From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
When the disciples asked about the blind man who sinned, Jesus replied that the cause of his blindness was not sin, but that the works of God would be made manifest in him (John 9:2–3). Jeremiah said, “They whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken” (Jer 49:12, KJV). So the prophets and John the Baptist and other saints were killed. Therefore afflictions are not always punishments for certain past deeds, but are the works of God, intended for our profit so that the power of God might be made more manifest in our weakness.
Pulling It Together
Many people think that our troubles originate in our sins. Often enough, this is precisely the case—but not always. Sometimes our troubles are meant to point us and others to the glory and the power of God, as in the restoring of the blind man’s sight. More often still, our afflictions are used by the Holy Spirit to blind us, in order to give spiritual sight, to wound us so that we might be healed.
Was Saul of Tarsus blinded because he was “persecuting” Jesus? Not at all. He was blinded so that God would be glorified in the restoration of his sight and so that he would gain spiritual sight. God is good to us, even in our troubles.
Prayer: Open my eyes, God, that I may see the Way. Amen.
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Winning, Losing, Loving: The Gospel in the Old Testament is an overview of Old Testament Scripture, tracing themes of chosenness, sin, and grace throughout the early books of the Bible. These cycles of sin and redemption point forward toward God's ultimate act of Redemption in Jesus Christ.