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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Repentance part 39

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Psalm 119:25–28

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Repentance 

What need is there to cite many testimonies since they are obvious throughout the Scriptures? “The Lord has chastened me sorely, but he has not given me over to death” (Psa 118:18). “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to thy word” (Psa 119:28)! Contrition is contained in the first part here, while in the second, it clearly describes how we are revived in contrition, namely, by the Word of God which offers grace, sustaining and quickening hearts.

Pulling It Together

Our ways lead us to certain death. They are low and dusty, clinging to the world and sin. Yet, God is always calling us to the way of life. This begins to happen when our souls melt away in sorrow because of a knowledge of sin. But this is only the beginning, for if contrition was all there was to repentance, we would be left with no hope, no peace, no life. Thus, the second part of repentance is faith in the promise of God’s Word which strengthens and even quickens the penitent. There we find grace, forgiveness, and renewal of the heart, which allow us to continue walking in the way of life.

Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Amen. 

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Written in 1521, Martin Luther's Commentary on the Magnificat is a spiritual classic with a timeless message: soli deo gloria — to God alone be the glory. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his musical masterpiece, Magnificat, during his first year as Kantor of the Church of St. Thomas in Leipzig. Luther and Bach on the Magnificat interprets the timeless message of the Magnificat in a unique and inspirational word and music study experience that can be enjoyed year after year by individuals and congregations alike.


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