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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Repentance – part 50

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1 John 5:9–12

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Repentance 

Since absolution is the promise of the forgiveness of sins, it necessarily requires faith. We do see how he who does not believe it may be said to receive absolution. And what else is the refusal to believe the absolution but to call God a liar? If the heart doubts, it regards God’s promises as uncertain and of no account. Accordingly, it is written, “He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son” (1 John 5:10).

Pulling It Together

When God promises a thing, it is as certain as the sun rising in the east. When God says that he forgives your sins because of Christ, you may believe it to be quite definite. If you cannot believe God’s promise then you may as well insist that the sun will rise in the west tomorrow morning. For if you cannot believe that which is most sure, how certain is anything else that has been taken for granted up until now?

But God is not a liar, no matter whether we believe him or disbelieve. The wise person believes his promise. So, when God says he forgives you for Christ’s sake, and without your assistance, it would be best for you to have faith in his promise. It is certain and it is for your good. Furthermore, what sort of person would presume to call God a liar?

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for eternal life in your Son. Amen. 

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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power.” (1 Cor 6:14)

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