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2 Chronicles 7:11–14
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Meanwhile this faith is nourished in many ways during temptations, through the declarations of the gospel and the use of the sacraments. For these are signs of the new testament, signs of the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, they offer the remission of sins, as the words of the Lord’s Supper clearly testify. This is my body, which is given for you. This is the cup of the new testament (Matt 26:26–28). Thus faith is conceived and strengthened through absolution, through the hearing of the gospel, through the use of the sacraments, so that it may not succumb while it struggles with the terrors of sin and death. This method of repentance is plain and clear, and increases the worth of the power of the keys and of the sacraments. It illumines the benefit of Christ, and teaches us to avail ourselves of Christ as mediator and propitiator.
Pulling It Together
God has always been ready to forgive. Proof of his willingness is the ways he has provided for people to turn to him in faith. He has given us the Scripture so that in the reading and hearing of his Word, we may be strengthened in faith. He also uses the singing of the Scriptures in the liturgy of worship to not only sustain us in the moment but, because the tunes and the words linger, he brings his promises back to our memories throughout the week. The Holy Spirit also uses sermons to bring people to faith and fortify the faith of others. Holy Communion also strengthens us and keeps us in his grace. And prior to Holy Communion, we are afforded the opportunity to confess our sins with faith that God will forgive and are assured of his forgiveness through the words of absolution. God gives us all these ways, while we are struggling with sin, to turn to him in faith and be forgiven. Each of them involves two things that together are rightly considered true repentance: contrition and faith in the one who forgives.
Prayer: Help me to turn from sin, Lord, and seek you in prayer. Amen.
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