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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law – part 113
Scripture also often emphasizes the same. “Enter not into judgment with thy servant; for no man living is righteous before thee” (Psa 143:2). This passage absolutely denies the glory of righteousness, even to all saints and servants of God, if God does not forgive but judges and convicts their hearts. When David boasts in other places of his righteousness, he speaks of his cause against the persecutors of God's Word. He does not speak of his personal purity. He asks that the cause and glory of God be defended, as in Psalm 7:8: “Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.” Likewise, in Psalm 130:3, he says that if God recorded our sins no one could endure God's judgment. “If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?”
Pulling It Together: Pour some dirt into a cup of water and find out how many people will drink? Just so, we are not palatable; each person is just some good mixed in with the bad. We are each an undrinkable cup. Everyone sins. Even the deeds we do that others consider good, are of no estimation before the Holy God. For we are not good if we are sometimes bad. Therefore, we cannot stand before God’s glory—unless he makes us holy. Unless the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, we will never endure his glory.
Thanks be to God, that when we admit the bad within us, turning to the Lord, asking his forgiveness, believing that Christ Jesus died for our sins, he makes us good. This is not accomplished in any part by the good deeds we may do, nor by the intentions of the heart—even those that we rarely accomplish. So, we cannot make ourselves good; it is only God who can make someone righteous. He makes sinners gloriously righteous by giving them Christ’s righteousness. He forgives their sins and considers them completely righteous and holy for Christ’s sake, not ours. He is the only way (John 14:6) to the Father. There is no back door. Yet, through Christ, we may enter into the presence of God with confidence. Washed by his pure water, we may draw near with the full assurance of faith in Christ.
Prayer: Help me to hold fast the confession of my hope, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
All of the Sola Sunday Schoolhouse materials for Year C may be found here. They include reproducible sheets of Bible lesson, pictures, drama, worksheets, and a Christmas program. This is the Schoolhouse unit subtitled "Stories from the Beginning," covering Bible stories from the first half of the Old Testament, from Genesis through Joshua.