From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles
However, the enumeration of sins ought to be free to all, as to what each wishes to enumerate—or not. As long as we are in the flesh, we shall not lie if we confess, “I am a lowly person, full of sin.” “I see in my members another law…” etc (Rom 7:23). Private absolution should not be despised as it originates in the Office of the Keys. It should be highly esteemed and valued, as all other funtions of the Christian Church.
Pulling It Together: Within myself, I delight in God’s Word. But I cannot do it, much as I try. I am a sinner; that much I can confess. And more! For, though I cannot do what the Word tells me, I keep it and remain delighted by its promises. For it is Christ within me who has kept the Word and fulfilled its demands. Only Christ in me is my “hope of glory,” (Col 1:27), not my lengthy lists of sins or other religious acts. I need only be graciously reminded of two things: that I am a sinner and that I am forgiven for Christ’s sake.
Prayer: Keep me ever near you, Lord. Amen.
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