From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
Luke 11:41 is also cited in a mutilated form. “But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you.” Our opponents have callous ears. Therefore, we must state time and again that the Gospel of Christ must be added to the preaching of the law, that good works please God because of Christ. Yet, they exclude Christ, teaching everywhere that justification is earned by works of the law.
Pulling It Together: Common sense informs us that giving from the heart means one expects to gain nothing from the gift. When one gives from within, out of the righteousness of faith, it blesses the needy while honoring and pleasing God. God does not want us to give because we think that by giving we have earned his favor and merited forgiveness of sin. Rather, because we have faith in the justification that Christ earned for us, we may then give cheerfully, giving thanks for God’s own great gift to us in his Son.
Prayer: Cleanse me with your Spirit, God, so that I may be truly clean. Amen.
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