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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Justification, part 8

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Matthew 7:25–27

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Justification 

Therefore, the adversaries teach nothing but the righteousness of reason, or certainly of the law. Just like the Jews, they look upon the veiled face of Moses. As secure hypocrites who think that they satisfy the law, they excite presumption and empty confidence in works and have contempt for the grace of Christ. They drive timid consciences to despair, which while laboring with doubt can never experience what faith is, and how efficacious it is. Ultimately, they utterly despair.

Pulling It Together

The foolish person builds a house on sand. This should make me wonder about that beach house I have always wanted. Trying to live by the law is like owning a beach house. It sure looks pretty some days. The rest of the time it is a lot of work and is prone to being washed away in the next storm.

The wise person builds on the rock—or, if you will, the Rock (1Cor 10:4). She lives a life of faith in Jesus Christ. Believing in Jesus is the only sure foundation for life. Though the storms will come, the house of faith in Christ will not be washed away. The winds will blow and beat against that house, yet it will not fall, because Christ is its secure foundation.

So long as one tries to be Christian by doing things, her life will be knocked down in the end. How can she be confident in the things she does? “Surely,” she thinks, “I have failed to do enough to make God happy with my life.” But the one who is a Christian by virtue of the work Christ has done for her can be confident until the end. Whenever she wonders if she has done enough or been good enough, she thinks, “Of course, I haven't done enough or been good enough. Thank God that Christ has done it for me!” His grace is beyond sufficient (2Cor 12:9). It is a rock to build a life upon.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being my rock and sure foundation. Amen.

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By the Will of God is an eight part sermon series on Ephesians follows the summer lectionary, year B. It uses the Brobston Telemetry Method of Preaching which is an easy way to capture the hearts and minds of listeners and draw them into the Good News of Jesus Christ.Use this series to focus in on the will of God in our lives. It is designed to be used from July 12 through August 30, 2015, but it can be used as a series anytime of the year the preacher wants to focus on Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus. It is also a great resource to give to lay-preachers in congregations where supply pastors are unavailable to fill in when the pastor goes on vacation. Each week there is a description of the bible passage, an image to build from, a section called "going deeper" which digs into the lesson even further, and some questions to use if you decide to discuss the sermon in a Bible Study or other forum.

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