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Concerning Repentance – part 72
Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

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Romans 4:20–5:1

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Repentance 

Therefore, we have enumerated the doctrine of faith among the parts of repentance so that it might be more apparent. For those statements requiring contrition or good works, yet make no mention of justifying faith, are obviously dangerous. Prudence may justly be desired from those who have collected these centos of the Sentences and decrees. Since the Fathers speak of repentance in some places concerning one part, and in other places concerning another part, it would have been better to select and combine their judgments not only concerning one part but concerning both, contrition and faith.

Pulling It Together: Faith must always be in the forefront because it makes us think of Christ. Even sorrow, though necessary but, because it naturally causes us to try to settle our own sins, must never be considered alone. Sorrow alone, makes us think of ourselves, instead of Christ. Sorrow by itself, leads to attempts at personal atonement, which always end in failure—either through inability or because of self-righteousness. Faith must be joined to contrition, or we will end up in a system of religion every time. Faith in Christ’s atonement for us must be added to our contrition for there to be that true repentance which yields peace in the conscience.

Prayer: Though it is natural to doubt sometimes, O Lord, help me to keep the faith in and through Jesus. Amen. 

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