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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
Faith saves because it apprehends mercy and the promise of grace, even though our works are unworthy. Knowing this, their argument does not offend us: “When we have believed all things, say, ‘We are unworthy servants.’” Understanding that our works are worthless, we declare with the entire Church that we are saved by mercy.
Pulling It Together: There is faith and there is the fruit of faith. Faith ought to have results in this life, not just the result of an eternal life to come. For we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” But those results—the fruit of our faith, our participation in the will of God—are not payments to God. We are not defraying a debt to God by slowly working it off in this life. That is not the way God’s economy works, as the Father has already paid the debt through his Son because our pitiful works could never amount to salvation. To insist on working off an already paid debt, cheats God by refusing his great gift. He has freely given us salvation through his mercy and loving kindness in Christ. He has also regenerated us to live the life of faith. In this new life, we continue to rely on Christ for salvation while we bear the fruit of faith through the power of his Holy Spirit. So, none of this is done in our own power or righteousness. God has done—and continues to do—it all.
Prayer: Help me to bear fruit for your kingdom, Lord, but depend upon you alone for salvation. Amen.
Luther's Small Cat Discovers: The Seasons of the Church Year is written for 4th grade level students. This book takes students through the church year, accompanied by Luther’s Small Cat — a character who is just as inquisitive and precocious as the students. May your journey through the church year bring you closer to Christ, who walks through each moment of life alongside you.