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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Human Traditions in the Church – part 1

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Romans 3:19–20

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Human Traditions in the Church 

They accept the Fifteenth Article in the first part, where we say that ecclesiastical rites are to be observed when they may be observed without sin, and when they are of profit in the Church for tranquility and good order. They altogether condemn the second part, in which we say that human traditions that are instituted to appease God, to merit grace, and make satisfactions for sins are contrary to the gospel. Although we have spoken at sufficient length about traditions in our Confession, when considering the distinction of meats, still, certain things should be briefly recounted here.

Pulling It Together: Our works will never earn us salvation, nor were they meant to do so. We cannot reconcile ourselves to God, earn his grace, or otherwise make satisfaction for our sins by keeping the law, let alone by merely meeting the demands of human traditions. When we try to keep the law, as we should, we discover that we are undone, sinners who are unable to save themselves. So, we are left with the glorious alternative: to trust God to do as he promises, that he saves those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9)—for Christ’s sake alone.

Prayer: Lead me to always trust in you, Father, through Christ Jesus, your Son. Amen. 

The Ten Commandments is a ten-week unit in the Sola Confirmation Series. It includes one session on each of the Commandments. The Scripture focus in the Ten Commandment series is on Moses and the Exodus Cycle, with Bible Study lessons taken primarily from the Pentateuch.

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