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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Good Works part 6

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1 Peter 2:24

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Good Works 

Who would not rejoice to die in the confession of the article that we obtain the forgiveness of sins by faith freely for Christ’s sake, that we do not merit the forgiveness of sins by our works? The consciences of the pious will not have sufficiently sure consolation against the terrors of sin and of death, and against the devil inciting to despair, unless they know that they ought to be confident that they have the forgiveness of sins freely for Christ’s sake. This faith sustains and arouses hearts in that most violent conflict: with despair.

Pulling It Together

When despair sets in and you find no comfort in religion, family, or friends, you need something greater. When medicine cannot revive you, and doctors are of no use, and when death is imminent, your good works will give you no solace. You must have a reliable treatment for your condition when the despair of sin and death overwhelm you.

There is only one prescription for this malady that afflicts us all. Religion will not do it. A program of good works will not suffice. Only confident faith in Christ relieves us of the burden of sin and affords sure comfort in the face of death. Faith in Christ’s redeeming work on our account allows us to trust in God’s forgiveness, yes, even of the remission of sins—the sending back of our iniquities to Christ’s ledger, and the restoration of our souls to what God intended: the righteousness that we could never have achieved on our own.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for the gift of righteousness, through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

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A Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone,” Sola Scriptura is one of the traditional Lutheran slogans used since the time of the Reformation. It expresses our confession that Scripture is “the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged.” Using the familiar phrase as its title, Sola Scriptura is a new, advanced-level Bible Study in a two-part series, of six chapters each, on the functional authority of Scripture. For those who would like to cover the topic in detail, there is enough material to cover one chapter in two sessions, making each part a 12-week study.


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