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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Political Order
It is also vain delusion that Christian perfection is had by not holding property. Christian perfection does not consist in the contempt of civil ordinances, but in inclinations of the heart, in great fear of God, in great faith, just as Abraham, David, Daniel, even in great wealth and while exercising civil power, were no less perfect than any hermits.
Pulling It Together
It is God who makes us perfect (1 Thes 5:23). There is nothing we can do or not do, possess or not possess, that makes us perfect or complete in the eyes of God. We do not achieve perfection; we are made perfect by God’s perfection in Jesus Christ. We are perfect through faith in him. Though many trials beset us, we must stand steadfast in the hope and joy that is set before us, through him who endured death and shame because of the joy that lay before him (Heb 12:2). This firmness of faith finally works itself out in a mature Christian (James 1:3–4). In the meanwhile, it is God who sanctifies all people who have faith in Christ. They do not work toward their own perfection; God calls them faithful, for the sake of Christ (1 Thes 5:24). So let us look to Jesus instead of to conceited, religious deceptions such as wealth or the lack thereof.
Prayer: Help me keep you as my focus, Lord. Amen.
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