From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Secondly, we think that our opponents will acknowledge that the forgiveness of sins is either a part of repentance, or the conclusion, or to speak in their manner, the terminus ad quem. Therefore that by which the remission of sins is received is correctly added to the parts of repentance. It is very certain, even though all the gates of hell contradict us, that the forgiveness of sins cannot be received except by faith alone, which believes that sins are remitted for Christ's sake, according to Romans 3:25: “...whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Likewise: “Through him we have obtained access to this grace” (Rom 5:2), etc.
Pulling It Together
The forgiveness of sins is received—not earned. Now a sizeable portion of the Church thinks otherwise. Yet this is clearly what Scripture teaches us. Forgiveness is received by faith. The Word of God offers us no other options; faith receives the remission of sins. The Spirit of God bears witness to this within our own spirits. When we try to earn God’s forgiveness, we wonder if we have done enough or well enough. We worry if our works have satisfied God. Consequently, there is no peace of mind, no security. But when we believe, when we receive in faith him whom God has put forward as the only satisfaction or atonement for sin, there is both forgiveness and peace of mind.
Prayer: Help me trust you, Lord, for righteousness, forgiveness, and salvation. Amen.
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This booklet teaches the meaning of Holy Communion according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Fifth Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story which illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism - Children's Version. Lessons emphasize the sacramental promise of the forgiveness of sins conveyed to us in the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This booklet was designed to be used as a Sunday School unit, or for classes to prepare students for their First Communion.