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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Monastic Vows – part 43

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Galatians 3:22–26

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Monastic Vows 

It is a certainty that our observances do not merit the forgiveness of sins or justification. Therefore, when the Rechabites are praised, we observe that they observed their tradition, not because they believed that by it they earned forgiveness of sins, or that the work itself was a justifying service or by which they obtained eternal life—rather than by God’s mercy, for the sake of the promised Seed. But because they had the command of their parents, their obedience is praised, for this is the commandment of God: “Honor your father and your mother” (Exod 20:12).

Pulling It Together: We have a shared promise through Christ since we are all sons of God through faith in him. As such, all believers are joint heirs of the promise made to Christ, the Seed of Abraham. We too possess the oath made to Christ. It becomes for us “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Heb 6:19), a certain hope to hold on to, certain because it was promised by God who cannot lie (Heb 6:18). So, we see that the blessings promised to Abraham and his Seed are obtained through faith in the promise, or rather, in the one who promised, not through any effort of our own.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me keep the faith and receive the promise, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

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