2 Timothy 2:8–13
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
The Scriptures, the holy Fathers, and the judgments of all the godly everywhere reply. Though popes, or some theologians, and monks in the Church have taught us to seek remission of sins, grace, and righteousness through our own works, and to invent new forms of worship which have obscured the office of Christ, and have made out of Christ not a propitiator and justifier, but only a legislator, nevertheless the knowledge of Christ has always remained with some faithful people.
Pulling It Together: Let us continue to keep Christ at the center of all things. The promised Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin from the lineage of kings, suffered, was crucified and buried for our sins. That is the condition in which we would remain if Christ stayed in the tomb. Because he rose from the dead, we who are baptized into his death (Rom 6:3) will also rise with him to new life. The Scripture and even the creeds profess the work of Christ as central to salvation, and make no mention of our own works saving us. He is our justification and salvation (Rom 4:25). Though we fail him and continue to sin—for as long as we are in this mortal flesh, sin will continue—he remains faithful. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). So let us keep good works out of the matter of justification and salvation, keeping our faith in Christ alone.
Prayer: Help me to keep faith in you, faithful God, until the last day. Amen.
The Cross and the Crown is an eight session study in Lutheran Basics, using the word "sola" to get the big picture right: that salvation is all God's doing.