From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
True prayer, charity, and fasting have God’s command, and where they have God’s command, they cannot be neglected without sin. But when these works have not been commanded by God’s law, but instead have a fixed form derived from human regulation, they are works of human traditions of which Christ says, “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” (Matt 15:9). For example, certain fasts have been appointed, not to restrain the flesh, but so that honor may be given to God by this work, as Scotus says, and satisfaction made for eternal death. Likewise, a prescribed number of prayers or works of charity, when performed as acts of devotion, are said to give honor to God and make up for eternal death ex opere operato. They ascribe satisfaction to these works for the sake of the works, teaching that they benefit even those who are in mortal sin.
Pulling It Together
God commands good works but he does not require them as satisfactions for sin. Any command to do fixed numbers of prayers, fasts, acts of charity, or other religious deeds are vain and human ordinances that not only do not satisfy God, they weary him. He would have us do good and seek justice because he commands these righteous acts. However, the works themselves do not make us righteous. God makes us righteous for Christ’s sake, not because of our works.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your perfect, saving work of the cross. Amen.
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Five VBS Class Posters & Five Sticker Sheets
These glossy full-color 11"x 17" posters with the title "Welcome to VBS!" are designed for use in recording attendance for Vacation Bible School. Five posters are included in each set, along with five color sticker sheets. Days are numbered 1-5, to correspond to the standard weekday VBS schedule.