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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
Let us, therefore, hold fast to the Church’s confession that we are saved by mercy. Some may think, “If we are to be saved by mercy, hope will be uncertain, if in those who obtain salvation nothing precedes it by which they may be distinguished from those who do not obtain it.” We must give them a satisfactory answer, since the scholastics, moved by this reasoning seem to have devised the term meritum condigni.
Pulling It Together
If there must be something observed before one is able to hope in God’s mercy, there is such evidence. Faith is the antecedent. That is the difference between those who will receive God’s mercy and those who will not. The preceding factor is not condignity, an imagined worthiness because of good works. The difference that precedes salvation is easy to determine. That distinguishing feature is belief in the one who saves. Those who hear the gospel and believe in Christ are those who receive God’s mercy and are saved.
Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for guaranteeing my salvation through belief in Christ and the seal of his Spirit. Amen.
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By the Will of God is an eight part sermon series on Ephesians that follows the summer lectionary, year B. It uses the Brobston Telemetry Method of Preaching which is an easy way to capture the hearts and minds of listeners and draw them into the Good News of Jesus Christ.Use this series to focus on the will of God in our lives. It is also a great resource to give to lay-preachers in congregations where supply pastors are unavailable to fill in when the pastor goes on vacation. Each week there is a description of the bible passage, an image to build from, a section called "going deeper" which digs into the lesson even further, and some questions to use if you decide to discuss the sermon in a Bible Study or other forum.