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From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles
Others become blind and arrogant, having the opinion that they can and do keep the law by their own powers, as was said above about the scholastic theologians. This is how hypocrites and false saints are produced.
Pulling It Together
Justification always comes through faith in God’s gracious promises in Christ. Being right with God is never a result of one’s devotion to God. The opposite is the case on two levels. One, the blindest and most arrogant people are created when they believe their righteous standing before God is the result of their piety. I once knew a woman who never sinned. That is what she insisted. Blinded by her own goodness, she no longer had use for the Savior. Two, justification comes to us because of God’s devotion to us—not the reverse.
Prayer: I need you, Jesus, because I am a sinner. Amen.
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The ReClaim Hymnal for Church and Home contains three Communion Settings along with liturgies for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Funerals, and other occasional services. It also includes the Small Catechism, as well as 275 beloved hymns from various hymn traditions. It is a resource that would be suitable for confirmation and graduation gifts as well as congregational use.