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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law part 157

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Matthew 16:15-19

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

May faithful minds not be troubled by all those who condemn our teaching. Our opponents’ spirit can be easily judged since in some doctrines they have condemned truth that is so clear and plain that their godlessness openly appears. The bull of Leo X condemned a very necessary teaching, which all Christians should hold and believe, namely, that we ought to trust that we have been absolved because of Christ’s word, not because of our contrition. “Whatever you bind on earth” etc. (Matt 16:19).

Pulling It Together

Who do you say that Jesus is? If your confession is that he is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” you are blessed. God has revealed to you truth so deep that all of human reason cannot plumb. The mind alone cannot fathom that God forgives our sins for the sake of Christ alone. Surely, it is thought, there must be something we must do. This is the seed of religion and heresy, for faith knows that we can do nothing. We confess that Christ has done it all, that we are saved by his one work on the cross, not by our deeds. This is how one Christian is able to absolve another—not by the accumulation of religious works, but simply and clearly through confident faith in the finished work of Christ.

Prayer: I confess, Lord Jesus, that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Amen.

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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power.” (1 Cor 6:14)


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