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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Invocation of Saints – part 33

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Romans 3:21–22

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Invocation of Saints 

Bishops, theologians, and monks applaud these monstrous and wicked tales because they put food in their bellies. But they do not tolerate us because we do not require the invocation of saints, and because we condemn abuses in the worship of saints so that the honor and office of Christ may be more conspicuous. Good people everywhere have longed for either the authority of the bishops or the diligence of the preachers to correct these abuses. Nevertheless, our adversaries altogether pass over obvious vices in their Confutation, as though they wish, by forcing our acceptance of the Confutation, to require us to approve of even the most notorious abuses.

Pulling It Together

The office that Melancthon refers to is that Christ is our Propitiator and Mediator. Christ alone has atoned for our sin and it is he who stands between sinners and God. The law does us no good because we cannot keep it—nor can other sinners keep it for us. Beyond that, it would make no difference if we could; the law is something sinners should obey but it does not make them righteous even when they sometimes manage to obey its demands. All the law does is point its accusing finger at us and tell us to do better. But it does not justify us to God. This is the office of Christ—not of the law or of our works of the law. He provides all who have faith in him with the righteousness of God instead of a so-called righteousness of law keeping.

Prayer: My only boast is in you, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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