From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles
Contrition was done this way. Since no one could remember every sin (especially all those committed throughout an entire year), they provided this way out: if an unremembered sin should come to light, it must also be repented of and confessed, etc. Meanwhile they were commended to the grace of God.
Pulling It Together: Here is the tormenting question that will beset a soul: Have I been contrite enough? Who could possibly say? How does one quantify contrition? Further, how can one be contrite for sins they do not even recall? Even more, if one cannot remember them, how do they really know they are forgiven?
So, the heart of the matter, the real question that must be answered, is whether God forgives us because of our faith in Jesus or because we have jumped through all the required religious hoops. I pity those who think they must somehow be measurably contrite in order to be justified to God. No wonder they are commended to God’s grace, for their consciences will be forever tormented.
Prayer: Thank you for your grace that covers all my sin. Amen.
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