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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles part 42

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Philippians 3:8–11

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Concerning the Invocation of Saints

The invocation of saints is also one of the abuses of the Antichrist. It conflicts with the chief article, and subverts the knowledge of Christ. It is neither commanded nor counseled, and there is no example of it in Scripture. Even if prayer to saints was a precious thing—which it is not—we have everything a thousandfold better in Christ.

Pulling It Together

Lutherans commend honoring the saints by remembering them, and emulating godly lives. We disapprove of praying to saints and angels. Scripture does not in any way teach us to do so. Furthermore, it takes the honor from Christ. He alone is our mediator. Praying to saints removes proper focus. Do not go to Saint Nick or Saint Anne; go to Jesus. He is the one to be on speaking terms with and to know in ever deeper ways. Nothing is worth more than knowing Jesus through faith.

Prayer: Lord, I want to know you and the power of your resurrection. Amen.

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A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is a new, advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series, of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.


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