From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
We hope that it can be sufficiently understood from these statements what faith is, and that we are compelled to hold that we are justified, reconciled, and regenerated by faith, if indeed, we wish to teach the righteousness of the gospel, and not of the law. Those who teach that we are justified by love teach the righteousness of the law, and do not instruct us to avail ourselves of Christ as mediator in justification.
Pulling It Together: Faith is not a mere intellectual understanding of God. Many people believe there is a God but they neither know who he is nor put their trust in him. Faith is not a decision to be religious. It is not head knowledge, and it is not the will to love God. These are by-products of faith. Faith is a complete trust in God even when the mind cannot comprehend, or when the will desires something other than God. One cannot trust in God if faith is of our own construction, merely human reason or will. Faith believes in Christ, not self.
Faith takes hold of God’s promises and will not let go—even when the mind cannot fathom God’s promises, even when the will cannot fully comply with the law. When the doubting mind and the weak, human will (Mark 14:38) leave us feeling guilty, faith still believes. Faith is a wholesale trust in God for justification, forgiveness of sins, rebirth, and eternal life. It takes no stock in self, but trusts in Christ alone. For if faith was a matter of reason and the will, no one could be assured of God’s promises; no one could have steadfast conviction in things unseen. God is the source of our faith, not us—not our reason or our will—so faith leaves our justification in his hands.
Prayer: Keep me steadfast, O Lord, in your word of promise. Amen.
Live from the First Century is based on the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke. This children's program takes the form of a first century newscast, reporting on events in Bethlehem. The script includes a number of character parts, with each scene featuring a Christmas carol sung by the children. Permission is granted to reproduce the script for local congregational use.