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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Free Will – part 3

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Ephesians 2:1–3

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Free Will 

However, the power of concupiscence is such that people more frequently obey evil inclinations than sound judgment. And the devil, who is powerful in the godless, as Paul says (Eph 2:2), never ceases to incite this feeble nature to various offenses. This is why even civil righteousness is rare, as we see that even the philosophers, who seem to have aspired after this righteousness, did not attain it.

Pulling It Together: Without the Spirit, people walk along the natural course of the world. This is the path of sin and death. We cannot do otherwise; we cannot move toward God on our own; human nature cannot do so without the Spirit’s guidance and empowerment. This is the way of the world, for the prince of this kingdom is a spirit who easily has his way with us since our natural desires are bent to offend—unless the Spirit of God regenerates us. Salvation and strength cannot be found elsewhere, as “our help is in the name of the Lord” (Psa 124:8).

Prayer: If it had not been for you, O Lord, who was on my side, the flood of sin and death would have swept me away. Amen.

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Personalities of Faith is a ten-session Bible study for youth. The goal of the series is to encourage young people to commit themselves to follow Jesus in discipleship by becoming "personalities of faith." By showing biblical examples of people who have followed—or failed to follow—God's call, participants will be prepared to better follow the Lord in their own lives.

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