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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Repentance part 3

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2 Corinthians 7:9–10

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Repentance 

We therefore beseech you, O Charles, most invincible Emperor, to patiently and diligently hear and examine this most important subject, which contains the chief topic of the gospel, and the true knowledge of Christ, and the true worship of God. For all good men will discover that, especially on this subject, we have taught things that are true, godly, salutary, and necessary for the whole Church of Christ. They will determine that the writings of our theologians have added much light to the gospel, and have corrected many harmful errors which, through the opinions of the scholastics and canonists, had clouded the doctrine of repentance.

Pulling It Together

The doctrine of faith is no small matter, for true repentance depends upon faith. Repentance needs faith to believe that God is so merciful toward us that our sins have been forgiven for Christ’s sake. Otherwise, we begin to imagine that our own love and religious works are what make the difference, are what cause God to actually forgive. There must be no mystery here; our confession should be clear.

We believe that we have rest or peace with God through righteousness. This is not a righteousness of our own. Righteousness is imputed or ascribed to us, not by any merit of our own but by the grace of God because of what Christ has accomplished. Christ has overcome sin—our sin. The good confession relies upon Christ through faith that God forgives us for his sake.

Our teaching is a happy and peaceful doctrine because it removes all doubt about whether one is forgiven or if the promise of salvation is certain. It never wonders if it has done enough good to balance out the bad. For the doctrine of faith does not depend upon our works, our goodness, or our love. It depends upon God in Christ. So we confess that repentance is a godly grief about sin that causes one to return to God with faith that he freely forgives for the sake of Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for removing the sin and the guilt, through your blessed Son. Amen.

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