From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Observe what follows. If the punishments of purgatory are satisfactions, or rather “satispassions,” or if satisfactions are a redemption of the punishments of purgatory, do these passages also give the commandment that souls are to be punished in purgatory? Since this must result from the opinions of the adversaries, these passages should be interpreted in a new way. “Bear fruit that befits repentance,” and “Repent,” would mean, “Suffer the punishments of purgatory after this life.”
Pulling It Together: Jesus Christ is so completely holy and meritorious before the Father that he is holy and worthy for me. God is so pleased with his Son that he is well-pleased with those who believe in him. Christ is sufficient for you; you need nothing else but faith in him.
Compare a few translations of Colossians 2:10 to see how others have tried to express this sufficiency. “And ye are complete in him” (KJV). “You have come to fulness in him” (RSV). “In Him you have been made complete” (NASB). The Greek word used in the New Testament means to be completely filled, in the sense of being supplied with all you need. So, in Christ, we have all we need; we are well-supplied, full, complete. Nothing needs to be added to the fulness we have in Christ.
There is no need for any satisfaction but Christ. And as there is not need for satisfactions, there is no need to invent a place for the purging of sin. Christ has sufficiently, nay, completely, accomplished this cleansing on the cross.
Prayer: Make me mature in faith toward you, O Lord, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Amen.
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Reading and Discussion of Luther's Catechisms is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, presented in a question and discussion format.