From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Good Works
The framers of the Confutation openly show here what spirit leads them. For what is more certain in the Church than that the forgiveness of sins occurs freely for Christ’s sake, that Christ—not our works—is the propitiation for sins. As Peter says, “To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). We would rather assent to this Church of the prophets than to these derelict writers of the Confutation who so impudently blaspheme Christ.
Pulling It Together: It is hard to believe. But it is true and must be believed. Christ came to save poor sinners—and he does not need our help. It was undoubtedly difficult to believe that there would be healing of those snake-bitten people who looked upon the bronze serpent uplifted in the wilderness (Num 11:9). But, in order to live, they had to believe in God’s remedy. They had to have faith in God. And so it is with us. In sending his Son, the Father has provided a remedy for our disease. But we must believe; we must have faith in him. There is no other way (John 14:6). Our works are not the way; Christ is. Religion is not the truth; Christ is. Our devotion is not the life; Christ is. All we must do is have faith in him who is God’s way, truth, and life. It may be difficult to believe, but there is no other way under heaven (Acts 4:12).
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for providing a cure for my broken nature, through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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The Life of Martin Luther is written in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. This nine-session adult study takes participants through the circumstances and events of the life of Martin Luther as it reflects on the biblical themes underlying the Lutheran Reformation.