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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 43

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Romans 8:33–37

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Although the angels of heaven pray for us (as Christ himself also does), as well as the saints on earth, and perhaps in heaven too, it does not then follow that we should invoke and adore angels and saints, holding fasts and festivals, celebrating Mass in their honor, making offerings, and establishing churches, altars, divine worship, serving them in still more ways, while regarding them as patrons and intercessors in times of need, and ascribing to them all manner of help, assigning to each one a particular form of assistance, as the papists teach and do. This is idolatry. Such honor belongs to God alone.

Pulling It Together: Only Jesus Christ is our mediator. If he intercedes for us (and he does), we need no other. He requires no assistance; he is up to the task. So, give him the honor of calling upon him in your time of need. New religious items are not required; Jesus alone is necessary. Indeed, these fasts and services and offerings not only do not help, they are a hindrance. If one depends on anything or anyone other than Jesus, they have done two things wrongly. First, they have called upon ones who cannot help. Second, they have dishonored Christ and spurned his love. He has promised to hear our prayers (1 John 5:14), so pray to him.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your listening love. Amen.

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