From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
Here the adversaries will cry out again that there is no need of good works if they do not merit eternal life. We have refuted this pretense above. Of course, it is necessary to do good works. We say that eternal life has been promised to the justified but those who walk according to the flesh retain neither faith nor righteousness. We are justified for this very purpose, that being righteous, we may begin to do good works and to obey God’s law.
Pulling It Together
Good works are evidence that a person has been justified. For the Spirit who produces good works only indwells the justified. Those who have been reborn begin to do good works freely, in the power of God, not because they fear God, temporal punishment, or eternal damnation. Good works are not something Christians owe in order to pay off a debt of righteousness. This would be living in the flesh and in fear. Those who are reborn in Christ, live according to the Spirit, believing that the Father loves and forgives them. As his children, we begin to act like his children, not because of troubled consciences but because of the impulse of the Spirit.
Prayer: Father, move me with your Spirit to love Christ by keeping his commandments. Amen.
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The Cross and the Crown is an eight session study in Lutheran Basics, using the word "sola" to get the big picture right: that salvation is all God's doing.