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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Mass – part 50

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1 Corinthians 10:16–17

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

Other common errors are also to be rejected, such as, that the Mass confers grace upon one using it ex opere operato, or that it merits the forgiveness of sins, guilt, and punishment when it is transferred to others, even for wicked persons, provided they do not interpose an obstacle. All these things are false and godless, recently invented by unlearned monks. They obscure the glory of Christ’s suffering and the righteousness of faith.

Pulling It Together

Holy Communion is the privilege of those who truly participate in the body and blood of Christ. This participation is genuine fellowship in the communion of saints, else it is a mockery. One must be present in every sense: physical, mental, spiritual. We do not commune with Christ and with one another without understanding what has been done for us, or by partaking thoughtlessly, mechanically. And we certainly cannot benefit if we are not physically present. The mere doing of the thing is simply another work. The fellowship of the saints and every other blessing of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed are received with active, engaged faith—not by rote, by mindless, spiritless works. 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your great gifts, given freely to those who believe. Amen.

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