Announcements for the week of March 15, 2015

 

TappertTHE BOOK OF CONCORD
(Tappert Edition)

APOLOGY OF  THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION

 

 

ARTICLE XV. HUMAN TRADITIONS IN THE CHURCH

Although the holy Fathers themselves had rites and traditions, they did not regard them as useful or necessary for justification. They did not obscure the glory or work of Christ but taught that we are justified by faith for Christ’s sake, not for the sake of these human rites. They observed these human rites because they were profitable for good order, because they gave the people a set time to assemble, because they provided an example of how all things could be done decently and in order in the churches, and finally because they helped instruct the common folk. For different seasons and various rites serve as reminders for the common folk.

For these reasons the Fathers kept ceremonies, and for the same reasons we also believe in keeping traditions. We are amazed when our opponents maintain that traditions have another purpose, namely, to merit the forgiveness of sins, grace and justification. What is this but honoring God “with gold and silver and precious stones,”  believing that he is reconciled by a variety of vestments, ornaments, and innumerable similar observances in the human traditions.

In Col. 2:23 Paul writes that traditions “have an appearance of wisdom,” and indeed they have. This good order is very becoming in the church and is therefore necessary. But because human reason does not understand the righteousness of faith, it naturally supposes that such works justify men and reconcile God.

Under this delusion the common people among the Israelites expanded such ceremonies, just as they have been  expanded among us in the monasteries. This is how human reason interprets fasting and bodily discipline. Though their purpose is to restrain the flesh, reason imagines that they are to be rites which justify, as Thomas writes, “Fasting avails to destroy and prevent guilt.”  This is what Thomas says. So men are deceived by the appearance of wisdom and righteousness in such works. (para.20-24)

1Cor14.40a

 

15-03-15, Lent 4, BA-2015B

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