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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Monastic Vows part 36

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Ecclesiastes 5:1–2

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 36

Fourthly, those who live in monasteries are released from their vows by such godless ceremonies as the Mass being applied on behalf of the dead for the sake of profits. There is also the worship of saints, in which the fault is twofold: that the saints are put in Christ’s place, and that they are wickedly worshiped. So, the Dominicans invented the rosary of the Blessed Virgin, which is mere babbling, as foolish as it is wicked, and which nourishes a false assurance. These impieties are used only for the sake of gain.

Pulling It Together

Watch your step. When going before God in worship and prayer, we must be very careful. It is easy to walk into false doctrine, hypocrisy, and useless rituals. Thinking it devotion to God, we can get caught up in foolishness at best, and at worst, wicked foolishness. Any service or teaching that assigns to another the glory due to Christ falls is this sort of wicked foolishness. If we follow such services in order to obtain financial gain at the expense of others’ superstitions, we foster folly for them and for ourselves, since this encourages a false hope of forgiveness and salvation, that hope being built on the flimsiest of foundations: our own payment for God’s favor.

Prayer: Watch over my life, Lord, where I cannot see the way ahead. Amen.

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Letters to a Young Christian is a ten-session Bible Study iIn the biblical letters of First and Second Timothy. It is recommended for high school youth groups as well as for Sunday School classes with young adults, focusing on the Word of God at work in our modern lives. 


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