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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
The adversaries futilely speculate about the remission of guilt, not seeing how the heart is freed from God’s anger and eternal death by the remission of guilt through faith in Christ. The death of Christ is the satisfaction for eternal death. Our adversaries even confess that these works of satisfaction are works that are not due. These are human traditions, which Christ says are unproductive practices of worship (Matt 15:9). Therefore, we can safely affirm that canonical satisfactions are not necessary by divine law for the remission of guilt, or eternal punishment, or the penalty of purgatory.
Pulling It Together
When we imagine that there is something we can do to appease God’s wrath toward our sin, we soon discover that we have deceived ourselves. The truth is that both forgiveness and peace in the heart come only through faith in what Christ has accomplished—not by any works we perform. Indeed, by trusting in such works, we deny God and his power and love. The only sound faith is to completely trust in Christ who has satisfied God’s holiness—and done so for us.
Prayer: Increase my faith, Lord. Amen.
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