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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law part 107

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1 Timothy 2:3-6

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law – part 107

It is also clear that we cannot observe the law without the aid of Christ, as he himself tells us. “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). So before we are able to observe the law, our hearts must be born again by faith. Therefore, it is understandable why we find fault with the doctrine of the adversaries concerning meritum condigni. The decision is very easy, since they do not mention faith or that we please God by faith for Christ's sake. Rather, they imagine that good works, done because of an inclination to love, constitute a righteousness worthy by itself to please God, and earn eternal life with no need of Christ as mediator.

Pulling It Together

There is no good thing that we can do, or even a lifetime’s collection of good works, that God would dignify as a righteousness worthy of eternal life. If that were so, why would he have sent his Son to be the satisfaction or propitiation for our sin? Why would God require faith in Christ if we could earn our own salvation? We need Christ; we cannot save ourselves. There is only one God and Savior (Titus 2:13; Jude 25) and he needs no assistance from us. He has paid the penalty for our sin, ransoming us from death (Mark 10:45). Jesus has negotiated or mediated the price that we could never pay, so that we could come to a knowledge of the truth and be set free (John 8:32) from sin and death. All of this happens without our help, but not without faith in Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for completely saving me so that I may have faith in you and not worry if there is something that I must still do to inherit eternal life. Amen. 

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