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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Good Works part 10

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2 Peter 1:3–11

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Good Works 

The adversaries also add testimonies to their own condemnation, and it is worth while to recite several of them. They quote 2 Peter 1:10: “Be the more zealous to confirm your call and election,” etc. Now you see, reader, that our opponents have not wasted labor in learning logic, for they have learned the art of inferring from the Scriptures whatever pleases them. “Make your calling sure by good works” becomes “works merit the forgiveness of sins.” By this manner of reasoning, one would proclaim to a person sentenced to death, but whose punishment has been canceled: “The judge commands that you abstain hereafter from taking that which belongs to another. By doing so, you have merited the pardon of the penalty, because you are now abstaining from taking what belongs to another.” Arguing in this way makes a cause out of the effect.

Pulling It Together

The Holy Spirit calls us to faith through the Word (Rom 10:17), and thereby grants us eternal life. The promises of God have already been gifted through belief in the promise. To this—to that faith which apprehended the promise—we are to add the qualities of faith. If we do not, we will forget that we have been forgiven. So we must practice the qualities of faith, not so that we will be forgiven but, so that we will never forget that we have already been forgiven. We remember that we have been forgiven our sins through faith in Christ because we are now living a new life, growing stronger in our faith in Christ Jesus day by day.

Prayer: Let me appreciate your gift of eternal life, Lord, by living in eternity today. Amen.

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