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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Ecclesiastical Power part 15

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John 8:31–33

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Ecclesiastical Power 

They present an objection based on the public offenses and commotions that have arisen under pretext of our doctrine. We will briefly reply. If all the offenses are combined, still the one article concerning the forgiveness of sins, that we freely obtain the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake through faith, brings so much good as to hide all evils. In the beginning, this gained Luther not only our favor, but also the favor of many who are now opposing us. “The former favor ceases, and mortals are forgetful,” says Pindar. Nevertheless, we do not desire to abandon truth essential to the Church, nor can we agree with our opponents who condemn it. “We must obey God rather than men.”

Pulling It Together

What is able to set you free: human traditions or the Word of God? Abide in one and lack assurance and peace. Abide in the other and know “perfect peace” (Isa 26:3). Keeping traditions will have you forever doubting that you have ever done enough to be forgiven and go to heaven. If you want assurance of the forgiveness of your sins, and would enjoy the fellowship of God in heaven, then keep your mind, trust, and faith in his Christ, who has fulfilled all rules and regulations (Matt 5:17). Jesus Christ is the end of the law. He is the righteousness of all who believe in him (Rom 10:14). Believe in his righteousness instead of your own, and be freed.

Prayer: Keep my mind stayed on you, Lord, and thereby, keep me in your perfect peace. Amen.

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