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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Repentance – part 2

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Acts 3:18–21

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Repentance 

What are we to do here, O Charles, most invincible Emperor? The very voice of the Gospel is this: that by faith we obtain the forgiveness of sins. The writers of the Confutation condemn the voice of the gospel, so we can in no way assent to the Confutation. We cannot condemn the voice of the gospel, so beneficial and abounding in consolation. What else is the denial that we obtain forgiveness of sins by faith than to scorn the blood and death of Christ?

Pulling It Together

What are we to do but to turn again and again to Christ? The heart of this turning, this repentance, is faith. We believe that in turning from our sins to Christ, those sins are blotted out. In this turning from sin, we are turning from the trust of self. We do not simply turn from sin; we turn to Christ. We put our whole trust in him alone. He is the one who erases sin. Do we try harder to live a godly life? Most certainly. But our trust is that God makes us righteous, that he forgives us for Christ’s sake—not because we have added our own goodness and faithful deeds to repentance in order to earn his mercy. There is nothing for us to do here but to have faith in the benefits of God in Christ alone.

Prayer: Grant me life in your eternal kingdom, O God, through the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

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