2 Timothy 4:1–4
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
May God rout these godless sophists who so wickedly distort God’s Word to fit their vain dreams! What good person is not moved by such deception? Christ says, “Repent”; the apostles preach repentance; therefore eternal punishments are compensated by the punishments of purgatory; therefore the keys have the power to remit part of the punishments of purgatory; therefore satisfactions redeem the punishments of purgatory! Who taught these asses such logic? Yet this is neither logic nor sophistry, but cunning trickery. Accordingly, they appeal to the expression “repent” in such a way that, when the inexperienced hear such a passage cited against us, they may derive the opinion that we entirely deny repentance. By these tricks they endeavor to alienate minds and inflame hatred, so that the naive may cry out against us, insisting that infectious heretics who disapprove of repentance should be removed from their midst.
Pulling It Together: It is important for us to keep the faith (2 Tim 4:7)—both in the sense continuing to believe in God, and in remaining true to the Word of God. Yet there are not a few who want pastors and teachers who will tell them what they want to hear, instead of what God wants them to hear. When the pastor preaches, “Repent,” many insist that they have not sinned, for sin is no longer sin. Never mind purgatory; since they imagine that they have not sinned, they think they need no forgiveness at all.
So now we must battle on two fronts. One front says God does not forgive sin unless it is compensated for or purged by the punishments of purgatory. The other front says they have not sinned and so, do not require God’s forgiveness. What is the Christian to do when faced with two battlefronts? Be ready at all times to preach and teach the word, patiently reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, whether people want to hear it or not.
Prayer: Open my ears, my eyes, and my heart to your word, O Lord. Amen.
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Experiencing Real Living guides the student in God's Word and nurtures key elements of faith. A picture diagram at the the beginning of each chapter assists the student in "seeing" the topic clearly. The series can be used to cover the over-arching biblical themes of creation, fall and redemption, or as a 12-week overview of the themes of the Catechism. It would serve especially well for leading an adult confirmation program. The volume is spiral bound for ease in use.