From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
This faith is credited as righteousness before God (Rom 4:3-5). When the heart is cheered and quickened by faith in this manner, it receives the Holy Spirit, who renews us so that we are able to observe the law and love God and his Word. We are enabled to be submissive to God in afflictions so that we are able to be chaste, love our neighbor, and so forth. Even though these works are far from the perfection of the law, they please God because of faith by which we are accounted righteous, because we believe that we have a reconciled God for Christ's sake. These things are plain, in harmony with the gospel, and can be understood by persons of sound mind.
Pulling It Together: “Look toward heaven.” When we look to ourselves, we tend to get in trouble. Initially, Abram believed God’s promise of a son. But after a while, he took his eyes off of God and his promise. Goaded by Sarai, his wife, Abram took the matter of having a son into his own hands, contributing to the biggest dysfunctional family since Adam and Eve (Gen 16:1-5). Nearly 15 years later, the Lord reminded Abram of his covenant (Gen 17:1-2). Making him wait was also a reminder of who is in control. “Look toward heaven.”
God promises us in our baptism to make us heirs of the covenant (Gal 3:29). Though we may wait a long time, longer perhaps than Abram waited, we too are blessed. We have received the Spirit of promise by faith, by believing the word of God (Gal 3:2). Let us not turn back to the flesh, taking matters into our own hands through works of the law (Gal 3:3). “Look toward heaven.” God is still in control; he keeps his promise.
Prayer: Give me a complete confidence in you, Lord, so that I may live for you. Amen.
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Personalities of Faith is a ten-session Bible study for youth. The goal of the series is to encourage young people to commit themselves to follow Jesus in discipleship by becoming "personalities of faith." By showing biblical examples of people who have followed—or failed to follow—God's call, participants will be prepared to better follow the Lord in their own lives.