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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 25

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Isaiah 29:13–14

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

If there were reasonable papists, we could speak reasonably and in a friendly way, asking why they so rigidly uphold the Mass. For they are strictly a human invention, not having been commanded by God. We may discard every human invention, as Christ declares: “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” (Matt 15:9).

Pulling It Together

Luther speaks here of the money-making Roman Mass. We have dealt earlier with masses paid for in order to absolve the dead, or others not present. Such things are religious and may make one feel faithful, yet they are not commanded by God. Indeed, in the case of this so-called Mass, it is evil because it does not require faith, since the dead, those not present, and even people who did not want a Mass paid for and said for them, are neither confessing their sins nor having faith in Christ. Ironically, it is through the pure Lord’s Supper that God does something wonderful, freely giving his grace to those with faith in Christ.

Prayer: Help me live by faith, Lord, not by religious works. Amen.

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