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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Mass part 73

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Isaiah 1:18

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

Now, we shall exclude the sort of proofs that our opponents have about purgatory, what kinds of punishments they think there are in purgatory, and what grounds the doctrine of satisfactions has, which we have confuted above. We present only this in opposition: It is certain that the Lord’s Supper was instituted for the purpose of forgiving guilt. For it offers the forgiveness of sins, so guilt must necessarily be truly understood. Nevertheless, it does not make satisfaction for guilt. If it did, the Mass would be equal to the death of Christ. Forgiveness of guilt may be received in no other way than by faith. Therefore the Mass is not a satisfaction, but a promise and Sacrament that require faith.

Pulling It Together

What consolation would we have if forgiveness of sin were offered in Holy Communion, yet there was no respite from and remission of guilt? Yet there is both respite and remission, for though we are scarlet sinners, our sin is snow-driven by the grace of God. We are so completely forgiven that we are atoned for, covered like a fresh fallen snow.

Now, if you believe the Father to be that caring and loving, I ask you, what need is there of a Purgatory. Besides Purgatory being extra-biblical, what logical need exists for such a place if sin and guilt are covered by the blessed work of Christ? “Come now, let us reason together.” Enjoy the snow. It reminds us of the Father’s love.

Prayer: I trust your love, Father, and am at peace because of Christ. Amen.

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