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1 Timothy 4:1–5
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Monastic Vows
It is also untrue that monastic observances are works advised by the gospel. The gospel does not counsel distinctions of clothing and foods, or relinquishing property. These are human traditions, all being answered with, “Food will not commend us to God” (1 Cor 8:8). Therefore, they are neither justifying services nor perfection. Indeed, when they are presented under cover of these titles, they are mere “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1).
Pulling It Together
We easily see that Paul, himself of the pharisaic tradition (Phil 3:5), taught that Christians leave the faith when they devote themselves to legal requirements such as those under consideration. These things make us no more righteous before God than anyone else. What we do does not “commend us to God.” These actions do not provide us with any merit or virtue before him. Christ has done that for us; have faith in him, not in your religious acts. They are devils who suggest that Christ Jesus is unnecessary and superfluous since justification and life eternal may be had for a price or because of a religious lifestyle.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your Spirit who commends me to you for Christ’s sake. Amen.
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The Sola Confirmation Series, written by the Rev. Steven E. King, is basic work-book style Confirmation curriculum. It is designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program.
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