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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law – part 137

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2 Peter 1:1-4

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

The strong hear the mention of penalties and rewards in one way, and the weak hear it in another way, since the weak labor for the sake of their own advantage. Yet the proclamation of rewards and punishments is necessary. In the preaching of punishments the wrath of God is revealed; this pertains to the preaching of repentance. In the preaching of rewards, grace is set forth. When referring to good works, Scripture often mentions faith, in order to include the righteousness of the heart with the other fruits. So it sometimes offers grace along with other rewards, as in Isaiah 58:8-9, and frequently in other places in the prophets.

Pulling It Together: We belong to Christ because of faith. This belonging means that we are his servants. So, we are to do his will and bidding. It also means that we receive his gifts and rewards, if he should choose to grant them to us. By his divine power, he has indeed, granted us all things necessary for us to share his nature. By belonging to Christ through faith, we have escaped the decay of our original natures. While the knowledge of God’s wrath about sin is always present—even as sin is ever present—we do not lose hope. Our hope is immovable because our hope is in Christ and his precious promises. If we were to hope in our good works, it would be a precarious hope, at best. Our hope, however, is based on a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord, who have multiplied to us both peace and grace.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving me a faith in you that puts me in equal standing with the apostles. Amen.

The goal of Personalities of Faith, a ten-session Bible study for youth, is to encourage young people to commit themselves to follow Jesus in discipleship by becoming "personalities of faith". Using 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.

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