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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 102

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Mark 6:10–12

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Paul also preaches this way: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:10-12). And in Acts 17:30, God commands “all people everywhere to repent.” He says, “all men.” No person is exempted. This repentance teaches us to understand sin, that we are utterly lost, that there is nothing good in us from head to foot, and that we must become entirely new and different people.

Pulling It Together: No one was excepted in Jesus’ commission to the disciples. Even the scribes and the Pharisees were warned of their need to repent (Matt 3:7). The so-called holy people, as much as the atheist, need the admonition to repent. Why? Because all people are lost. We are not just a little disoriented, misdirected, in need of a little guidance or self-help. We are completely lost, unable to find our way out of the death and darkness that faces us all. So, out of his great love for all people, Jesus sends the word: repent!

In this place of initial recognition of who were truly are, we see our great need. Only then, are we able to hear the saving word of forgiveness (1 John 1:9). In that word, we are secured by the love of God in Christ (Rom 8:31–33). In that moment, the old person passes away and God makes us new (2 Cor 5:17).


Prayer: Thank you, God, that through Jesus, you do not count my trespasses against me. Amen.

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