From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
We have set forth a summary of our doctrine concerning repentance, knowing it is godly and beneficial to reverent minds. If god-fearing people will compare our doctrine with the very confused discussions of our adversaries, they will perceive that our opponents have omitted the doctrine about faith justifying and consoling godly hearts. They will also see that the adversaries invent many things about the merits of attrition, the endless enumeration of offenses, and satisfactions. They say things that agree with neither human nor divine law, and which not even our adversaries themselves can satisfactorily explain.
Pulling It Together: There are times when it is difficult to believe that God really loves us. When we sin, we sense an estrangement with God that must somehow be overcome. The instinct is to make an offering, to do some good work or act of penance that will balance the scales of divine justice. That instinct is a good one, for God himself has acted on the same thought. Because sin and guilt alienate us from God, he sent his Son as the only offering, the only good work that can restore our relationship with him. When guilt and the despair of life begin to oppress us, we must hold on to the faith that encourages us to, “Fear not.” God will help and support us, console and justify us, only because the Son has satisfied the Father on our behalf—not because we have been religious, moral, or pious.
Prayer: Help me to remember with faith, Lord, that you are always with me. Amen.
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It is a vital task of the church today to encourage a renewed interest in and use of God’s Word. Unfortunately, many people find the Scriptures difficult to read and hard to understand at first. The purpose of Epistles, a Guide to Reading the Scriptures is twofold: to encourage Christians to read God’s Word on a regular basis and to help the reader slow down and concentrate on each chapter of the epistles before moving on to the next.