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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
The doctrine of repentance necessarily requires faith because it not only commands new works, but also promises the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of sins is not received unless by faith. Therefore, in those passages that refer to repentance, we should always understand that not only works, but also faith is required. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you” (Matt 6:14). A work is required here, and the promise of the forgiveness of sins is added. The promise does not depend upon the work, but upon Christ through faith.
Pulling It Together
The promise of forgiveness is bound to repentance. They are inseparable. “Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:47). We see in Scripture that repentance is required but faith in Jesus Christ is also necessary, as Paul taught the elders in Ephesus where he testified “of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). The reason that faith is required and not works alone is obvious: a promise has been given. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Do you believe that you will be forgiven? If so, you have faith. If you do not believe the promise, then of course, you lack faith.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for hearing and forgiving me. Amen.
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Teach Us to Pray is an eight lesson curriculum based around Luther's Small Catechism. Each lesson has a Bible study connected to the article of the Lord's Prayer covered. A section entitled "About Prayer" teaches students helpful items about a solid prayer life and a prayer assignment for the coming week. A major goal of this material is to help kids experience prayer and practice it in a variety of ways. This book could be used as part of a larger Confirmation series, or as a "pre-confirmation" Sunday School series for Jr. High and Middle School youth.