From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
The scholastics saw that there were satisfactions in the Church, but did not notice that these exhibitions had been instituted as an example and to test those who desired to be received by the Church. They did not see that it was a discipline, and an entirely secular matter. Then they superstitiously imagined that these satisfactions availed, not for discipline before the Church, but for appeasing God. And just as in other places, where they frequently and with great ineptness confound spiritual and civil matters, they do the same with regard to satisfactions.
Pulling It Together: In the worldly kingdom, there are many disciplines we might bring to bear in order to make things more civil and orderly. Requiring certain satisfactions can even make folks feel better for a time. But in the kingdom of Christ, which is spiritual, any satisfaction we can make, any righteous deed we can perform, is of no consequence. In Christ’s kingdom, it is his righteousness that matters. Christ has satisfied God; therefore, what remains for us is to have faith in him, which produces peace, not just for a time, but for eternity.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for satisfying the requirements of the law for me. Amen.
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