From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
Moreover, it is disgraceful for the adversaries to preach so much about love when they do not bestow love. What are they doing? They are tearing apart churches; they are writing laws in blood; they are proposing to the most clement prince, the emperor, that these should be published. They are slaughtering priests and other good men if they even intimate their dislike of some unmistakable abuse. These things are not consistent with speeches about love, which if the adversaries would follow, both church and the state would have peace. Disturbances would be stilled if the adversaries would not bitterly insist upon certain traditions that are useless for godliness and which are not observed even by those very persons who most earnestly defend them. They easily forgive themselves, yet do not forgive others, according to the poet Maenius: “I forgive myself.”
Pulling It Together
We should not worry ourselves over the actions of others toward us. Instead, we should be devoted to the gospel. This means that we will love those who hate and hurt us. Finally, it means that we must forgive those who trespass against us. While the rest of the world, even those in the church, demand much of us—a great deal of which is useless, as well as unfair and not reciprocated—we must nevertheless be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. This is the way of Christ who loves and forgives us.
Prayer: Forgive me of my sins, Lord, so that I may forgive those who sin against me. Amen.
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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.
The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power.” (1 Cor 6:14)