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1 Timothy 6:3–6
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Invocation of Saints
Luther was not the first to complain about public abuses. Long ago, there were many excellent, learned men who deplored the abuses of the Mass, trust in monastic observances, veneration of the saints that was meant to yield revenue, and confusion of the doctrine of repentance—which ought to be as clear and plain in the Church as possible. We have heard of excellent theologians who desire modification of the scholastic doctrine, which is more useful for philosophical debates than for piety. Nevertheless, the older theologians are generally nearer to Scripture than are the more recent ones. So their theology has steadily worsened.
Many good people sided with Luther from the very first, if for no other reason than they saw that he was freeing people’s minds from the mazes of these most confused and incessant discussions of the scholastic theologians and canonists, and was teaching things profitable for godliness.
Pulling It Together
Without “the words of faith” (1 Tim 4:6) the Christian Church will cease to be. Traditions and myths bring no peace but the plain teaching of Scripture brings contentment. I know of people who live their lives believing in “silly myths” (1 Tim 4:7) but have no certainty of eternal life. Their God, whom they think to be the God of Christians, is as capricious to them as the Greek and Roman gods were to those who believed in them.
So we must teach “the words of faith,” which are profitable for both godliness and contentment. For when one is content with Christ, he is at peace in all circumstances. That person trusts in God’s promises instead of human traditions that cannot be kept (Acts 15:10). Trusting in God’s faithfulness, we are at peace in Christ. This is the heart of “the words of faith” that we confess.
Prayer: Turn my mind to your word, Lord. Amen.
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Deliver Us from Evil, by Rev. Philip Gagnon, provides a ritual approach to exorcism and the demonic. It is a helpful instrument of pastoral care for such times when a pastor encounters the need for performing an exorcism. Pastor Gagnon explores the scriptural and early Church background and response to the demonic, as well as the pastoral discernment and the use of the sacraments in relation to exorcism. Included are two rites of renunciation, two rites of exorcism, and a rite for the exorcism and blessing of a dwelling. Additional prayers and blessings are included as helps in the battle. The book serves as an alert to the manifold ways in which evil may work in the human heart.