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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Justification, part 8

Matthew 7:25–27       Index by Scripture

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Justification 

Therefore, the adversaries teach nothing but the righteousness of reason, or certainly of the law. Just like the Jews, they look upon the veiled face of Moses. As secure hypocrites who think that they satisfy the law, they excite presumption and empty confidence in works and have contempt for the grace of Christ. They drive timid consciences to despair, which while laboring with doubt can never experience what faith is, and how efficacious it is. Ultimately, they utterly despair.

Pulling It Together: The foolish person builds a house on sand. This should make me wonder about that beach house I have always wanted. Trying to live by the law is like owning a beach house. It sure looks pretty some days. The rest of the time it is a lot of work and is prone to being washed away in the next storm.

The wise person builds on the rock—or, if you will, the Rock (1Cor 10:4). She lives a life of faith in Jesus Christ. Believing in Jesus is the only sure foundation for life. Though the storms will come, the house of faith in Christ will not be washed away. The winds will blow and beat against that house, yet it will not fall, because Christ is its secure foundation.

So long as one tries to be Christian by doing things, her life will be knocked down in the end. How can she be confident in the things she does? “Surely,” she thinks, “I have failed to do enough to make God happy with my life.” But the one who is a Christian by virtue of the work Christ has done for her can be confident until the end. Whenever she wonders if she has done enough or been good enough, she thinks, “Of course, I haven't done enough or been good enough. Thank God that Christ has done it for me!” His grace is beyond sufficient (2Cor 12:9). It is a rock to build a life upon.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being my rock and sure foundation. Amen.

Ambidextrous Christianity

A "Two-Handed" Approach to the Life of Faith

Nine-Session Bible Study by the Rev. Chris Brekke

Martin Luther was a champion of “dialectic” or “paradoxical” thinking — the idea that two truths sometimes need to be kept in tension. For example, as you drive your car down the highway, you have to be able to turn both left and right. The same is true in our Christian lives. We trust that the truth of God’s Word teaches us how to steer wisely. But it is a dialectical “two-handed” approach to our faith journey that helps us as Christ’s followers to navigate life without going into the ditches on either side.

In this nine-session Bible Study, we look at nine key questions of faith and life, letting our Lord direct us in steering on the narrow path of faith. In studying God's Word with other believers, we seek to grow in our ability to move forward in our journey together, no matter what the road may present us with.


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