From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
They quote such passages as the following. “Bear fruit that befits repentance” (Matt 3:8). “Yield your members to righteousness for sanctification” (Rom 6:19). Christ preaches repentance: “Repent” (Matt 4:17). Christ commands the apostles to preach repentance (Luke 24:47). Peter preaches repentance (Acts 2:38). Then they cite certain passages of the Fathers and the canons, and conclude that satisfactions in the Church are not to be abolished, though this is contrary to the plain gospel and the decrees of the Councils and Fathers, that even that those who have been absolved by the priest should carry out the prescribed repentance, following the declaration of Paul, “...who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).
Pulling It Together
Christians should do good works. It has already been stated here, more than a few times, that genuine faith is shown in its works. This is an entirely different matter than saying that forgiveness happens because of those works. Even the passages quoted above prove this out. “Bear fruit that befits repentance,” does not demand the fruit as a prerequisite for forgiveness. Rather because one has faith in God’s forgiveness, there ought to be works appropriate to repentance. Surrendering oneself to righteousness should be understood as surrendering to God—who is our righteousness (Jer 33:16). Again, Christ and the apostles preached repentance, yet did not make works a requirement for forgiveness—as though our works could satisfy or appease God. God is satisfied by Christ alone, who is the perfect work of God, and our only righteousness (Phil 3:9).
Prayer: Thank you, God, for making good on your promise, saving me through your righteous Branch, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
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Views of Baptism is written for a range of readers including the parent or sponsor about to baptize a child, the adult who wants to understand baptism more fully, and the professional teacher or preacher who needs the truth about baptism stated simply but backed by careful research. This books explores three views of baptism: the individual-centered view, the means-of-grace view, and the Roman Catholic view. It includes a description of how Christian baptism came to us in stages from its Jewish roots. A question and answer section addresses specific matters often raised when people contemplate baptism.