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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law – part 154

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1 John 4:7-10

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

Their influence should not seem so great that it would be unlawful to differ with their arguments when many obvious errors found among them, such as being able to love God above all things by purely natural powers. Although it is clearly false, this teaching has produced many other errors.

Pulling It Together: The ability to love God is not something that we are born with or that we can develop on our own with this fallen nature of ours. In order to love God, one must first be born again. Everyone who believes in Christ Jesus is reborn by the will of God. Then they are empowered to love God and neighbor, since whoever truly loves has first been born of God and knows God. Love does not spring from the human heart but from the heart of God, since he is love. Real love has nothing to do with our loving God, and everything to do with God having loved us so much that he sent his Son to be the atonement for our sins. This power to love is received by faith, “for love is from God.”

Prayer: Thank you, God, for loving me so that I could know the joy of loving you. Amen.

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