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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Invocation of Saints – part 22

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1 Corinthians 15:55–58

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Invocation of Saints 

Granted, the blessed Mary prays for the Church, but does she receive souls in death, does she conquer death, does she give life? What does Christ do if the blessed Mary does these things? Though she is deserving of the most ample honors, nevertheless she does not wish to be made equal to Christ, but instead wishes us to consider and follow her example.

Pulling It Together

First, Scripture does not tell us that Mary is the victory over sin and death, not does it even hint at such things. Christ conquered death for Mary and for us all. His victory is so complete that we are considered to be more than victorious (Rom 8:37) through faith in him. There is no area untouched by this total victory. But it is not Mary’s victory; it is not Paul’s or Peter’s or any other saint’s triumph. It is Christ’s victory that is shared by all believers through faith in him (1 John 5:4-5). Mary and the other saints cannot provide us any victory over sin and death. God is due all of the thanks because he has defeated sin and death through his Son, and given us full share in his victory. We too overcome these enemies through faith in Christ alone (1 John 5:4).

Second, we should certainly follow Mary’s example of steadfast faith—and not hers only, but the examples of all the saints, both dead and living.  

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your total victory over sin and death. Amen.

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The Invitation Project is a congregational guide that describes how a parish can host an “invite-able” event, as part of a larger evangelism initiative, energizing God’s people for the mission of Christ. Using a practical step-by-step “how to” approach, provides guidance, organization, and ideas — not simply to promote a single program, but to develop and inspire the over-all outreach of the congregation. 

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