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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Repentance part 38

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Romans 7:24–8:2

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Repentance 

Then, in Colossians 2:14, it is said that Christ “canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands.” Here also there are two parts, the bond and the cancellation of the bond. The bond is conscience, convicting and condemning us. The law, moreover, is the word which reproves and condemns sins. Therefore, this voice which says, “I have sinned against the Lord,” as David says (2 Sam 12:13), is the bond. The wicked and self-satisfied do not say this seriously, for they do not see, they do not read the sentence of the law written in the heart. This sentence is only perceived in sincere griefs and terrors. Therefore the bond that condemns us is contrition itself. To cancel the bond is to expunge this sentence which declares that we are condemned, and engraves the sentence by which we know that we have been freed from this condemnation. Faith is the new sentence that overturns the former sentence, and gives peace and life to the heart.

Pulling It Together

We ae in bondage to the flesh: these bodies of death with their natural inclinations that serve the law. We are bound by nature to sin “in thought, word, and deed.” Try as we might, we cannot free ourselves. Who can deliver us? Indeed, who but Christ who has already freed us from the bond or condemnation of the law. Though we are caught in our offenses and the tickets have been written, the judge declares that we are no longer condemned if we are in Christ Jesus. It is difficult to conceive in the flesh that this is true. But with the mind of the spirit, that is, by faith, we confess that Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death. By faith in the new testament, the old bond is overturned and abolished.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, lead me in continual repentance, and fortify my faith in you. Amen. 

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