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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Mass � part 9

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Hebrews 10:11-14

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

Although our case has already been stated, we shall add a few things on this topic because the adversaries foolishly pervert many passages of Scripture to defend their errors. In the Confutation they have said many things concerning “sacrifice.” We purposely avoided this term in our Confession due to its ambiguity. We have explained our criticisms of how those persons misunderstand and abuse the term “sacrifice.” Now, in order to explain the passages of Scripture that have been wickedly perverted, it is necessary to set forth from the beginning what a sacrifice is. For a decade, the adversaries have published almost infinite volumes concerning sacrifice, yet not one of them has given a definition of sacrifice thus far. They simply rip the word “sacrifices” from either the Scriptures or the Fathers, then attach their own ideas, as though sacrifice signifies whatever pleases them.

Pulling It Together

Scripture presents Christ as our High Priest, who through his one sacrifice has taken away the sins of the world. Those who believe are justified with God by no merit or works of their own. They are sanctified forever for Christ’s sake, that is, because of what he has done. This sacrifice that has brought about forgiveness of sin, justification, sanctification, and eternal life with God are a free gift from God. In other words, our goodness, our religion, our works are not the conditions of God’s sacrifice for us. His grace alone has provided all that is necessary. We need only to have faith in him, believing that his love for us is sufficient to provide the one sacrifice for our salvation.

Prayer: Give me faith to believe, Lord, in you alone. Amen.

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