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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Additionally, repentance and grace are obscured because eternal death is not atoned for by this compensation of works, which is futile, and does not taste death in this present life. When death attacks us, something else must contend for us. Just so, as the wrath of God is overcome by faith in Christ, so death is overcome by faith in Christ. This is what Paul says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57). He does not say, who gives us the victory if we contend against death through our satisfactions.
Pulling It Together
We are threatened on every side. Ten things are listed in Romans 8:37–39, over which we have no power or control. Indeed, the tenth thing Paul lists is anything not mentioned in the first nine. These things constantly threaten to undo us. Who or what can contend with such enemies to our eternal existence? We cannot conquer any of these powerful foes. Nothing we try changes death or life; they happen to us no matter what we do.
But there is one who has successfully fought back for us—and won the victory. Through him, we also have victory. Faith in Christ accomplishes what a Herculean, religious effort can never achieve. Through him, we do more than conquer; we are gifted with the victory that he won. Though threats assail us, they will never separate us from the great love of God in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for your great love that sent a Savior. Amen.
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