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The Feast of the Holy Trinity



"That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted.  For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith, where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ's sake.  They condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word, through their own preparation and works."

            Augsburg Confession, Article V, The Office of the Ministry, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45. Tappert, p. 31.            


"And just as the Word has been given in order to excite this faith, so the Sacrament has been instituted in order that the outward appearance meeting the eyes might move the heart to believe [and strengthen faith].  For through these, namely, through Word and Sacrament, the Holy Ghost works."

            Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV (XII), #70, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 409. Tappert, p. 262.


"Our adversaries have no testimonies and no command from Scripture for defending the application of the ceremony for liberating the souls of the dead, although from this they derive infinite revenue.  Nor, indeed, is it a light sin to establish such services in the Church without the command of God and without the example of Scripture, and to apply to the dead the Lord's Supper, which was instituted for commemoration and preaching among the living [for the purpose of strengthening the faith of those who use the ceremony].  This is to violate the Second Commandment, by abusing God's name."

            Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV, The Mass, Concordia Triglotta, p. 414f. Tappert, p. 265f.            


                             Open Communion Is Wrong

"Is the Lord's Supper the place to display my toleration, my Christian sympathy, or my fellowship with another Christian, when that is the very point in which most of all we differ; and in which the difference means for me everything‑‑means for me, the reception of the Savior's atonement?  Is this the point to be selected for the display of Christian union, when in fact it is the very point in which Christian union does not exist?"

            Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 905f.    


                              Communion for the Living,

                                         Not the Dead

"In addition there is this perversion, that whereas Christ instituted the use of His Supper for all who receive it, who take, eat, and drink, the papalist Mass transfers the use and benefit of the celebration of the Lord's Supper in our time to the onlookers, who do not communicate, yes, to those who are absent, and even to the dead."   

            Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 498.                  



"For in Confession as in the Lord's Supper you have the additional advantage, that the Word is applied to your person alone.  For in preaching it flies out into the whole congregation, and although it strikes you also, yet you are not so sure of it; but here it does not apply to anyone except you.  Ought it not to fill your hearth with joy to know a place where God is ready to speak to you personally?  Yea, if we had a chance to hear an angel speak we would surely run to the ends of the earth."

            Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 199.              


"For we can definitely assert that where the Lord's Supper, Baptism, and the Word are found, Christ, the remission of sins, and life eternal are found. On the other hand, where these signs of grace are not found, or where they are despised by men, not only grace is lacking but also foul errors will follow. Then men will set up other forms of worship and other signs for themselves."   

            What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 914. Genesis 4:3.                


"In reconciling the world unto Himself by Christ's substitutionary satisfaction, God asked no one's advice concerning His singular method of reconciliation.  In like manner, without asking any man's advice, He ordained the means by which He gives men the infallible assurance of His gracious will toward them; in other words, He both confers on men the remission of sins merited by Christ and works faith in the proffered remission or, where faith already exists, strengthens it.  The Church has appropriately called these divine ordinances the means of grace, media gratiae, instrumenta gratiae; Formula of Concord:  'Instrumenta sive media Spiritus Sancti' (Triglotta, p. 903, Solid Declaration, II, 58).  They are the Word of the Gospel, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, as will be shown more fully on the following pages."

            Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III,  p. 103.      


                              Denying the Real Presence

"Whoever denies the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper must pervert the words of Institution where Christ the Lord, speaking of that which He gives His Christians to eat, says:  'This is My body,' and, speaking of that which He gives them to drink, says: 'This is My blood.' [Also 1 Corinthians 10:16]           

            Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40. 1 Corinthians 10:16.