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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Monastic Vows – part 25

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2 Peter 3:14–18

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Monastic Vows 

But our opponents cunningly try to seem as if they are modifying the common opinion about perfection. They say that the monastic life is not perfection, but that it is a state in which to acquire perfection. How charming. We remember that this correction is found in Gerson. It appears that circumspect people were offended by these overstated praises of monastic life. Yet since they did not presume to entirely withdraw the praise of perfection, they made the modification that monasticism is a state in which perfection is acquired. If we follow this line of thinking, monasticism is no better a state of perfection than the life of a farmer or mechanic. These are also states in which to acquire perfection. For all people in every vocation should seek perfection. That is, they ought to grow in the fear of God, in faith, in love of their neighbor, and similar spiritual qualities.

Pulling It Together: How may a person of faith be found on that Day “without spot or blemish”? Even more, how may one be certain that their life is so blameless that they are at peace with God? If you imagine that these things happen because of things you do, you will never have peace because you will always have a little (or a lot) more to do. If you think this perfect status with God is achieved by you overcoming your sins, then, sinner, you will never be spotless. Nevertheless, in whatever state of life you find yourself, whatever vocation you are following, you are in the perfect place to enjoy God’s grace—and to grow in his grace. His grace. His.

Wherever you are today—in prison or a factory, a field or another kind of lot, an office or a classroom, a home or a hospital—you are in a place to grow in his grace — freely provided to you with the forgiveness of sins and salvation, through faith in Christ alone (Eph 2:8–9). Be diligent to fear and love God above all things, and trust him with your salvation. He has more than enough merit to share with you.

Prayer: Help me to trust you above all things, Lord. Amen.

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