Click above for larger graphic. • Original image • Index of Scripture graphics and posts by Scripture reference
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
These things occur in the first act. What occurs when they come to confession? What a work there is in the endless enumeration of sins—in great part devoted to those against human traditions! In order that good minds may be even more tortured by these means, they falsely assert that this enumeration is by divine commandment. While they demand this enumeration under the pretext of divine right, they speak coldly concerning absolution, which actually is of divine right. They falsely assert that the Sacrament itself confers grace ex opere operato, without a good disposition on the part of the recipient. No mention is made of faith apprehending the absolution and consoling the conscience. This is really what is generally called “departing before the mysteries.”
Pulling It Together
The first step in repentance is being contrite. God does not desire sacrifices from us, in order to appease him (Psa 51:16). This offering has already been accomplished by Jesus (Heb 10:12). What God desires is broken hearts that are sorry for sins (Psa 51:17). Then he wants our faith—trust that he really does forgive us for Christ’s sake.
Godly minds understand that this cannot be accomplished through sacrifices, works of devotion, endless itemization of sins, or ritual observances. Forgiveness is apprehended through faith, through total trust that Christ alone has delivered us from all our sins (Gal 1:3–4). The faithful add nothing to what Christ has already finished. They are at peace before the mystery of God, knowing that Christ has fully accomplished what they cannot. So we confess that contrition and then faith are required for true absolution.
Prayer: Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me as I humble myself in confession before your holiness. Amen.
Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write firstname.lastname@example.org with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.
The Sola Confirmation Series is a basic work-book style Confirmation curriculum composed of five books. It is designed to serve as a simple and practical resource for teaching the biblical Word of God according to the traditional pattern of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each book in the series can be used as the basis for a “come as you are” small group Bible study, as a student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program. Click HERE to download a pdf sheet describing the program, including an outline of session topics.