Kolb, Robert. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
Augsburg Confession XV, “Concerning Church Regulations.” pp. 48-49
Apology to the Augsburg Confession XV, “Human Traditions in the Church.” pp. 224-231
Article 15 of the Augsburg Confession observes that non-biblical church regulations may be good as they “serve to maintain peace and good order in the church” (Kolb 2000, 48). These are not, however, to burden consciences. Also, those regulations which are used to earn grace are opposed to the gospel and should be rejected (Ibid., 49). The Confutation accepted the first part but condemned the statement about traditions not earning grace. This is addressed in AC XXVI but restated in Ap XV (Ibid., 224). Referring to 1 Timothy 4:1-3 the teaching of earning merit is considered demonic. It replaces Christ with another mediator (Ibid.). The promise of forgiveness is only ever received by faith. It can never be earned by works (Ibid., 225). Melanchthon evaluates numerous passages of Scripture, observing that the rites do not earn favor but that trust in Jesus receives unmerited favor.