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2 Corinthians 5:6–7
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Many arguments can also be collected to show that these passages of Scripture do not pertain in any way to scholastic satisfactions. These men imagine that satisfactions are works that are not due; but Scripture, in these passages, requires works that are due. For this word of Christ, “repent,” is a word of command.
Pulling It Together
Good works are mandatory. But they do not appease the wrath of God against sin. Repentance is required, as it is commanded by Christ (Matt 4:17). Yet again, this requirement does not make one righteous, justify a person to God, or save to eternal life. Likewise, we are mandated to keep the Ten Commandments but keeping the commandments, even if we could perfectly do so, can not, do not, and will never satisfy God. We can make no satisfaction through repentance, good works, or acts of devotion that will atone for our sins. Only Christ can satisfy or atone for sin; and he has done so for the sins of the world. So, while works are required, we must constantly remember that they do not satisfy. This is an edge that is difficult for many to walk—because it means walking in faith alone.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, help me to trust in Christ alone. Amen.
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