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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Mass part 77

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John 4:23–24

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

Our opponents pray for the dead, which we do not prohibit; but we disapprove of the application ex opere operato of the Lord’s Supper on behalf of the dead. The ancients do not favor our opponents concerning the opus operatum. Even though they have the agreement of Gregory or modern theologians, we face them with the most clear and certain Scriptures. There is a great diversity among the Fathers. They were men, and could err and be deceived. If they could live again, and see their sayings used to support the notorious falsehoods which our opponents teach about the opus operatum, they would convey their thoughts far differently.

Pulling It Together

Worship in the New Testament is done “in spirit and truth.” This kind of worship means that the active agent is the Spirit of God—not us. Our works do not count for anything. So, we must worship God in faith. God does not delight in our works, but in our faith toward him. This is true worship, and the Lord is looking for those who would worship him in this way: from the heart and with faith.

Prayer: Fill me, Holy Spirit, so that I may worship you as you desire. Amen.

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