1 Corinthians 1:28–31
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Free Will
People can settle this if they consider what their hearts believe about God’s will, whether they are truly confident that they are heeded and heard by God. It is difficult even for saints to retain this faith; it is nonexistent in the godless. But as we have said above, it is conceived when terrified hearts hear the gospel and receive consolation.
Pulling It Together: Faith is a gift from God; it is not something that we can conjure by reason or industry. Do you truly fear, love, and trust God? Then you have been regenerated or born again and faith is at work in you. But did you accomplish this faith because you one day decided to have faith? No; that faith was given to you.
Do you truly believe that God cares for you, hears your prayers, and answers them for Christ’s sake? Yes? Good! Then you have faith. But did you achieve this faith because you developed a religious program that you followed over a period of time until you had faith? No; faith was given to you.
When you sin and begin to fear the wrath of God, do you soon enough remember that Christ died for you, that the Father loves sinners like you, and that he forgives you for Christ’s sake? Good! Then you have faith. But that faith was not a matter of your will or decision. Otherwise, you could not boast in Christ alone, as the Scriptures say we must (1 Cor 1:31; Gal 6:14). The Christian’s boast is in Christ and his cross, not in human will.
Prayer: Help me, Lord, to only boast in your righteousness and redemption. Amen.
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