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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law part 65

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1 Timothy 4:6-10

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

This is so certain that none of the gates of hell can overthrow it—that in the preaching of repentance, the preaching of the law is insufficient, because the law works wrath and always accuses. The preaching of the gospel must be added so that the forgiveness of sins is granted to us if we believe that sins are forgiven us for Christ's sake. Why else would there be need of the gospel? Why would there be need of Christ? This belief must always be kept in view so that we may refute those who cast aside Christ and blot out the gospel, wickedly distorting the Scriptures to the human opinion that we purchase forgiveness of sins with our works.

Pulling It Together

The law is used by God to achieve certain results. It exhorts us to look out for “number two,” or to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31). Beyond urging us to care for others, the law also condemns us if we do not. So, the law provides us with standards of behavior, thereby making us acutely aware when we fail to keep God’s law. In so doing, the law creates in us a need of forgiveness. However, the law does not meet this need. This is why we confess that the law is insufficient by itself. The law needs the gospel. Nothing is more welcome and necessary than good news when one has heard a guilty verdict. God has provided that good news in Jesus Christ, who has purchased our redemption, for he is the Savior of the world—especially for those who believe.

Prayer: Help me set my hope on you, Lord, for you alone have come into the world to save sinners like me. Amen. 

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Winning, Losing, Loving; The Gospel in the Old Testament traces themes of chosenness, sin, and grace throughout the early books of the Bible. These cycles of sin and redemption point forward toward God's ultimate act of redemption in Jesus Christ.


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