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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Invocation of Saints – part 10

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1 Timothy 2:5

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Invocation of Saints 

But even if they distinguish between the saints being mediators of intercession and mediators of redemption, they do so without the testimony of Scripture. However so reverently they state this, it nevertheless obscures Christ’s office, and transfers to those saints the trust that we should place in Christ’s mercy. People imagine that Christ is more severe and the saints more easily appeased, so they trust in the mercy of the saints rather than the mercy of Christ. Fleeing Christ, they seek the saints. So they actually make them mediators of redemption.

Pulling It Together: What we are really discussing here is God’s ability to keep his promises. Does he forgive and justify those who have faith in Christ? Or not? We confess that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9) and does so for Christ’s sake, not for the sake of Peter or Paul, John or James, Anselm or Augustine, or the myriad saints of heaven. All of them combined would have no effect on God’s grace, which is already freely afforded us because of Christ. He alone is our mediator, our intercessor before the Father.

Furthermore, there can be no other intercessors—even if they could influence God, which they cannot since he has already determined and has promised to forgive those who believe. Because there is only one God (Deut 6:4) and one mediator between God and man, that mediator—as Scripture testifies—is the only one who is both God and man: Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for hearing my prayers, through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

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