From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Scripture exclaims everywhere that we are far from the perfection required by the law. Our opponents imagine that the law of God consists in outward and civil righteousness. They do not see that it requires us to love God with the whole heart and condemns all the lust in our nature. Therefore, no one does as much as the law requires. It is ridiculous to imagine that we can do more. Although we can perform outward works not commanded by God’s Law, it is vain and wicked to have confidence that these satisfy God’s law.
Pulling It Together
Honest people should be able to admit that they do not keep even the one, greatest commandment (Deut 6:5), let alone all of God’s law. We do not love God with our whole hearts—not even the most devout people do, and being God-fearing, they know this to be true. So, the answer cannot be found in seeking salvation through religious practices. Following rules is not the way to God in heaven. The law will never make us perfect, righteous, or holy. But hope is not lost. Through his death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus has made a way to the Father (John 14:6) for all who believe. Have faith—in him.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being the way to your Father. Amen.
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Dwell In My Love! - Word of Life Series (Unit 3) is a resource for those looking to develop small groups built around the Word of God. This model of small-group ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism since it is rooted in prayer and Scripture. Its primary focus is to empower those who believe in Jesus Christ to be comfortable sharing their faith and inviting others to experience a transformed life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Meant for use in Small Group gathering, each of the six sessions is based on a primary Scripture text, with intentional time for reflection. There are questions, prayer, faith sharing, and mini evangelism case-studies. The series would be helpful for those involved in starting a Bible study fellowship, house church, or mission congregation. It can also be used by established congregations to aid in establishing a small group ministry.