From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Now and then the Fathers use the term “satisfaction” from the rite itself, to signify true mortification. Thus Augustine says, “True satisfaction is to cut off the causes of sin, that is, to mortify the flesh, likewise to restrain the flesh, not in order to pay for eternal punishments but so that the flesh may not tempt us to sin."
Pulling It Together: God will do what he must for the good of those he loves—even if it means inflicting them with some corrective troubles. Perhaps the psalmist’s bones were not actually broken but the weight of contrition is crushing to the soul nonetheless. This is one way God purges our proclivity to sin. He puts the flesh and the old nature to death so that we will delight in his will and desire to walk in his ways. As mentioned previously, this is in no sense to be considered payment for our iniquities. Christ has already accomplished that, as only he could do. Rather, these corrections slowly kill the sinful desires that beleaguer us as long as we live in this flesh.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for blotting out my sins, through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
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