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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Monastic Vows
Thus those who teach that the monastic life merits the forgiveness of sins or eternal life are wholly suppressing the gospel about the forgiveness of sins and the promised mercy in Christ. They transfer the confidence due Christ to their foolish observances. Instead of freely apprehending Christ, they worship their own hoods and their own filth. Although even they need mercy, they act wickedly by concocting works of supererogation, then selling them to others.
Pulling It Together: How much faith is enough? Is there an admittance fee to heaven, but then you have to pay for any extras? Does a little more get you more once you get inside? Of course not. Jesus teaches that just a little faith is enough. Do you believe on Christ for forgiveness of your sins and salvation? It is enough. Even your little faith is sufficient for God to accomplish what seems impossible to you. Every act of faith is simply your duty (Luke 17:10) to him who has already rewarded your faith with the promise of eternal life. Believe!
Prayer: Increase my faith, O Lord, in you. Amen.
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In the Luther Household is a six-session Bible study on the Lutheran understanding of marriage and family. Based on foundational texts from Scripture, the study also draws from the real-life experience of Martin and Katie Luther, who were not only husband and wife, but the parents of several children. It includes excerpts from Luther's personal writings to family and friends as they faced the good and bad that come in everyday living. Some pastors use this study in marriage counseling.