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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
For these reasons Paul contends that we are not justified by the law. He sets the promise of the forgiveness of sins against the law. This promise is granted for Christ’s sake, and he teaches that we freely receive the remission of sins for Christ’s sake. Paul calls us away from the law to this promise. He bids us to look upon this promise, which would certainly be useless if we are justified by the law before we are justified through the promise, or if we obtain the remission of sins on account of our own righteousness. But it is clear that the promise was given to us and Christ was given to us for the very reason that we cannot do the works of the law. Therefore it is necessary that we are reconciled by the promise before we do the works of the law. This promise, however, is only received by faith.
Pulling It Together
Believe the promise of the gospel; it is the truth. Know that Christ’s own righteousness has been granted to you as protection against sin and death. Walk in the peace of Christ, that you be comforted and assured in spiritual battle. Hold fast with faith to Christ and the promise so that all the attacks of evil are frustrated. Trust in your salvation and in the word of God that defeats the evil one. Persevere in prayer for all, that the mystery of the gospel may be proclaimed and believed. And what is this mystery but that Christ has died for all people so that in believing, they may be saved to eternal life. The promise of this mystery, this gospel, is not granted because we have kept the law, but is freely given for the sake of Christ who has fulfilled the law and outfitted us to withstand the forces of evil.
Prayer: Help me to stand firm in the truth through your righteousness, my Lord Christ. Amen.
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