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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 87

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1 John 2:2

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Moreover, since no one could know how great the contrition must be in order for it to be sufficient before God, they provided the following consolation. If you cannot be contrite, you should at least have attrition, which I might call halfway contrite or beginning to be contrition. They have never understood these terms, nor do they understand them now any more than I do. Still, such attrition was considered a substitute for contrition when a person went to confession.

Pulling It Together: Again, the object of this kind of religion is self; it is about how much devotion or how many deeds a person can muster. Further, will that be enough to appease God’s wrath? Can one be sorrowful enough and offer enough penitential deeds to offset the sin? This sort of religion is futile. One can never be sorry enough or do enough. Never! Not in a million lifetimes. Yet, Christ alone is God’s satisfaction for billions of lives. He is the propitiation for the sins of a whole world, for those who believe in Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being my righteous advocate with your Father. Amen.

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