From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Human Traditions in the Church
The Gospel teaches that we freely receive the remission of sins and are reconciled to God by faith, for Christ’s sake. The adversaries, on the other hand, appoint another mediator, namely, their traditions. They wish to acquire remission of sins and appease God’s wrath through these traditions. But Christ clearly says, “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” (Matt 15:9).
Pulling It Together: Jesus quoted Isaiah, pointing to the futility of human, religious traditions. These practices achieve nothing. Nevertheless, God has accomplished something wonderful that the wisdom of the wise will never comprehend, the strength of the strong will not possess, and the piety of the religious can never earn. At just the right time, while we were unworthy sinners, Christ died for the sins of the world (Rom 5:6), justifying us to God through his blood (Rom 5:9), not because of our religious customs (Rom 4:5).
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the wonder of our Savior. Amen.
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Not My Will, But Yours is a six-week study that explores the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.