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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Mass
This use of the Sacrament, when faith enlivens terrified hearts, is New Testament worship because the New Testament requires spiritual orientation, death, and new life. This is the use that Christ instituted, as he commanded: “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:24).
Pulling It Together
The New Testament teaches that the highest form of worship happens within, spiritually, in the heart. One may do all the outward, religious services but do so with a corrupt heart. This is mere performance, acting. But the pure heart, that spirit which is driven by the Holy Spirit, will render to God what he desires of a person. The former, while going through religious motions, hangs on to the old nature, never quite dying. The latter has died. While in this life, the old nature continues to die—by no work of its own. Through Word and Sacrament, God orients the human spirit to himself and gives it peace. This is God’s work within us through faith in him.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving me life by your Spirit. Amen.
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Go and Tell - Word of Life Series (Unit 2) is a resource for those looking to develop small groups built around the Word of God. This model of small-group ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism since it is rooted in prayer and Scripture. Its primary focus is to empower those who believe in Jesus Christ to be comfortable sharing their faith and inviting others to experience a transformed life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Meant for use in Small Group gathering, each of the six sessions is based on a primary Scripture text, with intentional time for reflection. There are questions, prayer, faith sharing, and mini evangelism case-studies. The series would be helpful for those involved in starting a Bible study fellowship, house church, or mission congregation. It can also be used by established congregations to aid in establishing a small group ministry.