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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Justification, part 36

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Acts 10:36–43

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Justification 

Thirdly, Peter says, “To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). How could this be said more clearly? We receive forgiveness of sins, he says, through his name, that is, for his sake. Therefore, not for the sake of our merits, not because of our contrition, attrition, love, worship, works. And he adds, “When we believe in him.” Therefore Peter also requires faith. For we cannot apprehend the name of Christ except by faith. Besides he cites the agreement of all the prophets, which actually cites the authority of the Church. We will speak on this topic again when we consider “Repentance.”

Pulling It Together

Melancthon may as well have said that he could quote Paul, Augustine, and the Fathers all day long, but see here! Peter too, and the prophets also, lend support for justification by faith. More than support, they insist upon faith. They add nothing else. We are forgiven our sins, justified, through the merits of Jesus Christ alone. Nothing that we add, though add we must for it shows our faith, reconciles us to God. The judge of the living and the dead is the only one with the just authority to say, “Justified!” This righteous judge in none other than Jesus Christ, the Lord of all. 

Prayer: Father, we give you thanks for the gift of salvation that is found only in your Son. Amen. 

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Acts – Old Places, New Faces focuses on the life of the early church as a model for church life today. The message and power of the church today needs to be revitalized and renewed by the power of God's Spirit, just as it was in the early church.


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