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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law part 57

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James 1:17-18

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

Thirdly, James has spoken shortly before concerning regeneration, namely, that it occurs through the gospel. Therefore, he says, “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). When he says that we have been born again by the gospel, he teaches that we have been regenerated and justified by faith. For the promise of Christ is apprehended only by faith, when we set it against the terrors

Pulling It Together

Every good gift comes from the Father—most notably, the gift of new birth in Christ. Salvation is a gift. Forgiveness of sins and justification are not things that can be earned. They are promised gifts that come to us from God, not from ourselves or from our own doing. We do not take hold of salvation; it is apprehended by faith. It is faith, itself a gift from God, that takes hold of salvation. We cannot make our doubts and fears fly away because we will it so or work hard at being good. Yet, faith in the promise of God’s free gift brings both new birth and peace. Faith alone regenerates the natural person into one created to do good works (1 Tim 2:8-10).

Prayer: Help me look intently into your perfect, liberating law, Lord, so that I may be set free to become a doer of the word. Amen.

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Not My Will, But Yours is a six-week study that explores the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.


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