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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction - part 48

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Romans 5:3–5

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Confession and Satisfaction 

Furthermore, canonical satisfactions do not apply to these punishments, as the adversaries claim, saying that by the power of the keys a part of the punishments is remitted. These very men also say the keys remit the satisfactions and the punishments for which the satisfactions are made. But it is obvious that common afflictions are not removed by the power of the keys. If they wish to be understood, why then insist that satisfaction is to be rendered in purgatory?

Pulling It Together: Life happens. There are going to be troubles throughout life. All of them, whether they come from God or not, are allowed by his will. Through these sufferings, the Holy Spirit helps us to endure, which develops godly character. That quality produces hope in God who gives us this hope, provides reason to hope, and indeed, who is our hope (Psa 39:7). Our hope in God “does not disappoint us” (Rom 5:5 RSV) in this life any more than in the life to come.

We already enjoy the love of God that is poured into us through the through the Holy Spirit. This gift overflows in the heart of the believer, to the extent that we know God as Abba and Father (Gal 4:6). We know, even in times of trial, that our Father cares for us and will see us through these corrections to our character.

But endurance of these tests is not payment for sin. Christ alone is our satisfaction for sin. May we be satisfied with him.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to rejoice in my sufferings. Amen. 

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