From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles – part 30
Fifthly, the Mass is and can be nothing else than a human work (even when performed by wicked scoundrels, as Church law and all books declare). By it, one attempts to reconcile himself and others to God, and to obtain and deserve the forgiveness of sins and grace (for this is how the Mass is observed when it is observed at the very best; otherwise what purpose would it serve?). This is the very reason it should and must be condemned and rejected, as it directly conflicts with the chief article, which states that it is the Lamb of God, the Son of God, who bears away our sins—not either a wicked or a godly hireling of the Mass by what he does.
Pulling It Together
The mission of Jesus was to take upon himself the sin of the whole world (those who have ever lived, as well as those who ever will). The righteous, sinless Son of God bore the sin of all humanity, so that those who believe in him, may justly be considered righteous before God. He is our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30). He has done this for us; no one else does, nor can they. Any other religious form must be rejected. Holy Communion celebrates what Christ has done, not what someone else does. Christ alone was able to make this sacrifice, and he has done so. It is finished (John 19:30).
Prayer: Lamb of God, give me confidence in what you have done for the world, and even for me. Amen.
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