Announcements for the Week of February 2, 2014

Apology of the Augsburg Confession

Articles VII & VII. The Church

30] The adversaries condemn also the part of the Seventh Article in which we said that “to the unity of the Church it is sufficient to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments; nor is it necessary that human traditions, rites, or ceremonies instituted by men should be alike everywhere.” Here they distinguish between universal and particular rites, and approve our article if it be understood concerning particular rites; they do not receive it concerning universal rites. [That is a fine, clumsy distinction!] 31] We do not sufficiently understand what the adversaries mean. We are speaking of true, i.e., of spiritual unity [we say that those are one harmonious Church who believe in one Christ; who have one Gospel, one Spirit, one faith, the same Sacraments; and we are speaking, therefore, of spiritual unity], without which faith in the heart, or righteousness of heart before God, cannot exist. For this we say that similarity of human rites, whether universal or particular, is not necessary, because the righteousness of faith is not a righteousness bound to certain traditions [outward ceremonies of human ordinances] as the righteousness of the Law was bound to the Mosaic ceremonies, because this righteousness of the heart is a matter that quickens the heart. To this quickening, human traditions, whether they be universal or particular, contribute nothing; neither are they effects of the Holy Ghost, as are chastity, patience, the fear of God, love to one’s neighbor, and the works, of love. (para. 30-31)

14-02-02, Purification of Mary & Presentation of Our Lord, BA-2014A

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