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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Invocation of Saints – part 6

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2 John 8–11

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Invocation of Saints 

Supposing the saints do passionately pray for the Church, it still does not follow that they are to be invoked. Still, our Confession only affirms this: that Scripture does not teach us to pray to the saints or ask them for help. Since neither a command, nor a promise, nor an example can be produced from the Scriptures about the invocation of saints, it follows that consciences cannot be certain about such invocation.

Pulling It Together: Scripture exhorts us to continue in the teachings of Christ’s apostles. We are not to go on ahead, that is, not invent new doctrines. If we teach as command, promise, or an example to be followed that which is not found in Scripture, we run the risk of heresy and worse, pulling others down with us. We must learn this well. Paul also teaches us to “not go beyond what is written” (1 Cor 4:6).

We may think that human traditions like the invocation of saints are harmless. Be clear; these things are not benign adiaphora. Otherwise Scripture would not admonish us to have nothing to do with a person who comes with a new teaching—something not found in the Old and New Testaments. That person is not living according to Christ’s word; that person is a deceiver and not from God.

Prayer: Help me to abide in your word, Lord, and so to abide in you. Amen.

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Living Faith, a Believer's Guide to Growing in Christ is a discipleship resource based on Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. This 12-part Bible study by Pastor Brack East is designed to help individuals grow more deeply into a living faith in Jesus, while interacting with other believers in a life-to-life setting of three or four people. Such settings around the Word of God have proven to be part of the workshop of the Holy Spirit, and Luther’s Small Catechism has stood the test of time as a reliable guide to growing in faith. 

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