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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
There are many good people for whom this doubt is more bitter than death. You do not sufficiently consider how important religion is, if you think that good people are anxious for slight reason when they begin to doubt doctrine. This doubt can have no other effect than producing a most bitter of hatred against those who ought to heal consciences, but instead, make themselves an obstacle to understanding the subject.
Pulling It Together
When I was a boy, I learned to carry a full cup of coffee to my father. I walked through the kitchen, down the carpeted hallway, and in to the living room, then handed it to him without having spilled a drop. I learned to do this by not looking at the coffee in the cup. Instead, I looked away from myself to a point where I was headed. When my father came in to sight, I then kept my eyes on him. This allowed me to walk naturally and evenly, which in turn, kept the cup of coffee level.
Doubt comes when we lose sight of the end or the object of our faith. Peter walked on the water but when his focus shifted to the wind and then the water, instead of the one who beckoned him, he was as good as sunk. How can I walk on water with this wind blowing? Peter probably thought. Whenever the object of our faith becomes something we will do or something we will believe, we will sink every time. For we will have come to believe in, or have faith in, ourselves instead of Jesus.
We must, therefore, always be ready to call sinking and stumbling people back to the object of faith. Look! There is the hand of Jesus. Take it and know the calming of the storm.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for saving me. Amen.
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