From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
IX. That receiving the sacrament of repentance obtains grace ex opere operato, without a right attitude on the part of the recipient—without faith in Christ.
Pulling It Together
Everything depends upon faith in Christ. Going to church, doing good works, being president of Council, having perfect attendance, teaching Sunday School, and even knowing all three of the ecumenical creeds (yes, even the Athanasian Creed) by heart mean nothing without faith. Simply doing the deed (ex opere operato: by the work worked) does not bring grace. Only faith in Christ apprehends grace (Eph 2:8–9). So we confess that the righteousness and grace of God has been given apart from works of the law. People are justified by God’s grace through faith in Christ, not by doing works. Works are evidence of one’s faith but they do not merit grace.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your grace to me, a poor sinner. Amen.
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Learning the Apostles' Creed teaches the Apostles' Creed according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Fourth Grade Level.