1 Corinthians 1:30–31
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
But since we receive forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ's sake, provided only that they apprehend this mercy by faith. Accordingly, Scripture testifies that by faith we are considered righteous (Rom 3:26). Therefore, we will add testimonies that clearly declare that faith is the very righteousness by which we are accounted righteous before God, not because it is a work that is in itself worthy, but because it receives the promise by which God has committed for Christ's sake that he wishes to be propitious to those believing in him, or because he knows that Christ of God has become for us wisdom, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1Cor 1:30).
Pulling It Together
Our lives come from God. Every good and perfect gift comes to us through the Father (James 1:17). Well, except salvation and righteousness; we must work for those. No! Heaven forbid! Every gift is just that: a gift—a gift from God. His mercy is a gift, apprehended, for lack of a better word, by faith alone. You either believe that God forgives you or you do not believe. There is nothing here in which we may take personal pride or boast (Rom 3:27). Jesus did it all. I have nothing to do with my righteousness. It too is a gift given to me by God. I am saved by God's grace alone. I know this only too well, from experience and from Scripture.
Prayer: Holy God, Father of lights, give me more grace so that I may proclaim the excellencies of you who has called me out of darkness and into your marvelous light. Amen.
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