (the Apostolic Fathers), and the confession of Lutherans. 

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for hearing my prayers. Amen.

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