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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Repentance part 14

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Romans 4:4–5

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Article 7: Concerning Repentance 

II. That we deserve grace because of attrition.

Pulling It Together

Although we should certainly “fear, love, and trust God” (Small Catechism), these things, including the fear of God (attrition), do not earn grace. Grace is freely conferred by God to those who are then expected to fear, love, and trust him. God’s freely given grace is not had by our works or by our state of mind or heart. We do not first give him our time, talents, money—or even our fear, love, and trust—and then receive his grace. That would be grace paid for services rendered. Instead, through no merit of our own, we are given his grace because of the merits of Christ alone. So we confess what is written, that though our works are filthy rags (Isa 64:6), if we believe in Christ, we are justified and our faith is credited to us as righteousness. 

Prayer: Gracious Father, give me the heart of Abraham, so that I may trust in you alone for righteousness and salvation. Amen. 

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