From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Besides, saints are subject to death, and all general afflictions, as 1 Peter 4:17 says. “For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” Although these afflictions are mostly punishments for sin, they have a better result in the godly, namely, to discipline them so that that they may learn from trials to seek God’s help and to acknowledge their disbelieving hearts, etc., as Paul says of himself, “We felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Cor 1:9). And Isaiah says, “They poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them” (Isa 26:16). By these corrections, God disciplines the saints.
Pulling It Together
God disciplines his children because he loves them. He does not require this discipline as some means of grace. For how could this be grace, if it is required of us to endure? If we must do a work of penance, it is no longer God’s grace that saves; it is we who save ourselves. Thus, we confess that God does indeed punish us, but he does so in order to bring his children back to him, back to his grace. For it is by his grace alone that we are redeemed.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, save me and bring me back to you, even if it means I must be disciplined to return my attention to you. Amen.
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Luther's Small Cat Discovers: The Seasons of the Church Year is written for 4th grade level students. This book takes students through the church year, accompanied by Luther’s Small Cat — a character who is just as inquisitive and precocious as the students. May your journey through the church year bring you closer to Christ, who walks through each moment of life alongside you.