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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