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               The Augsburg Confession

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    The first twenty-one articles articulate the Christian faith from a Lutheran perspective.

  1. God - The Evangelical churches affirm the Holy Trinity and the creeds. We also reject all former heresies.
  2. Original Sin - affirms that all people since Adam and Eve are born into sin and rejects the view that people are born without sin.
  3. Son of God - affirms Jesus Christ as divine and human, and proclaims his death, resurrection and eternal rule as stated in the Apostles Creed and rejects all heresies related to this article.
  4. Justification - People cannot be justified by God through their own powers, merits or works, but are justified as a gift on account of Christ's sake through faith.
  5. Preaching - to obtain such faith God instituted an office of preaching, giving the gospel and the sacraments.
  6. New Obedience - Good works do not earn salvation. Good works are the good fruit of faith that trusts the gift of justification on account of Christ.
  7. The Church - It is enough for true unity in the church that the gospel is preached harmoniously according to pure understanding and the sacraments administered in conformity to the divine Word.
  8. What is the Church? - The assembly of believers and saints.
  9. Baptism - It is necessary, grace is offered through it, and is available to children.
  10. Lord's Supper - The body and blood of Christ are truly present and distributed.
  11. Confession - Private absolution should be retained in church practice (although it is hard to find, at least in North American churches).
  12. Repentance - Takes places in two parts - contrition for error and sin; faith that sins are forgiven for Christ's sake. Good works should naturally follow as the fruit of repentance.
  13. Use of Sacraments - Sacraments are not just external signs, but given for the sake of awakening and strengthening faith.
  14. Church Order - No one should teach or administer sacraments unless properly called.
  15. Church Regulations - Rules and traditions may be made and kept for the sake of good order, but rules and traditions made by human beings for the sake of appeasing God are contrary to the gospel - i.e. monastic vows and food regulations.
  16. Civic Affairs - Lawful civic ordinances are the good works of God. Christians may hold public office, work in law courts, impose punishments, serve in the military, make legal contracts, hold property, get married, etc. Rejected are those who prohibit Christians from assuming public responsibilities.
  17. Christ's Return in Judgment - Christ will return to judge, giving eternal life to those who believe and condemn the ungodly and devils to hell.
  18. Free Will - Humans have free will to live in this world. Humans without the gift of the Holy Spirit cannot become pleasing to God, fear, or believe in God with their whole heart.
  19. Cause of Sin - God creates and preserves all nature. The perverted will of the devil and the ungodly causes sin and despises God.
  20. Faith and Good Works - We are falsely accused of prohibiting good works. We teach that works cannot reconcile people with God, but should be done in response to faith, for "apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
  21. Cult of the Saints - Saints are an example of faith, but Christ alone is our intercessor. "But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous" (1 John 2:1).
  22. The second part of the Augsburg Confession (articles twenty-two to twenty-eight) deals with reforming church abuses.

  23. Both Kinds in the Sacrament - Both bread and wine are to be made available, as Christ commands, "eat...drink from it all of you" (Matthew 26:17).
  24. Marriage of Priests - Marriage is instituted by God and should not be prohibited from the clergy.
  25. The Mass - The mass is celebrated among us, but is now done in the language of the people, and the sacrament is given for the sake of faith.
  26. Confession - Confession has not been abolished, it is done for the sake of repentance and faith.
  27. Distinction of Foods - Human traditions do not impart God's grace. Traditions are retained when they are helpful for the sake of good order and discipline, but not as a way to earn God's favor.
  28. Monastic Vows - Vows made in monasteries were at one time viewed on par or above the promises of baptism. People were taught to flee from the world, not to marry, and work toward perfection out of ignorance. In light of the gospel and the words of scripture, these promises are null and void.
  29. Church Authority - In former times bishops and ecclesiastical authorities ruled by the sword. The role of Church governance is ensuring the proper preaching of the gospel in purity and administration of the sacraments.

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