From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Mass
Our opponents pray for the dead, which we do not prohibit; but we disapprove of the application ex opere operato of the Lord’s Supper on behalf of the dead. The ancients do not favor our opponents concerning the opus operatum. Even though they have the agreement of Gregory or modern theologians, we face them with the most clear and certain Scriptures. There is a great diversity among the Fathers. They were men, and could err and be deceived. If they could live again, and see their sayings used to support the notorious falsehoods which our opponents teach about the opus operatum, they would convey their thoughts far differently.
Pulling It Together
Worship in the New Testament is done “in spirit and truth.” This kind of worship means that the active agent is the Spirit of God—not us. Our works do not count for anything. So, we must worship God in faith. God does not delight in our works, but in our faith toward him. This is true worship, and the Lord is looking for those who would worship him in this way: from the heart and with faith.
Prayer: Fill me, Holy Spirit, so that I may worship you as you desire. Amen.
The Sacraments is one of four books in the Sola Confirmation Series and serves as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series may be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program.